2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid bridges the EV hole

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Porsche automobiles could also be quick, however they’re not fast sufficient to outrun the fast onset of emissions rules. That’s why it revised all three powertrains within the 2024 Porsche Cayenne to run leaner, in addition to meaner. However the efficiency model needed to make some troublesome choices on how and the place its bestseller might be bought. 

This refresh to the third-gen Cayenne represents the mid-size SUV’s most vital replace for the reason that Cayenne nameplate was launched in 2002. The modifications guarantee it can nonetheless be recent when bought alongside the fourth technology that launches with the total battery electrical Cayenne in 2026. The electrical Porsche Macan arrives first in 2024. Till then, Porsche introduced again a brand new iteration of the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 within the Cayenne S, and it’s opting to forgo gross sales of the rip-roaring 650-hp Turbo GT in India, most Asian international locations, and its dwelling continent of Europe. Mark this the start of the top of the V-8.

It’s the 2024 Cayenne E-Hybrid plug-in hybrid which will present the clearest indicator of the place Porsche goes and the way it’s going to get there. 

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

For 2024, Porsche swaps in a 25.9-kwh battery pack rather than the previous 17.9-kwh unit within the cargo flooring. It can enhance the electrical vary past the 15 miles of its predecessor, however Porsche couldn’t certify by how a lot at press time. 

In driving out of L.A. and into southern California—the place Porsches appear as quite a few as Teslas—it appeared as if 20 miles stands out as the new flooring, with 30 miles of vary because the potential ceiling. As an alternative of dramatic modifications, the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid continues to take incremental steps because it was first launched in 2011. 

It now has an 11-kw onboard charger that lowers the cost time of the bigger battery to 2.5 hours; the outgoing mannequin had a 7.2-kw charger and a cost time of about three hours. 

The E-Hybrid marries an up to date 3.0-liter turbo-6 with a brand new however equally sized electrical motor producing 174 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque in comparison with 134 hp and 295 lb-ft within the predecessor. As an entire, output will increase from 455 hp to 463 hp however torque drops from 516 lb-ft to 479 lb-ft. The extra highly effective motor hits tougher and faster, Porsche spokesperson Calvin Kim defined. 

This ends in a 0-60 mph time that improves by a tick, from 4.7 to 4.6 seconds, by Porsche’s measures. It sheds its 5,348-pound curb weight seemingly with out effort, but from a cease it doesn’t have the identical entrance raise because the Cayenne S that hits 60 mph in 4.4 seconds with the Sport Plus pack. There aren’t any recognized plans for the return of the 670-hp Turbo S E-Hybrid.

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

Cayenne S Coupe or E-Hybrid SUV?

I examined the Cayenne S Coupe within the morning and the Cayenne E-Hybrid SUV within the afternoon. It’s an imperfect comparability. The distinction within the Coupe and SUV physique types is negligible at 65 kilos in favor of the SUV, however by my eye the Coupe higher seems to be the Porsche half. Its tucked tail higher mirrors the Taycan and, to a lesser diploma, the 911. The reduce into cargo area—3.2 cubic toes behind the rear seats—wasn’t that important both. 

Each fashions have been geared up with the optionally available air suspension and sport exhaust system; the previous made extra sense for the E-Hybrid. The E-Hybrid felt heavier, chunkier, and the additional 474 kilos over the Cayenne S might be felt in turns, despite the usual adaptive dampers. The V-8 Coupe went out and in of turns with extra grace and stability, and whereas cruising, it felt quieter. Even with the panoramic sunroof normal on the Coupe, it felt extra cocooned than the E-Hybrid, which had 21-inch aero wheels as a substitute of the 22-inch RS wheels on the Cayenne S. The Cayenne S Coupe was extra enjoyable. 

The arguments for the Cayenne E-Hybrid may come all the way down to HOV lane entry, as one colleague identified, or value. At $93,350 ($4,000 extra for the Coupe) to start out, the E-Hybrid is cheaper than the $97,350 Cayenne S as nicely (the Coupe will get an enormous upcharge right here of $6,400).

I’m not alone in preferring the Coupe. Porsche says that it accounts for 30% of Cayenne gross sales since launch, which practically doubles the take charge of coupe-style SUVs from Mercedes and BMW.

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

Why purchase the E-Hybrid?

By itself, the Sport or Sport+ modes optimize the ability supply from each sources to provide the E-Hybrid that Porsche chunk. And the Sport Exhaust system opens up the V-6 snarl when known as upon, however in any other case the E-Hybrid prowls round in quiet with marginal highway and wind nosie. 

This twin nature is its key promoting level, particularly round L.A., the place engines play hostage to cease and go site visitors. All. The. Time.  

