From £47,3908
A Cayenne hybrid of heightened economy potential, and quite attractively priced given its complexity and capabilities

Our Verdict

Porsche Cayenne
The Porsche Cayenne is available as a hybrid for the first time

Even those who don't love the Porsche Cayenne should be impressed by its dynamic ability

22 October 2014

What is it?

Porsche is keen to sell us plug-in hybrids. It now makes three, although one is rather unaffordable, it being the £652,849 918 Spyder. The other two are the Panamera and the new Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid, which replaces the plain hybrid version.

This upgraded petrol-electric Cayenne is part of the revised range presenting a freshened styling and new features that include the economy-promoting coasting mode provided by the previous hybrid alone, stop-start that kills the engine a few mph before halting and a launch-control system with the optional Sport Chrono pack.

It also has more precise suspension geometry and a greater dynamic range between the Comfort and Sport modes for both steel-sprung and air-suspended versions. Improved rear seat comfort and a heated screen option are among the detail improvements.

But the upgrades to the Cayenne hybrid are a lot more substantial. Aside from the facility to plug it into a cheaper mains energy supply, a lithium-ion battery pack of almost six times the kilowatt-hour capacity replaces the previous nickel-metal hydride pack.

That allows the electric motor’s output to jump from 46bhp to 94bhp, while the electric-only range lengthens from 1.6 miles to between 11 and 22 miles, although Porsche’s development engineers say they’ve gone further.

It now cruises at up to 78mph rather than 40mph on amperes alone, and its 410bhp system output allows it a 5.9sec sprint to 62mph rather than the 6.5sec of the previous 380bhp hybrid. Its CO2 emissions reduce spectacularly from 193g/km to 79g/km, although the EU’s methods for measuring plug-in hybrid economy and carbon emissions are seriously misleading.

That said, this hybrid Cayenne will be genuinely cheaper to run than the last, tax-wise and when maximising travel on electricity alone. Of which there’s a good chance.

What's it like?

The Cayenne plug-in’s powerpack is near-identical to the plug-in Panamera’s (a more energy-dense battery pack and all-wheel drive are the main differences) the pair proving surprisingly reluctant to engage their petrol engines to achieve decent progress.

In the E-Power mode the Cayenne will keep up with most traffic; press the accelerator more firmly and the supercharged V6 leaps into life, its torque faultlessly synchronising with the electric motor’s.

At which point you can access truly substantial acceleration, the V6’s revs rising with a slightly industrial and not unappealing rortiness.

Despite its substantial weight, the Cayenne handles with some panache. It rolls a bit, even in the firmest of its air springs’ settings, but that doesn’t prevent it from tracing curves with pleasingly assured confidence, your enjoyment heightened by the steering’s precision.

With both motors working hard, a decently sporting pace is easily achieved. There’s further entertainment to be had from trying to maximise your electric range through brake recuperation.

Should I buy one?

It all makes this Cayenne a particularly interesting example of the breed, and if you successfully harness its powers, a pretty economical one too.

The price of this revised hybrid is exactly the same as the V8 diesel’s despite the fact that this is a vastly more complex machine, and though the hybrid is slower, that makes this plug-in impressive value among full-size, premium SUVs.

The non-plug-in hybrid Range Rover, for example, costs £98,425 to the Cayenne S E-Hybrid’s £61,474.

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

Price £61,474; 0-62mph 5.9sec; Top speed 151mph; Economy 83.1mpg (combined); CO2 79g/km; Kerb weight 2350kg; Engine V6, supercharged, 2995cc, petrol; synchronous electric motor; Power (combined) 410bhp at 5500rpm; Torque (combined) 435lb ft between 1250-4000rpm; Gearbox 8-spd Tiptronic with decoupling clutch

 

22 October 2014

That’s a 10 fold increase in battery only range, if progress on plug-ins carries on at this rate I might be travelling for 0.02p a mile sooner than I thought. On a related note for the first time this week wind power generated more than Nuclear power, over 14%.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

23 October 2014
xxxx wrote:

That’s a 10 fold increase in battery only range, if progress on plug-ins carries on at this rate I might be travelling for 0.02p a mile sooner than I thought.

