Plug in hybrids are on the increase. In 2010 Chevrolet launched the Volt at approximately the same time as the first Porsche Cayenne hybrid. Now the majority of car manufacturers have at least one plug-in hybrid. With the release of the 2015 Cayenne S E-hybrid plug-in Porsche will now have three of these vehicles available to the public; more than any other automobile manufacturer.
The company has been releasing beautiful models over the years; however, it managed to stay true to one model in terms of design, the 911. Even the bulkiest SUVs from Porsche have something in their exterior design that remind of the classic, and we certainly appreciate the devotion. Here are some cool facts about the company’s recent Cayenne S E-hybrid.
Porsche has taken the high voltage battery, electric motor and power electronics directly from their Panamera E-hybrid plug in. The Cayenne has an increased battery capacity; 10.8kWh compared to the Panamera’s 9.4 kWh. The rest of the two cars are very similar; a 3.0 litre V6 aligned with an eight speed automatic box. The limited slip dif is biased towards the rear end but power is put through all four wheels. The battery weighs 282 pounds; its 104 fuel cells are all designed to fit within the space normally occupied by the spare tire.
The Cayenne has two new buttons compared to the previous version. One is “E-charge” which tells the engine management system to prioritize charging the depleted battery. Porsche state that this will increase fuel consumption by 20%. The second button is “E-Power” and this allows the automobile to cruise at speeds of up to 78 mph; solely on the electric motor. The electric only mode will allow European drivers to avoid paying congestion charges in many European cities. It also opens the possibility of sneaking silently up to someone.
Assuming there is enough charge in the battery then the car will always start in E-Power mode. The battery is charged via a standard electricity supplier and can be fully charged from empty within three and a half hours. For those who have access to high voltage electricity it is possible to purchase a higher voltage charger and recharge the cells in just ninety minutes.
The electric motor produces enough power to keep anyone happy whilst city driving but the real fun is to be had out of town. With both the electric and petrol motors running the car has 416 horsepower available and will go from 0 – 60 in under six seconds. This is respectable for any car; particularly one that weighs two and a half ton.
Like most hybrids and many modern cars the Cayenne uses regenerative braking to stop the car. The impressive advancement which Porsche have made is to create some feedback in the pedal. It is no longer an on / off feeling. It may need a lot more development before regenerative brakes have the same feel as regular brakes but this is a strong sign that it will be possible. There is hope yet!
Unlike so many SUV’s the new Cayenne S E-hybrid has excellent body control and the best quality Porsche spare parts, the car is well built and can also be fitted with air springs as an optional extra. These can reduce the ride height and help with fuel economy when needed. The car is well composed and feels as though it can be pushed hard; the limit might be the driver not the car.
The fuel economy figures are actually better than the last Cayenne. It offers 21mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the open road; the previous version offered 20 and 24 mpg. It should be capable of driving around 20 miles on electric only power. That’s enough for a trip into the city or to the shops.
Porsche technology is moving at an impressive pace. It will only be a matter of time before their promise of a hybrid endurance racer becomes a reality. It may make you wonder what sort of cars will be available in ten years. We certainly have great expectations from Porsche; they’ve proven to have pioneering ideas in terms of car technology, so it’s safe to say that we’re dealing with one of the world’s most ingenious vehicle manufacturer.
Porsche Cayenne Hybrid photo by David Villarreal Fernandez. License: CC BY-SA 2.0.