The system defaults to electrical energy, but Porsche mutes this electrical prominence, largely to good impact. Porsche digitized the cockpit to imitate the electrical Porsche Taycan by swapping out the analog dials and changing them with a 12.6-inch digital cluster providing as much as seven views. They’re crystal clear and loaded with navigation and efficiency information, however can’t fairly match the consumer friendliness of an Audi or the breadth and depth of the newest Mercedes interface. Beside it, a 12.3-inch touchscreen broadens the sprint, which is flanked on the finish by vertical vents like wing suggestions. The entrance passenger may play with an optionally available 10.9-inch touchscreen blocked from the motive force’s view. With or with out the choice, that sprint area is roofed by the identical black cowl that may be higher coated with a few of Porsche’s finer supplies. 

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

Seize handles nonetheless stud the doorways and flank the middle console, which has a brand new haptic local weather management panel and fewer muddle than its predecessor. The local weather panel may use a bit extra refinement to match the remainder of the inside; push the heated seat button, for instance, and the entire panel sinks momentarily with it. 

All drive modes transfer to the steering wheel dial, and suspension and exhaust settings migrate to the middle touchscreen. The gear selector strikes as much as the sprint to the proper of the steering wheel, and the beginning button sits left of the wheel. It’s neater, cleaner, and extra reliant on digitization, however the analog Sport Chrono clock stays an possibility. 

There’s no nice announcement in any of the various shows that you simply’re driving a plug-in hybrid, but the very important data might be present in due time. A battery cost show might be accessed in one of many cluster shows, and the estimated mileage seems in inexperienced within the mixed tach/speedo show. It’s all very understated, muted virtually. 

An EV energy show seems on the prime of the tachometer within the excessive midday place. A blue bar cascades down when EV energy is getting used. 

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

What’s with the Cayenne’s regenerative braking system?

One other bar in inexperienced cascades all the way down to the left. That’s the regenerative brake dial. There’s no regen taking place whenever you raise off the accelerator, solely when the brake is pressed. It operates within the background, and appears like a missed alternative nonetheless, similar as within the final gen of regen. 

The lone regen setting, which mixes in a few of it, however not a lot, ends in a non-linear brake really feel. The pedal could be a contact comfortable at first then it corporations up proper fast when the mechanical brake takes maintain. The handoff is noticeable although not jarring, and Kim says the present utility is an adaptation of the regen system within the Taycan

“The movement chart of the way it works could be very comparable,” Kim stated.

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

An 8-speed automated transmission with both energy supply

The curious factor about Porsche’s plug-in hybrid system is the presence of the 8-speed automated transmission, and the way clean it balances the totally different energy calls for.  

In EV mode, it’ll present the transmission gear within the tachometer although there aren’t any revs displayed. At 45 mph or so, and with the transmission in seventh gear, I tapped the throttle and the engine got here on, carrying over in seventh gear below blended energy. In the identical state of affairs, eager to move somebody, I hit the throttle and the transmission downshifted to fourth gear because the engine took over. EV mode by no means totally locks out the engine. Above these speeds, in most circumstances, the engine works in live performance with the “E machine” motor. 

The engine connects to the motor then goes by means of the transmission and its torque converter earlier than sending energy by means of the middle differential and lastly the rear differential. And the fairly giant battery pack is below the rear cargo flooring, simply behind the again seats.

You’ll be able to play with the assorted hybrid and drive modes with the steering wheel dial, however the automotive responds to your inputs by itself primarily based on the programming of the digital management unit. It’s all very pure and predictable, and it preserves a small quantity of battery energy even when the gauges say it’s depleted. 

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

However gaming the system might be enjoyable. E-Maintain introduced the battery cost from empty to 10% on downhill twists by means of a canyon. I misplaced these positive factors again uphill in Hybrid Auto mode. However Sport mode alongside the coast, with stops each few miles or so, generated quite a lot of energy to 25% or 10 miles, with the exterior temp at a candy spot within the seventies and the local weather management off. It’s not protected to extrapolate to a full cost of 40 miles, as highway situations and driving habits dictate the vary estimate. 

The least environment friendly mode is E-Cost that turns the engine into each a propulsion supply and a generator. It powers the battery pack, so it’s greatest used to replenish the battery whereas cruising on the freeway when the engine is working in its most effective state. I gained 10 electric-only miles in arduous driving over a few 35-mile leg in E-Cost. Then, when off the freeway, you need to use electrical propulsion over these previous few miles earlier than your vacation spot. It drags on efficiency, in fact, however being sensible with energy by no means goes out of favor. 

Sport and Sport+ modes faucet each energy sources for the optimum efficiency, and robotically activate the game exhaust. The turbo V-6 lacks the extra resonant thrum of the Cayenne S V-8, nevertheless it does way more than purr. 

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

Similar as in actual property and gerrymandering, location issues. Utilizing digital energy to crawl by means of L.A.’s infamous site visitors feels so much higher than stopping and beginning a twin-turbo V-8. And assuming the bigger battery and stronger motor result in sufficient vary to deal with many commutes there and elsewhere within the nation, the Cayenne E-Hybrid states its case with out sacrificing Porsche energy.  


Porsche supplied lodging and airfare for Inexperienced Automotive Experiences to current this firsthand report. 

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