2015 Porsche Cayenne to include plug-in hybrid model

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(July 30, 2014) Despite protests from purists when it was introduced, the Cayenne SUV has proven to be the most popular Porsche. The first generation (2002-2010) sold 276,000 units, while the second generation (2010-today) has eclipsed that mark in less time with 303,000 sold. It has bee
n the cash cow for Porsche and a dependable source of revenue, thus helping make it one of the most profitable car companies in the world.

Soon Porsche will launch the latest Cayenne, and with it the four models — Diesel, S, Turbo and S E-Hybrid — that will fill out the lineup. The last, Porsche is quick to state, is the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment, and shares its technology with the Panamera plug-in hybrid. When the 918 is added to the mix, this makes Porsche the only automaker offer three plug-in models.

The sheetmetal in front of the A-pillars is new, with sharper lines and more edges to make it look leaner and less plump. The design staff changed the height and depth of the horizontal body lines to give the Cayenne a better stance, integrated the exhaust tips into the rear fascia, and redesigned the tailgate. Bi-Xenon headlights are standard on all but the Cayenne Turbo. It gets LED headlights fitted with the Porsche Dynamic Light System, while all have four-element LED running lights up front.

The big news takes place under the hood. The Cayenne S E-Hybrid has a lithium-ion battery pack with 10.8 kWh, and electric motor power has been more than doubled, from 47 to 95 hp. This gives the Cayenne plug-in a top speed of 78 mph under electric power, and the capability to travel an unspecified distance on electric power alone.

It supplements the 333 hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6, giving a total system output of 416 hp at 5,500 rpm and 435 lb-ft from 1,250-4,000 rpm. Top speed is 151 mph, and 0-62 mph takes just 5.4 seconds.

The 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel is basically unchanged, and produces 240 hp from 3,800-4,400 rpm and 406 lb-ft from 1,750-2,500 rpm. It does 0-62 mph in 7.2 seconds and tops out at 135 mph. Meanwhile, the Cayenne S uses a new Porsche-developed 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 that develops 420 hp at 6,000 rpm, and 406 lb-ft from 1,350-4,500 rpm. Power density has increased from 83 hp/liter to 117, a gain of nearly 40%, and enough to propel the SUV from 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 160 mph.

The Cayenne Turbo retains the twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 of the previous model. It develops 520 hp at 6,000 rpm, and 553 lb-ft from 2,250-4,000 rpm. Accelerating from zero to 62 mph takes just 4.2 seconds, and the top speed of the Cayenne Turbo is a simmering 173 mph. As with the other models in the lineup, the Cayenne Turbo features improved auto start-stop, as well as a thermal management system that opens and closes active air flaps behind the center air intake based on need. The new models launch in the U.S. on Nov. 1.

The Virtual Driver