PORSCHE CAYENNE E-HYBRID
Diesel? We don't need no stinkin’ diesel! This is petrol-electric perfection
PREVIOUS Wheels encounters with Porsche’s third-generation Cayenne have left predominantly positive impressions. The sweet-spot S is a resounding high-achiever defying segment norms, the entry-level variant is somewhat of a bargain by Porsche standards, and the Turbo will bludgeon a chuckle out of even the most coldhearted cynic.
But there’s a glaring gap in the
current range. There will be no successor to the second-gen diesel Cayenne – but customers might not lament the passing of compression ignition for long. Not only does the new Cayenne E-hybrid exceed the diesel’s power, torque and efficiency on paper, its claimed performance translates into the real world, too. Even better, actually.
The plug-in model arrives with all the qualities we approve of in its purely petrol-quaffing siblings. It’s almost as pretty as its Macan little sister, the chassis is taut but supple, and the interior delivers a tech-heavy dose of Porsche quality.
But the seamless integration of its drivetrain is the standout. Plug its charging cable in at home and the E-hybrid’s 14.1kwh battery will be fully juiced in about seven hours. Get a sparky to fit a 16-amp outlet and that falls by half (there’s no faster charging wall box option for now). That’s enough to complete my 38km commuting roundtrip without prodding the turbocharged V6 into life at all.
Drain the battery or rotate the Sport Chrono drive mode dial from default E Power to Hybrid and the clever electronics will make the most efficient use of both. Combined power is spookily smooth, but more aggressive regenerative braking and so-called one-pedal driving would perhaps make the battery last even longer. Sport and Sport Plus are there for maximum electrical performance enhancement blended with traditional wanton petrol consumption.
Acceleration to 100km/h feels faster than the quoted 5.0sec thanks to the instant electrical assistance off the line, and although you can definitely feel the extra 300kg (ouch) compared to the standard variety, the hybrid has some serious green mumbo.
You’ll pay a premium for it, though. Compared with the base Cayenne, the E-hybrid is about $20,000 more expensive and $27,500 up on the gen-two diesel, but simple consumptionbased maths may help sweeten the equation just a little.
Generally speaking, the cost of electricity to run an EV is approximately half the equivalent cost in petrol. If, like me, you live about 20km from work (or 40km and you have a socket in the car park), you too can kick the petrol habit during the working week – potentially slashing your petrol bill in half.
Achieving the same in a compact Japanese hatchback would be just as effective if a little less surprising, but a 2.3-tonne large SUV with potent performance and the badge to match? That’s the kind of future we could all get used to.
Model Porsche Cayenne E-hybrid Engine 2995cc V6, dohc, 24v, turbo + electric motor Max power 340kw @ 5250-6400rpm Max torque 700Nm @ 1000-3750rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic Weight 2295kg 0-100km/h 5.0sec (claimed) Fuel economy 3.4L/100km Price $136,700 On sale Now