The Porsche Cayenne will be getting a mid-cycle refresh for 2014, and as Motor Trend reports, this will include a new plug-in hybrid version of the popular SUV. The formula for making this new hybrid system is fairly simple, as Porsche already makes a traditional hybrid version of the Cayenne. For the plug-in, which will be known as an e-Hybrid, the batteries will be enlarged and a more powerful electric motor will be used. An e-Hybrid version of the Panamera is also expected to follow.
In electric mode, the Cayenne will make 95 to 100 horsepower. That’s enough to get you around town, albeit not that quickly. When you need to get up to highway speeds, the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 will turn on and kick the horsepower up to about 420. There is no word yet on what the range will be in electric-only mode, but we’re assured that it will be more than 15 miles, more than that of the Prius plug-in. Since the electric motor is located between the engine and the transmission, four-wheel-drive will still be available in electric mode.
The Cayenne e-Hybrid will also be the platform for the production debut of Porsche’s e-charge system. This is a driver-selectable system which will increase the output from the gasoline engine for a short period to recharge the battery. Porsche’s thinking in this is that you can use it as you’re approaching your exit on the highway and have the gasoline engine on anyway. That way you can pull off the highway and into the stop-and-go traffic with a fully charged battery, and can simply switch off the gasoline power plant. There will of course also be a smartphone app which will allow you to monitor charging and turn on the climate controls remotely.
There is also a new 4.1-liter twin-turbo V8 diesel that has just been added to the Cayenne’s engine lineup for Europe. The new engine produces 377 horsepower and 627lb-ft of torque, which is considerably more than the old 5.0-liter V10 diesel which VW used in the Cayenne’s platform-mate, the Touareg, to tow a 747. So this would be the new preferred engine for towing with this platform, and it might even make it over to the US. Porsche says the engine would be fairly easy to convert for US emissions, but if we do get it, it would likely happen at the same time that we get the e-Hybrid.