The Porsche Cayenne is unquestionably not a sports car, but at the same time, it’s a darned sport SUV. And for the 2015 model year, it gets some spiffier sheet metal, some equipment tweaks, and, most importantly, a pair of new powertrains.
First up, the new Cayenne S E Hybrid, unveiled today at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. Sharing much of its internals with the Panamera S E Hybrid, the new plug-in hybrid Cayenne is Porsche’s third plug-in model, and it promises significantly improved gas mileage in some use cases, including limited all-electric range.
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A 10.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack can be charged via plug-in power or from the 333-horsepower, 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine on the fly. A 95-hp electric motor provides all-electric drive mode and efficiency-boosting hybrid thrust, depending on the circumstances and charge level. Total combined system power for the Cayenne S E Hybrid is rated at 416 hp. Top speed in all-electric mode is 78 mph, and while Porsche hasn’t stated a range for the Cayenne’s electric mode, our drive in the Panamera S E Hybrid showed ranges of 18-30 miles were possible, depending on driving conditions.
Also new for the 2015 Cayenne is the S model’s twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 engine, which replaces the previous 4.8-liter V-8. The new V-6 turbo cranks out 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 406 pound-feet from 1,350-4,500 rpm. That’s a gain of 20 hp and 37 lb-ft. The result is an improvement of 0.4 seconds in the 0-62 mph dash, now at 5.2 seconds—and another tenth can be shaved with the Sport Chrono package. Top speed for the new Cayenne S is 160 mph.
The Cayenne Diesel and Cayenne Turbo carry forward into the new model year, with the updates focused on those found across the 2015 Cayenne range: aesthetics.
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Sharper, more precise lines, updated front fenders and hood, and new “airblade” fins on each side of the front end, used to guide air for improved cooling. Bi-Xenon headlights are standard on all models except the Turbo, which gets LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System.
At the rear, the 2015 Cayenne gets a new three-dimensional look to the tail lights and four-element brake lights. The tailgate lid has been re-profiled, and new tailpipes are integrated into the bumper cover.
Inside, a new multifunction sport steering wheel is standard across the range, with design and features drawn from the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercar. The rear seats have been redesigned for improved comfort, and seat ventilation is now available as an option.
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The 2015 Porsche Cayenne range will reach the U.S. market in November, starting from $61,700 for the Cayenne Diesel; $74,100 for the Cayenne S; $76,400 for the Cayenne S E Hybrid; and $113,600 for the Cayenne Turbo (all prices excluding $995 destination fee).
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