Porsche builds on plug-in lineup with 416-hp Cayenne S E-Hybrid

Think of Porsche and most will inevitably envision the iconic 911 sports coupe, although it should be noted that the German premium
2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
The advent of the new 2015 Cayenne S E-Hybrid, marks the third PHEV for Porsche and the most for any automaker in the world, not to mention the first PHEV within the luxury SUV class. (Photo: Porsche)
performance brand builds six other models as well, not to mention many different body styles of some plus numerous trim levels of each.

More recently Porsche has become something of an alternative fuels purveyor too, with turbo-diesels in the mix as well as a number of hybrid electrics, the latter boasting plug-in capability for two of its 2014 models and now a third for this upcoming model year, the 2015 Cayenne S E-Hybrid.

Consider for a moment that this new addition makes Porsche the only manufacturer in the world to offer three unique plug-in models, plus the only automaker (so far) offering one in the premium sport utility segment. Currently the brand’s flagship 918 Spyder “ultracar” waves the plug-in hybrid banner very proudly, whereas the Panamera S E-Hybrid offers plug-in technology at a slightly more
2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
The Cayenne S E-Hybrid not only offers impressive power along with superb fuel economy, but also the new 2015 Cayenne’s updated styling. (Photo: Porsche)
approachable price point ($837,232 CAD more affordable, as per the CAD/USD exchange rate at the time of writing). The new 2015 Cayenne S E-Hybrid, with a base price of $86,800, is $23,200 more affordable than the Panamera S E-Hybrid, making it the lowest priced plug-in hybrid in Porsche’s fleet.

While not a full electric-only vehicle (EV) such as Tesla’s upcoming Model X, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid (PHEV) offers the benefits of full electric operation for an extended range over the company’s more conventional and now canceled Cayenne S Hybrid, plus the go-anywhere convenience of gasoline power. The exact EV range has yet to be certified, as have its fuel economy estimates, but we
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
The $845,000 USD ($947,440 CAD) 918 Spyder is the most prominent member of Porsche’s PHEV lineup. (Photo: Porsche)
can surmise from the Panamera S E-Hybrid that uses the same mechanicals, something nearing 5.1 Le/100km will be achievable in combined city/highway electric/gasoline usage.

The happy ending to this fabulous fuel-efficiency story is a powertrain that makes a very enthusiastic 416 horsepower, 95 of which comes from the electric motor alone, resulting in a claimed 0 to 100-km/h sprint of 5.9 seconds (the company’s U.S. retail site claims 0 to 60 in just 5.4 seconds, so the Canadian site may be especially conservative with the new model’s performance). The gasoline engine is Porsche’s 3.0-litre V6 tuned to 333 horsepower all on its own, which mates up to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

So what’s the expected take-rate on the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid? While battery-based vehicles built buy competitors are slowly catching on, Porsche states that
2015 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
At $110,000, the Panamera S E-Hybrid will continue as the lowest priced Porsche PHEV available until the new $86,800 Cayenne S E-Hybrid arrives in November. (Photo: Porsche)
nine-percent of its global year-to-date Panamera sales have been S E-Hybrids. The number jumps to 16-percent when tallying up U.S. sales, which is a surprisingly strong result for a model with eleven trim levels, many of which offer better performance starting with the 420-horsepower Panamera S in its three conventionally powered iterations, the 440-horsepower Panamera GTS, the two different trims of the 520-horsepower Panamera Turbo, and the two unique versions of the 570-horsepower Panamera Turbo S.

The Cayenne is only available in four trim levels for 2015, starting with the $71,300 Cayenne Diesel and topped off by the $128,200 Cayenne Turbo. The Cayenne S E-Hybrid slots in just above the $83,700 needed for the regular Cayenne S at the above-mentioned $86,800 (all numbers excluding Porsche’s very low $1,115 freight and pre-delivery prep charge).

The new plug-in will make its official debut at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris on October 2, before arriving in showrooms for the first week of November.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)