America has an issue. Effectively, really it has a number of issues, however the (small) one I’m speaking about right here is that it simply doesn’t appear to “get” plug-in hybrids. Certain, they promote right here, however how often do people actually plug them in? Regardless that there are actual advantages to doing so. We additionally have a tendency to think about PHEVs as being environment friendly, quite than as a efficiency car however Porsche is attempting to alter that with the latest variations of its Cayenne E-Hybrid.
The brand new Cayenne is superb in commonplace, ICE-only type. The 2023 Cayenne S is one of the best quick SUV on sale proper now and second place isn’t precisely shut. I drove the bottom Cayenne E-Hybrid which is powered by a turbocharged V6. That fuel engine and the hybrid system put out a mixed (and wholesome) 463 horsepower however whereas the baseline degree of sportiness of the Cayenne is there, I wouldn’t name it tremendous thrilling. Porsche is prepared with a treatment to this case with the 2024 Cayenne S E-Hybrid and, most excitingly, the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid.
Full Disclosure: Porsche needed me to drive the 2024 Cayenne S E-Hybrid and Turbo E-Hybrid so badly that it flew me to Barcelona the place I attempted to not eat an excessive amount of ham, however positively overindulged in cafe con leche and loved talking my very restricted Spanish with a hearty lisp.
In contrast to the ICE Cayenne S and its turbocharged V8, the S E-Hybrid will get the identical V6 engine as the bottom E-Hybrid, nevertheless it will get an elevated energy output of 512 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That comes from tweaks to the fuel engine and whereas I didn’t precisely have my hair set on fireplace by the efficiency (it’s nonetheless a heavy car at 5,311 kilos) and whereas I didn’t drive it back-to-back with the non-S E-Hybrid, it’s nonetheless a reasonably spectacular SUV that hides its weight effectively, even on an ultra-twisty Spanish street close to Montserrat.
Whereas the bottom E-Hybrid comes on the Cayenne’s severely good metal spring suspension, the S E-Hybrid comes with the identical two-valve, two-chamber air suspension that blew me away on the Cayenne S. The trip high quality on supply right here is superb, as is the pace with which the suspension reacts to adjustments within the street. There have been (as soon as once more) occasions after I had the SUV in Sport Plus mode and forgot about it.
Whereas the S E-Hybrid is probably going going to be the amount vendor right here, probably the most thrilling model is the Turbo E-Hybrid which successfully replaces the Turbo S E-Hybrid of the earlier era. This monster makes a mixed 729 hp and 700 LB-FT of torque. These are successfully supercar numbers, even when the 5,719 pound curb weight isn’t a supercar quantity. For some context, the Lucid Air Sapphire I drove just lately – a 1,234 hp EV with 429 miles of vary – ideas the scales at simply over 5,300 lbs. The Turbo E-Hybrid is type of a porker of a Porsche.
After all, that made Porsche’s invitation to come back and drive it on a observe that’s used primarily for bikes much more intriguing to me. Like, Porsche is aware of sports activities automobiles and offers a shit about the way it’s perceived as a model, so these engineers have to be mighty happy with their new technological terror in the event that they’re going to show a bunch of journos free.
Yeah, holy shit. This factor is superb. Certain, it’s nonetheless a really heavy SUV, nevertheless it’s shockingly agile and due to massive carbon ceramic brakes, hauling that weight down from stratospheric speeds for corners is feasible for greater than a single lap. I’m not often an enormous fan of “high-performance SUVs.” It simply looks as if you’re asking one car to do every little thing and the outcomes aren’t often nice. Simply take a look at the Lamborghini Urus Performante for proof of this.
The Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid (particularly with the GT package deal that we gained’t get within the US) feels planted and secure. That air suspension that offers the S and S E-Hybrid its magic trip now makes the Turbo E-Hybrid really feel prefer it’s prepared to interrupt the legal guidelines of physics. Make no mistake, that is no 911 Turbo (although our lead drivers had been in them) and no person will realistically ever take their Cayenne to the observe, however the efficiency is actual.
After all, my second on-track session marks the primary occasion of my getting carbon ceramic brakes smoking coming again into the pits. I’ve by no means felt so snug pushing one thing so massive so onerous and that’s positively price one thing.
Firstly of this factor, I talked about how America doesn’t plug in its plug-ins. Porsche has an answer to that, too. Certain, it’ll work finest should you do as you’re alleged to and juice it up nightly, however Porsche has designed the automotive to always monitor and prime up its traction battery as you drive. Because of this you’re usually not going to be ready the place you’re operating on ICE solely and that’s good for gas financial system and mom earth gaia.
Porsche has additionally rigged up the E-Hybrids to remain in EV mode for method longer than you’d anticipate. Throughout my drive on the Spanish Autovia (aka freeway), I needed to preserve checking to see if the combustion engine had engaged and most often, it hadn’t. Porsche hasn’t given us EPA gas financial system numbers, however I believe that they’ll be fairly spectacular, particularly within the wildly highly effective Turbo model.
Finally, would I purchase any of the E-Hybrid fashions if it was my very own greenback? Hell yeah, I’d. In the event you’re the type of one that has a good commute – even 30-40 miles a method – you’ll end up spending method much less on gasoline than you anticipate and also you’ll all the time be able to boogie, even should you forgot to plug in. Given the present state of America’s EV charging community (learn: piss-poor and unreliable), this center step is seeming increasingly like a stable transfer.