It is - but it's nearly a 10-fold increase in battery capacity as well so not really that surprising. Production battery energy density is still woeful - I wouldn't mind betting that to store enough electrical energy for 22 (cycle) miles the battery alone will be somewhere between 150 - 200kg. Now think how far you could get on 200 - 270 litres of fuel...

xxxx wrote:

On a related note for the first time this week wind power generated more than Nuclear power, over 14%.

Only because most of the nuclear power stations were shut down and the wind farms were being helped by the tail-end of hurricane Gonzalo. Not really a great comparison... (just to be be clear - I hate nuclear energy and on-shore windfarms about as much as each other!)

23 October 2014
stavers wrote:
xxxx wrote:

That’s a 10 fold increase in battery only range, if progress on plug-ins carries on at this rate I might be travelling for 0.02p a mile sooner than I thought.

It is - but it's nearly a 10-fold increase in battery capacity as well so not really that surprising. Production battery energy density is still woeful - I wouldn't mind betting that to store enough electrical energy for 22 (cycle) miles the battery alone will be somewhere between 150 - 200kg. Now think how far you could get on 200 - 270 litres of fuel...

xxxx wrote:

On a related note for the first time this week wind power generated more than Nuclear power, over 14%.

Only because most of the nuclear power stations were shut down and the wind farms were being helped by the tail-end of hurricane Gonzalo. Not really a great comparison... (just to be be clear - I hate nuclear energy and on-shore windfarms about as much as each other!)

Actually the story says "a lithium-ion battery pack of almost six times the kilowatt-hour capacity replaces the previous nickel-metal hydride pack." so I'm not sure how you come up with 10 times. And Wind power has got this far in about 15 years whereas Nuclear power has had about 3 times that. p.s. I love offf-shore wind farms and solar panels

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

23 October 2014
Autocar wrote:

if you successfully harness its powers, a pretty economical one

How economical? It would be interesting to know. The author rightly mentions the ridiculous EU testing method for these vehicles but doesn't mention what was actually achieved on test.


22 October 2014

Is it really that exceptional, the new XC90 T8 is better looking, just as powerful, just as well built, has a far nicer interior and can seat 7 in comfort.. The range-topping 394bhp hybrid – badged T8 ‘Twin Engine’ – uses a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine to power the front wheels, while a 79bhp electric motor propels the rears. Six engine modes allow the driver to choose how to power the car. These range from pure electric to full hybrid power, plus special off-road settings.

Using only the electric motor, the seven-seat XC90 T8 will travel around 25 miles on a single charge. Official combined CO2 emissions will be around 60g/km, which means fuel economy of around 109mpg.

23 October 2014
Citytiger wrote:

Is it really that exceptional, the new XC90 T8 is better looking, just as powerful, just as well built, has a far nicer interior and can seat 7 in comfort.. The range-topping 394bhp hybrid – badged T8 ‘Twin Engine’s,.

Whilst I can't comment on the looks of the XC90 T8 as I've yet to see one the performance is impressive, is it around the same price, £61,000 , as this Porsche for comparision purposes???

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

23 October 2014
xxxx wrote:

Whilst I can't comment on the looks of the XC90 T8 as I've yet to see one the performance is impressive, is it around the same price, £61,000 , as this Porsche for comparision purposes???

The XC90 T8 Momentum is priced from £59,955. Higher spec R-Design and Inscription trim levels cost more.


23 October 2014

I think you're after a plural, rather than a possessive. Standards, gentlemen, please.
Yours faithfully
The Apostrophe Police

23 October 2014
pauld101 wrote:

I think you're after a plural, rather than a possessive. Standards, gentlemen, please.
Yours faithfully
The Apostrophe Police

No - there is only one electric motor. I think they meant faultlessly synchronising with the electric motor’s torque.

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