Porsche unveiled gas versions of the redesigned 2019 Cayenne at the end of last year, but that was only part of the equation for the sport-focused SUV. It's now time to get our first look at the 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid, which adds electrification and performance to the Cayenne.
The 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid replaces the 2018 Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Porsche says that it gains enhancements that give the new vehicle an advantage not only over the old hybrid model, but gas versions of the Cayenne, as well. Let's take a look at a few of those innovations that promise to make the new E-Hybrid version of the Cayenne even hotter.
1. More Power
The 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid enjoys a power advantage over both the 2019 Cayenne and 2019 Cayenne S as well as the outgoing hybrid model. It starts with the same turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 found in the Cayenne, which makes 335 horsepower and 332 pounds-feet of torque, then adds on an electric motor with an output of 134 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque. That puts total system output at 455 hp and 516 pounds-feet of torque, which is an increase of 39 hp and 81 pounds-feet of torque over the outgoing Cayenne S E-Hybrid.
This boost in power translates to more speed. The 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid will go from zero-to-60 mph in 4.7 seconds (0.7 seconds faster than the Cayenne S E-Hybrid), runs the quarter-mile in just 13.3 seconds (0.9 seconds faster) and has a top speed of 157 mph (an increase of 6 mph).
Porsche has also added a new electromechanical clutch to the hybrid system, which allows it to engage or disengage the electric motor from the drivetrain quicker.
2. More Efficiency
The 14.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack also gives the new Cayenne E-Hybrid an increase in electric range. The previous model was rated at 22 miles of electric range, while the new model brings that to 27 miles. We should note that those figures are based on the European range testing cycle; generally, when vehicles are tested by the EPA, those figures will drop. Maximum speed on battery power alone is 83 mph.
Porsche is also introducing another efficiency-enhancing technology on the Cayenne E-Hybrid called Porsche InnoDrive, which uses adaptive cruise control combined with traffic sensing and onboard map data. What the system does is "look" up to 1.8 miles ahead on the map and, using grade data and current traffic information, figure out optimal times to coast, change gear and when to use the gas or electric versions of the powertrain to improve efficiency. The system can also recognize changes in the speed limit and adjust the vehicle's speed automatically. I'm not as sold on that part of Porsche InnoDrive; I tested a similar system in an Audi A5 and found that it had trouble distinguishing between the many speed limit signs posted on U.S. roadways. We'll have to test the Cayenne E-Hybrid's system when we get in the car to see how it does.
3. Performance Comes Standard
Beyond the updates to the powertrain, the 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid will also add two standard features that enhance performance: Porsche Active Suspension Management and the Sport Chrono Package. PASM allows the driver to change the suspension between different settings whether comfort or more aggressive dynamics are desired, while Sport Chrono offers a variety of drive modes.
Beyond the usual Sport and Sport Plus drive modes (which will keep the engine on at all times), there are four more hybrid-specific drive modes: E-Power, Hybrid Auto, E-Hold and E-Charge. E-Power keeps the car driving on electric power as long as possible, while Hybrid Auto allows the vehicle to choose its own driving mode to maximize efficiency. E-Hold will maintain the level of battery charge constant, so if, for example, the driver knows they have some city driving coming up on the route, they can save the electric range for that portion of the journey. E-Charge runs the gasoline engine at a higher rate to add charge back into the battery.
4. Several Firsts
The Cayenne E-Hybrid will also introduce a few all-new features to the Cayenne line, including massaging seats, a heated windshield and a head-up display. Beyond that, it will also be the first Porsche ever to offer 22-inch wheels. And, as always, you'll be able to tell it's an E-Hybrid model by the Acid Green brake calipers located inside the wheels.
In the cabin, the Cayenne E-Hybrid (according to the photo released by Porsche) also seems to get the same redesigned center console found in the gas versions, swapping out the button-rich setup of the last generation for a sleeker, touch-sensitive panel.
The 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid will start at $80,950 (including a destination charge) and arrive at dealerships in early 2019.
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