Porsche has updated its Cayenne E-Hybrid for the 2019 model year, adding even more power and more electric driving range (44 kilometers / 27 miles on the admittedly generous NEDC standard). This comes thanks to its new 14.4kWh battery.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid pairs the same 3.0 liter turbo V6 that powers the standard Cayenne with a 134 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque electric motor for a combined output of 455 horsepower and 516 ft-lb of torque. Since this uses the same internal combustion engine as the standard Cayenne, the higher power highlights why many companies are looking to electric motors as a fun way to get a significant boost in power — not to mention lower emissions and smoother drive quality.
Electric motors and electric vehicles are well known for their torquiness. With 295 lb-ft of torque, the new Cayenne E-Hybrid makes it clear that Porsche sees plug-in hybrids as more of a performance enhancement for its lineup than a way to make them more eco-conscious. Together, the powerful and intelligent integration of the 3.0 liter, turbocharged internal combustion engine and the torquey electric motor result in a faster 0–60 time than the previous versions of the car. It can now hit 60 mph (100 km/h) in 4.7 seconds.
Having said that, the increase in battery size that does increase the overall power that can be pulled by the motor also serves to increase an important environmental benefit of the Cayenne E-Hybrid — it can drive further on electricity.
While the powertrain of the 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid may not be too surprising of an upgrade, the interior of the new Cayenne shows a new side of Porsche that you may not have expected. Many of the buttons and knobs that are common in Porsche’s vehicles are now replaced with a massive display and sleek flush buttons. (Where did that idea come from?) No longer will the driver be overwhelmed by a flood of manual knobs, buttons, and meters that feel more at home in a fighter jet. The interior of the Cayenne is sleek and welcoming to the tech-phobic and technophiles alike.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid, unfortunately, has a dirty secret that Porsche has branded “E-Charge.” This mode allows the driver to run the gasoline engine at higher RPMs than are necessary and uses the extra power generated to charge up the battery. This functionality was built into the car to work around emission regulations that ban the use of internal combustion engines in city centers, something that is being discussed in many European cities struggling with urban air pollution. The problem is that this system does not cut emissions but simply gives drivers a way to charge the battery and run on gasoline-generated electricity in the city without ever having to plug in. Not cool.
That’s no surprise for a company based in the heartland of the German auto industry in Stuttgart. The region is known as the birthplace of the internal combustion-powered automobile and the modern diesel engine, among other achievements. The region’s deep roots in the automotive industry have, in recent years, made it more known for its high levels of particulate emissions, taking the crown as the city with the highest PM2.5 levels in Germany.
The new 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid will be available in early 2019.
We have reached out to Porsche about high-speed charging capability for its plug-in vehicles and plans for fully electric sport utility vehicles. We will update this article if/when we hear back.