If someone expected Porsche may be one of the types leading the charge on plug-in hybrids back when Chevrolet launched the Volt in 2010-just as Porsche was debuting its first-ever production hybrid using 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 some other car maker. Clearly, one of 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 in the Panamera E-Hybrid’s high-voltage battery, electric motor, and power electronics, upping the lithium-ion battery ability to 10.8 kWh from the sedan’s 9.4. Otherwise, the powertrain is identical, from the Audi-sourced supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 for the Aisin eight-speed automatic. Torque is routed to any or all four wheels with a limited-slip center differential utilizing a rear-biased (58-percent) torque distribution.
The rest of the car is similar on the recently revamped Cayenne, with a few exceptions. The 282-pound battery, containing of 104 individual cells, consumes the area normally reserved for 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 achievable. This increases fuel consumption by about 20 percent, in line with Porsche. In “E-Power” mode, though, the Cayenne moves solely in the single electric motor at speeds up to 78 mph. This ability is mostly aimed at European markets, where it allows buyers to avoid congestion fees in specific cities. Americans will be able to utilize this silent-running mode to sneak through to friends or, at the minimum, valets.
Each time 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 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 admission to a high-voltage feed.
Driving in a city causes it to be hard to desire more power compared to electric motor produces. Maximum acceleration with all of 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 the two-and-a-half ton ute.
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