If someone expected Porsche would be among the brands leading the cost on plug-in hybrids back when Chevrolet launched the Volt in 2010-just as Porsche was debuting its first-ever production hybrid with the Cayenne-that person should be dealing futures on Wall Street. By replacing that SUV with this 2015 Cayenne S E-Hybrid plug-in, Porsche presently has three plug-ins, much more than another car manufacturer. Of course, among those three is the 918 Spyder, which isn’t exactly mainstream production. But still.
To have the Cayenne to plug-in status, Porsche basically grafted in the Panamera E-Hybrid’s high-voltage battery, electric motor, and power electronics, upping the lithium-ion battery ability to 10.8 kWh on the sedan’s 9.4. Otherwise, the powertrain is identical, through the Audi-sourced supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 on the Aisin eight-speed automatic. Torque is routed to any or all four wheels using a limited-slip center differential using a rear-biased (58-percent) torque distribution.
The residual car is identical for the currently revamped Cayenne, with some exceptions. The 282-pound battery, containing of 104 individual cells, consumes the space normally available to a spare tire. Versus other Cayennes, the $77,395 E-Hybrid has two additional buttons on its center console. Selecting “E-Charge” prioritizes replenishing a depleted battery so future electric driving is achievable. This increases fuel consumption by about 20 percent, according to Porsche. In “E-Power” mode, though, the Cayenne moves solely in the single electric motor at speeds up to 78 mph. This ability is mainly aimed at European markets, where it enables users to avert congestion fees in specific cities. Americans are able to use this silent-running mode to sneak through to friends or, at minimum, valets.
Anytime a Cayenne starts, it’s in E-Power mode by default, assuming there's enough juice within the battery. Porsche claims that charging with a 240-volt hookup takes about three-and-a-half hours using the standard 3.6-kW charger; an optional 7.2-kW unit are able to cut that to 90 minutes if you have access to a high-voltage feed.
Driving in a city will make it hard to desire more power compared to electric motor produces. Maximum acceleration with all 416 gas-and-electric horses should return a zero-to-60-mph sprint well below six seconds, and a quarter-mile will pass in just over 14 ticks, according to Porsche. No too shabby for a two-and-a-half ton ute.
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