2014 Paris Auto Show: 2015 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid | Edmunds

2014 Paris Auto Show: 2015 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid (FAQ)

2014 Paris Auto Show


What Is It?
The 2015 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is a new plug-in hybrid version of Porsche's midsize, five-passenger SUV. It replaces the old standard hybrid model and significantly outdoes it in terms of technological advancement, fuel efficiency, electric power and all-electric range. It also benefits from the updates made to every Cayenne, including revised styling and new features.

How Is This Different From the Current Cayenne Hybrid?
The outgoing Cayenne Hybrid is a bit of a dinosaur compared to this 2015 Cayenne E-Hybrid. The E represents a significant jump in battery storage and electric motor power. Besides its ability to be recharged by plugging into a home or remote power supply, more advanced lithium-ion batteries (typical for most new hybrid or electric vehicles) stores 10.8 kWh of electricity versus the 1.7 kWh stored by the old hybrid's nickel-metal hydride battery pack. This is as drastic as it seems and it allows this SUV to travel much further on electricity alone, although Porsche did not release official electric range or fuel economy estimates.

As a point of reference, though, the Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid that shares the Cayenne's powertrain can go an EPA-estimated 16 miles on electricity alone and achieves 50 mpg-E or 25 mpg combined when the plug-in battery charge is depleted. A 3.6-kW onboard charger is standard, but the optional 7.2 kW charges twice as quickly provided a suitable electrical connection is available.

The Cayenne E-Hybrid doesn't simply benefit from additional juice, however. The electric motor is also twice as powerful as before, increasing from 34 kW to 70 kW or 95 horsepower. When combined with its 3.0-liter 333-hp supercharged V6 (similar to the one found in many Audi vehicles), combined power is a stout 416 hp and 435 pound-feet of torque. This is routed through the same eight-speed automatic transmission found in other Cayennes and the permanent all-wheel-drive system found in the Cayenne Diesel.

Porsche estimates the Cayenne E-Hybrid will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, which should be on par with the revised Cayenne S and its twin-turbo V6 engine. Porsche also says the Cayenne can reach a top speed of 78 mph on electricity alone.

How Else Does the Cayenne E-Hybrid Differ?
Although the styling of the 2015 Cayenne E-Hybrid is essentially no different than the other models, there are clear ways to tell it apart. First and foremost are the unique "acid green" brake calipers shared with the Panamera E-Hybrid and inspired by those on the 918 Spyder hybrid supercar. That same color festoons the car's badging and gauge cluster needles.

The Cayenne E-Hybrid also comes standard with Porsche Car Connect, a smartphone app optional on other models. It provides remote information about your car, including the current state of its charge or energy efficiency. Plus, if you opt for remote heating and air-conditioning functionality, Car Connect can activate the HVAC system when the car is plugged in to cool or heat it in order to reduce energy usage once under way and therefore extend electric range.

What Else Is New for the 2015 Cayenne?
Every Porsche Cayenne receives numerous subtle styling changes for 2015. It may not look that different, but look closer and you'll spot the shorter center grille, repositioned LED light strips and the redesigned hood with cut lines that extend to the also-redesigned headlights cluster. Those headlights can also be LEDs in place of the standard bi-xenon units, and although you can't see them, active aero shutters have been added that open and close automatically to balance engine cooling and a reduction in wind resistance.

Around back, the taillights are smaller and more streamlined, the liftgate has been simplified and the lower bumper has been redesigned to more completely encompass and emphasize the prominent exhausts — even in the E-Hybrid.

The suspension was revised for improved ride and handling, with the Cayenne E-Hybrid coming standard with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that allows the driver to select among Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus Settings. An adjustable air suspension is still available that replaces PASM. It includes six different ride heights and for 2015 pairs with a retractable load sill in the cargo area to lower the loading level by 2 inches.

Other updates include a new steering wheel that comes standard with shift paddles, and new options that include a surround-view parking camera and ventilated rear seats.

When Does It Go on Sale?
The 2015 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid will arrive in showrooms November 1, 2014.

How Much Does It Cost?
The E-Hybrid will carry a base price of $77,395, which is only about $2,000 more than the Cayenne S. That is certainly intriguing given their similar performance but disparate fuel consumption. Nevertheless, the admittedly much slower Cayenne Diesel is a whopping $14,700 cheaper, meaning that from a purely financial perspective, there's a good chance it could continue to be the smarter fuel- and money-saving choice. The difference in estimated annual fuel cost between the Diesel and E-Hybrid is likely to be less than $1,000 per year.

What Models Will It Compete Against?
Also introduced at the 2014 Paris Auto Show, the 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin-Engine will be the only other plug-in hybrid luxury SUV when it arrives in spring of next year. Despite offering similar power as the Porsche, the Volvo is an incredibly different vehicle. It's much bigger and puts more of an emphasis on luxury and family-friendly comfort than the sport-tuned Cayenne.

Those searching for a fuel-efficient midsize luxury SUV may also want to consider diesel-powered competitors like the 2015 BMW X5 xDrive35d. Its 25 mpg is potentially half of what the Porsche's is, but the difference in estimated annual fuel cost is likely to only be a couple hundred bucks. Plus, the X5 is $20,000 cheaper and a bigger, more comfortable SUV.

Should You Wait for It?
If you were previously considering a 2014 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, then absolutely wait for the all-new E-Hybrid that is light-years more advanced and potentially efficient. Its mix of acceleration and potential fuel economy should be truly impressive. At the same time, if you're simply looking for a luxury SUV to save you some money at the pump, the E-Hybrid may not save you enough to counter its hefty price premium over the Diesel model.

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