2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is powerful, yet easy on gas

Porsche’s march toward electrification will continue next year with the release of the new 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid. It’s the first gasoline-electric variant of the third-generation Cayenne but it certainly won’t be the last. Here’s what makes it tick.

The Stuttgart-based company started with a 3.0-liter V6 engine turbocharged to make 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. It joins forces with an electric motor that adds 134 hp and 295 lb-ft. of twist to the mix. The system’s total output checks in at 455 hp from 5,250 to 6,400 rpm and a stout 516 lb-ft. of torque available between 1,000 and 3,750 rpm. To add context, those figures place it between the S and the Turbo models in the Cayenne hierarchy.

An eight-speed automatic transmission transfers the hybrid system’s output to all four wheels. Porsche’s performance-oriented Sport Chrono package comes standard on the hybrid Cayenne, as does the brand’s active suspension management technology. The full air suspension joins the list of options.

The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes 4.7 seconds, seven-tenths faster than the outgoing E-Hybrid. If you’re on a race track, or if you’re cruising on an unrestricted part of Germany’s Autobahn, the Cayenne will keep going until the speedometer displays 157 mph. It’s not all about performance, though. Let’s talk volts.

The electric motor sources electricity from a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the trunk floor. We suspect it eats up a little bit of trunk space — that’s the case in the mechanically similar Panamera E-Hybrid — but Porsche hasn’t released cargo capacity figures yet. The trade-off is that the battery stores enough juice to power the Cayenne on its own for about 27 miles when tested on the European cycle. It can reach 83 mph without burning a drop of gasoline.

It takes 2.3 hours to recharge the battery pack when using the optional on-board quick charger or 7.8 hours with the standard charger. For added convenience, Cayenne E-Hybrid owners can download a smartphone application named Porsche Connect App that enables them to start, monitor, and stop the charging process remotely. The app can also identify the location of charging stations and set one as a navigation destination.

The list of options will include InnoDrive, which is like adaptive cruise control on steroids. The software weaves together information collected by the car’s sensors and navigation data to see nearly two miles ahead of the driver. It knows when there is a hill it needs to accelerate for or when there is a construction zone. It also helps balance the two power sources by selecting when to coast and when to summon the six’s full output.

It’ll take a seasoned Porsche spotter to tell the E-Hybrid apart from the standard Cayenne. The list of visual tweaks include lime green accents around the emblems and matching brake calipers. Step inside to find a hybrid-specific digital instrument cluster.

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid will go on sale early next year with a base price of $79,000 before a mandatory $1,050 destination charge gets factored in. When it lands, it will inaugurate several features that will ultimately trickle down to every variant of Porsche’s hot-selling SUV. They include 22-inch wheels (a first for the brand), a heated windshield, massaging seats, and a full-color, height-adjustable head-up display.

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