Big SUV With Big EV Range
Porsche has just released a major update to its hot-selling Cayenne SUV. With comprehensive changes to the powertrain, chassis, design, and standard equipment, the new Cayenne is said to offer even better performance on- and off-road, while providing even more luxury, and in the case of the plug-in hybrid SUV version, impressive green credentials.
Of particular interest for us here at GreenCars is the updated Cayenne E-Hybrid model. It features the same optimized three-liter turbo V6 engine as in the base Cayenne model, which now produces 353 hp – 10 more than before. But it’s backed up with a more powerful and more efficient 176-hp electric motor, which improves the total system output to 470 hp. More importantly, the high-voltage battery has had its capacity increased from 17.9 kWh to 25.9 kWh.
Depending on which equipment is chosen, the plug-in hybrid Porsche Cayenne can now drive up to 60 miles on electric power alone (mileage is EPA estimated) – a big jump over the former model, which was already one of the best in class. Even better, the battery can charge at up to 11 kW, which shortens the charging time. On a Level 2 home or public charger, fully filling the new Cayenne E-Hybrid should take less than two and a half hours.
Improved Chassis and Driver Assists
For improved performance in all driving situations, all Cayenne models include adjustable shock absorbers with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). The company claims that comfort at lower speeds is significantly improved, without sacrificing cornering performance. Indeed, the new Cayenne should pitch and roll even less than before. An optional adaptive air suspension improves the driving experience with an even smoother ride, while also allowing more suspension travel and control off-road, where the adjustable ride height gives the new Cayenne even greater rock-crawling and sand-traversing abilities.
In addition, a comprehensive range of new and optimized driver assistance systems are available. These include an active speed limiter and swerve assist, cornering assist, and the improved Porsche InnoDrive system, which comes as part of the adaptive cruise control. The new Cayenne is even better at helping its driver in dangerous situations as well as in traffic jams on highways and main roads.
This extra capability comes with an assertive new look. The new front end is more sharply creased, with new high-definition matrix LED headlights that really emphasize the vehicle’s width. At the rear, three-dimensional tail lights sit above a new rear apron with a relocated license plate. There are new colors available, as well as an extensive range of wheels ranging from 20 to 22 inches. Drivers that wish to indulge their sporty side can even opt for lightweight packages featuring carbon-fiber components.
Upgraded Interior with Three Displays
Inside, a redesigned cockpit includes a fully digital 12.6-inch instrument cluster, which replaces the previous model’s analog tachometer and twin screens. The new curved, free-standing design gives drivers many setup options, and can also be bundled with an optimized head-up display. In the center of the dash, the standard 12.3-inch central Porsche Communication Management (PCM) display provides access to all important vehicle functions.
Like on the all-electric Taycan, native apps such as Spotify and Apple Music sit alongside Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, giving drivers many options to access their infotainment. There’s even an optional 10.9-inch display for the front passenger, which can display performance data, provide separate access to infotainment controls and even allows the passenger to stream video content. A special filter means the driver is unable to view the passenger display.
Porsche is also introducing an air quality system in the Cayenne. As standard, it uses navigation data to detect approaching tunnel entrances, automatically activating air recirculation. A sensor can detect the level of fine dust particles in the air, passing it through a fine dust filter multiple times if necessary. An ionizer also removes germs and pollutants from the air, which is particularly beneficial for allergy sufferers.
Wide Variety of Porsche Models Available
Like the previous generation Cayenne, the latest model is available in with a wide variety of powertrains in addition to the innovative E-Hybrid. There’s an entry-level 353 hp V6; a V8-powered Cayenne S with 474 hp; all the way up to a 659-hp Turbo GT model that can blast from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.3 seconds. While all of the new models are more powerful and more efficient than their predecessors, they could hardly be called green. We think the E-Hybrid, with its extended electric range and faster charging, is the pick of the litter, and does the best job of offering everything you’d expect of a Porsche while giving you the ability to do most of your driving with zero emissions. While there's no full-electric Cayenne model available yet, buyers will soon be able to order the all-electric Macan, debuting later this year.