Porsche has made no secrets of its intent to take on the electric car market and challenge the likes of Tesla. Porsche’s first fully electric car, the Mission E is a few years from production, and the 911 promises to remain a gas-powered drivers car. But our pros at our Porsche Performance shop got a look at how the new Cayenne E-hybrid intends to bridge the gap between petrol and electric-powered Porsches.
Porsche’s Hybrid History
As many of you already know, this is not the first time Porsche has dabbled with Hybrid vehicles. Porsche’s founder, Ferdinand Porsche, first co-produced an all-electric car in 1900, known as the Lohner-Porsche or “Semper Vivus”. Porsche as we know them today, released their first hybrid vehicle in 2010 with the Cayenne S Hybrid, which was followed by the Panamera S Hybrid in 2011. The success of these models led Porsche to producing the new generation of these models in 2014 under the name E-hybrid, and finally to their most ambitious hybrid to date, the 918 Spyder supercar.
What To Expect From The Cayenne E-Hybrid
The most important and differentiating factor when it comes to the new Cayenne E-Hybrid is that it receives a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 married to a 14.1kWh battery pack. This is an increase over the previous generation’s 10.8kWh pack. All this is exclusively mounted to a fully automatic gearbox. The E-Hybrid borrows the 918 Spyder’s electronic boost strategy to help produce 462BHP and a limited 700 NM of torque. Porsche estimates that this will let the E-hybrid do a 0-60 mph sprint in 4.7 seconds. In the Sport Plus setting, the E-Hybrid has been measured to drain its battery pack in 27 miles in Europe, so we can assume the EPA will find a smaller range when it hits American soil. The battery pack is recharged by using the engine as a generator at lower speeds, and Porsche has given drivers the option to run in full electric mode with a speed limitation of 83 mph.
From the outside, there is nothing that hints at the Cayenne being a hybrid. Without the hybrid badging, it would be easy to assume this is any one of the models introduced with the new Cayenne. It keeps Porsche’s color scheme with acid green brake calipers, or the new Porsche Surface Coated Brake system which will give you the option of having white brake calipers. The entire package is finished off with a selection 22-inch alloy rims, two gloss and seven metallic paint options.
The uniformity continues inside, as the E-hybrid has an identical interior to the Cayenne S and turbo models. This further supports Porsche’s idea of E-hybrids being normal cars, and not being considered any different an alternative to fuel saving as their diesel-powered siblings. Inside you’ll find all the regular creature comforts we’ve come to expect from Porsche such as massage seats, a heated windscreen, independent zonal heating and cooling. The Cayenne also gets Porsche’s digital co-pilot, InnoDrive, which offers you adaptive cruise control, active lane guidance, and a heads-up display, a first for Porsche.
When Is It Being Released?
The third generation is already available in Europe in its petrol variants. Porsche is expected to release the third generation internationally in Q1 2019, with all planned engine variants available at launch. For those of you who are curious as to what more the E-hybrid has to offer, Porsche has already released the configurator, allowing you to accurately depict your very own E-hybrid.
Our Porsche performance shop pros are eagerly awaiting our first visit from the new generation Cayenne and giving it our signature performance boost. For all your vehicles need, remember to look no further than Foreign Affairs Motorsport, South Florida’s premier German auto repair, performance and race facility since 1978!