At Porsche, 2019 is the focus of the all-electric Taycan. But the moment has come in the field of electrification for the current hybrid models. However, the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is not intended to convey pure efficiency: the boost strategy from the Porsche 918 Spyder super sports car is also intended to awaken sportiness and dynamic driving fun in the large-format SUV. With a total of 340 kW (462 hp), the hybrid SUV offers a powerful range of performance from leisurely gliding to sporty races and thus also combines a package of off-road qualities. In a practical test, we examine the suitability for everyday use in the short and long-haul range.
Porsche will probably not be so quick to separate itself from the conventional drive. The new factory for V8 engines was only opened in 2016. At the same time, however, the electrification with hybrid models is being maintained and new models are being brought onto the market. And so the new Cayenne, with its athletic appearance, embodies a new generation of SUV sports cars. Visually, the E-Hybrid differs through the prominent green-highlighted lettering and the mighty brake calipers in the color “Acid Green”.
A 3,0-liter V6 turbo gasoline engine with 250 kW (340 hp) and an electric motor with 100 kW (136 hp) work under the hood. The maximum torque of 700 Nm is already available slightly above idle speed - made possible by a software control comparable to that of the Porsche 918 Spyder. The high torque can be implemented immediately during kickdown. Once the accelerator is depressed, the Cayenne sprints from 0 to 100 km / h within 5 seconds. This makes it even faster than the Cayenne S with 5,2 seconds. It is noticeable that the maximum torque can be called up over a high speed range. This results in powerful propulsion for each gear step up to the maximum achievable maximum speed. This is cordoned off at 263 km / h. Compared to the previous model, the two drive units harmonize even better and move the 2-ton SUV more quickly.
Calm before the storm
Anyone who moves around the city can drive up to 44 kilometers purely electrically in summer with a fully charged battery. Unfortunately, the charge can only be fully recharged in around 7,2 hours with an optional 230 kw onboard charger and a 32 volt connection with 2,3 amps. With the standard connection, it usually takes over 8 hours at the home socket.
The current charging status and remaining charging time can be tracked at any time via the app. The “Porsche Connect” app can be used to find the nearest charging station while driving. The newly established “Porsche Charging Service” is practical. Regardless of the various providers, a public charging station can be used without additional registration.
How does the consumption look like in summer operation? We tested at high summer temperatures. The driving mode can be selected at any time on the touchscreen according to your own taste. If you trust the European Driving Cycle (NEDC), ideally around 3,2 to 3,4 liters of super with 20,6 to 20,9 kWh can be achieved for the electric motor in hybrid mode.
But you will hardly buy a Porsche to drive this sports car in this mode. The driving pleasure and the possibilities of the drive units are more likely to be savored. As soon as the battery is empty you can calculate between 8-10 liters of super with a moderate driving style. The system discharges the battery to a minimum of around 15% in order to then use the boost when overtaking. If you also want to exhaust the sports potential or the full off-road capability, you can confidently expect consumption values of over 10 liters of super.
The technical finesse
In competition with manufacturers in the premium segment, Porsche relies on exclusive tools. With the “Porsche InnoDrive”, based on the navigation maps in combination with the radar and video sensors, the optimal acceleration and deceleration values for the following three kilometers are calculated and used. The engine management is controlled with the parameters for permissible speeds, curves and inclines. The adjustments to the selected driving mode are then supported in a correspondingly agile manner, for example in the "Sport" mode.
If you want to get to know the dynamic aspects of driving while driving at full throttle, gasoline consumption tends to end up in the double-digit range. With the modes "Sport" and "Sport Plus", the greatest possible performance is available with constant integration of the V6 biturbo engine. The drive types are coupled with the agile response behavior of the drive and a more direct road feel. This is particularly supported by the sporty, harder behavior of the otherwise very comfortable air suspension. The height of the car can be adjusted to different heights by means of a selection.
Another popular feature is the additional boost that can be used effectively when accelerating. The boost behavior, derived from the Porsche 918 Spyder super sports car, provides maximum torque over the entire speed range when the accelerator pedal is pressed, depending on the driver's requirements.
A soft-shifting "Tiptronic S" transmits the power. The E-Hybrid brings an additional 300 kilograms of additional weight thanks to electrification. But the higher weight is also faded into the background due to numerous technical refinements during the test drives. With the electric rear wheel steering, the system steers the rear wheels against the turned front wheels. A smaller turning circle increases the agility when handling as with more compact SUV vehicles. Correspondingly, at high speeds, the rear wheels are steered in the same direction as the front wheels and increase driving stability considerably when cornering.
