Porsche has shocked no one with its newest SUV derivative, the new petrol-electric Cayenne E-Hybrid. Following on with Porsche’s recent distancing of itself from diesel, the new Cayenne E-Hybrid promises reduced fuel consumption and emissions, although how much attention has been lavished on driving pleasure, we’re not so sure.
With a powertrain comprised of a 3-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine, producing 335bhp, mated to a 132bhp electric motor, the E-Hybrid has a total system output of 455bhp – some 22bhp more than the Cayenne S. Packing 14.1kWh of battery capacity, the Cayenne E-Hybrid is able to sail to a silent electric range of around 43 km, and will recharge from a 230V power source in 7-8 hours. The powertrain is then connected to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Thanks to all of this hardware, the Cayenne E-Hybrid will reach 100kph in 5 seconds.
The new Cayenne E-Hybrid is therefore more powerful, faster to 100kph and more efficient (although Porsche has hesitated to release official l/100km figures) than the mid-table Cayenne S – yet at $91,357, is also slightly cheaper. This might sound like a win-win situation for most then, but for a very large, heavy elephant in the room.
The Cayenne might not be our most beloved Porsche model, but it did prove large SUVs needn’t drive without finesse. The new third-generation Cayenne proved this again last year when we drove the first examples, but the unfortunate compromise of plug-in hybrids is the significant weight gain, often dulling the driving experience. Although the official weight figures have yet to be released, we expect the Cayenne E-Hybrid may be no different.
This is not the only application of this drivetrain, as Bentley is also using a similar set-up in the latest Bentayga PHEV and Volkswagen is readying a PHEV version of the new Touareg. An inherent advantage that the Cayenne E-Hybrid shares with its Volkswagen Group cousins is the use of a six-cylinder engine. This compares favourably to rivals like the BMW X5 40e and Range Rover Sport PHEVthat utilise four-cylinder engines in their hybrid drivetrains so that’s something in the Porsche’s favour.
On sale now at Porsche dealers, the E-Hybrid might not turn out to be the enthusiasts’ Cayenne of choice, but is an important part of Porsche weaning itself away from the black pump.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
Copyright © evo UK, Dennis Publishing