If somebody predicted Porsche might be one of the types 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 is now offering three plug-ins, greater than any other car manufacturer. Obviously, among those three is the 918 Spyder, which isn’t exactly mainstream production. But still.
To obtain the Cayenne to plug-in status, Porsche basically grafted within the Panamera E-Hybrid’s high-voltage battery, electric motor, and power electronics, upping the lithium-ion battery ability to 10.8 kWh with the sedan’s 9.4. Otherwise, the powertrain is alike, through the Audi-sourced supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 for the Aisin eight-speed automatic. Torque is routed to all four wheels using a limited-slip center differential using a rear-biased (58-percent) torque distribution.
The remainder of the car is similar for the recently revamped Cayenne, with some exceptions. The 282-pound battery, containing of 104 individual cells, consumes the area normally available to an extra 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 feasible. This increases fuel consumption by about 20 percent, based on 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 directed at European markets, where it enables owners to prevent congestion fees in specific cities. Americans can use this silent-running mode to sneak through to friends or, at the least, valets.
Each time a Cayenne starts, it’s in E-Power mode by default, assuming there's enough juice inside the battery. Porsche claims that charging with a 240-volt hookup takes about three-and-a-half hours with all the standard 3.6-kW charger; an optional 7.2-kW unit are able to cut that to 90 minutes if you've got access to a high-voltage feed.
Driving in a city causes it to be tough to wish for more power than the electric motor produces. Maximum acceleration along with 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, based on Porsche. No too shabby for any two-and-a-half ton ute.
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