If you want to recognize pedestrians or larger animals before they appear in the spotlight, you can integrate the forbearance assistant. An infrared camera records pedestrians and larger animals and informs the driver by means of a heat differential image in the instrument cluster. The living being recognized is highlighted in yellow on the display and, if it is a critical distance in front of the vehicle, highlighted in red with an acoustic warning signal. In combination with the “Panamera Dynamic Light System Plus”, the headlights at the edge of the road or pedestrians on the road flash three times briefly using a marker light function to draw the driver's attention. A future-oriented system that convinced us during our test drives.
When it comes to roll stabilization, Porsche relies on the “Porsche Dynamic Chassis Contro”. The side inclination during cornering is significantly reduced by effectively preventing any side inclination when driving in the bends. Depending on your own taste, Porsche can either be sprung as hard as a board and steered stably through the curves together with the very precise steering, or on long journeys it can be comfortably balanced over long distances with soft air suspension.
Even if you want to move this Porsche off-road, Porsche has integrated a whole toolbox of individual setting options. In addition to the very practical height adjustment of the air suspension, the chassis can be raised to a maximum level, especially for off-road use. The terrain can also be set using the touchscreen. Regardless of whether you wade through the deep puddles in the forest, test the sandy stretches in a disused gravel pit or want to explore the stony terrain in the mountains, in all cases the selected configuration ensures proper propulsion for the fun on the off-road route. Even if the Cayenne cannot be used as variably as a jeep due to its length and width, there are enough resources available for everyday excursions into the terrain.
The inner values
In the upper price segment, Porsche moves with the Cayenne E-Hybrid in the test car version in the area of high-quality and very precisely finished interior. The center console has been upgraded and touch-sensitive control surfaces that are located under a noble surface. The reduction in the number of controls is very beneficial. Almost all settings can now be made directly on the very large central touchscreen with clear operator guidance.
Compared to the versions with conventional motorization, there is a “power meter” with direct information on the electrical energy used and the energy obtained through recuperation.
The variously adjustable front seats can be configured very individually for travel comfort. A separate panel is available for the rear passengers to operate the air conditioning infotainment functions. The “Porsche Connect Plus” service offers a great advantage while driving. This direct online connection guarantees direct access to online services and the Internet. This means that services such as “Amazon Music” can be used with a wide range of streaming services while on the move.
The battery is installed under the loading floor in the rear of the vehicle. That means. Compared to the conventional Cayenne, a little loss of space in the trunk. However, the cargo space is generously dimensioned at 645 liters; with the rear bench seat folded down, the cargo area can be expanded to 1.610 liters. In accordance with the generous dimensions, the loading sill is very high on the outside, but only drops low on the inside and is then easy to load.
The original advantage results from this with the online navigation. With the help of the integrated vehicle sensors, for example, fog, skidding hazards or accident sites are continuously recorded in the system. By means of transmitted data from appropriately equipped vehicles, information on the traffic and road situation is continuously exchanged. The service is known as "Risk Radar" and evaluates the swarm data from the equipped vehicles.
With the “Porsche Connect” app, destinations can be integrated into the navigation system and sent to the vehicle before the start of the journey. Useful features are also available for travel planning, such as a hotel or restaurant rating by users or free parking garages with opening times. Of course, all WLAN-capable end devices can be integrated. For charging, there are two USB charging ports and an inductive charging cradle for wireless charging of compatible smartphones under the center armrest. "Apple CarPlay" is currently provided for operating smartphone apps.
The standard stationary air conditioning can also be individually controlled via smartphone, i.e. the heating and cooling of the vehicle when the ignition is switched off. Via Porsche Connect, charging stations can also be searched for, sorted and taken directly as a navigation destination. The Porsche Charging Service also enables access to public charging stations independent of the provider - without additional registration with the respective provider. In this case, billing takes place directly via the Porsche ID account.
A look at the price list
In the luxury class, the focus is on customizing the equipment for your personal Porsche. Sports car manufacturers can pay a lot extra with the extensive price list alone, so driving comfort, leather upholstery options and additional assistance systems are always associated with surcharges. From the base price of 89.822 euros, our final test car price is well below the six-figure range. Those who value faster charging should opt for a Porsche charging cable (Mode 3) TYP2 3 16A for 297,50 euros. A comfort feature that is crucial in this vehicle class, such as Porsche InnoDrive (including adaptive cruise control, emergency stop function, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition) costs an extra charge of 3070,20 euros. (As of September 2018)
In the luxurious upper class, the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid sets standards in terms of variability and performance. Porsche relies on technically mature solutions coupled with an optimally adjustable air suspension system. The scale in driving ranges from a sporty appearance to demanding off-road use. The practical consumption of a car with a total weight of over 2 tons is variable according to the range of possible uses. In practical tests, the new Cayenne E-Hybrid has proven itself as a generalist in the luxury class.
Practical test from the green car magazine.
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