As promised by Porsche more than a year ago, the German luxury automaker has unveiled details this morning of its all-new 2015 Cayenne. And for the first time in the car’s history, you’ll be able to buy it with a plug.
In addition to being offered with 3.0-litre, turbocharged V-6 diesel, 3.6 litre twin-turbo V-6 gasoline and 4.8-litre twin-turbocharged V-8 gasoline engine options, the third-generation Cayenne will offer buyers the opportunity to opt for a more environmentally -conscious 3.0-litre supercharged V-6 married to a 70 kilowatt electric motor and 10.8 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
Launched in 2002, the five-door mid-size luxury crossover SUV is based on the same chassis used by parent company Volkswagen for its Touareg crossover SUV, and is known for its high-performance and luxurious interior. Back in 2010, Porsche added a hybrid variant of the Cayenne to the car’s lineup powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine and a 33 kilowatt electric motor. Capable of the 0-62 mph dash in 6.5 seconds, the Cayenne hybrid might have produced the sporty drive Porsche owners yearn for, but is rated by the EPA at an abysmal 24 mpg combined.
The all-new 2015 Porsche Cayenne S-E Hybrid — which replaces the outgoing non plug-in hybrid — should manage a far better fuel economy thanks to its larger on-board battery pack and much more powerful electric motor. At the time of writing, official fuel economy figures aren’t available, but Porsche says the Cayenne S-E Hybrid will sprint from 0-62 mph in 5.4 seconds, more than a second quicker than its non plug-in predecessor.
It’s worth noting too that the Cayenne S-E Hybrid’s drivetrain seem to be the same ones found in Porsche’s Panamera S-E Hybrid. In that particular car, the drivetrain produces a combined fuel economy of 50 MPGe in blended mode, or 25 MPG in gasoline only. All-electric range is rated at just 16 miles, and a full recharge takes three hours from a domestic charging station.
While top speed in the Cayenne S-E Hybrid is limited to 151 mph in blended hybrid mode, Porsche says the all-electric mode will happily operate at speeds of up to 78 mph. What isn’t clear yet is if hard acceleration will prompt the gasoline engine to kick in as with many other plug-in hybrids, or if that kind of speed can be achieved from standstill at full throttle without gasoline intervention.
The downside? Like the Porsche Panamera S-E Hybrid, the Cayenne S-E Hybrid isn’t exactly cheap. At $76,400 before incentives and a mandatory destination charge of $995, the Cayenne S-E Hybrid is Tesla Model S territory. The only other plug-in car to sell for a similar price — the Cadillac ELR — has struggled to attract buyers thanks to its limited electric-only range when compared to the 250+ mile Model S.
Will the Cayenne S-E Hybrid suffer a similar fate, especially with Tesla’s own plug-in SUV — the 250+ mile all-electric Tesla Model X — due to hit the market next year?
Let us know in the Comments below.
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