Porsche has made some bold statements recently about how many of its resources it’s putting behind plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars in the coming years. While its first all-electric, the Mission E, is still more than a year off, the next line of its hybrids has been rolling out over the last year. Following the Panamera E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid, there’s the 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid — the latest plug-in hybrid iteration of one of Porsche’s most popular vehicles.
In case you haven’t heard already, two-door sports cars are not the majority of Porsche’s business, and haven’t been for some time. The first Cayenne SUV, introduced in 2002, quickly became the company’s most popular vehicle. It was then followed by the Panamera four-door and Macan SUVs, which by now make up the bulk of Porsche’s business. And it’s likely the latest Cayenne, introduced last year, will continue to grow in popularity as more buyers migrate from cars to SUVs (just ask Ford customers).
For 2019, the new E-Hybrid gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that’s mated to a 14.1 kWh battery pack, 30 percent more powerful than last year’s model. The company estimates 0–60 mph in 4.7 seconds, although that’s in a setting that’s likely to deplete the battery charge fairly quickly. Porsche estimates the range at 27 miles using European methods, which means that number is likely to fall when tested in the US by the EPA. Yet with 462 horsepower, it’s more powerful than the Cayenne S, with just 440 horsepower. That sounds like having your cake and eating it, too.
But Porsche has also allowed the Cayenne E-Hybrid to use full electric power in its Sport and Sport Plus settings with the standard Sport Chrono Package, effectively allowing the driver to use a temporary boost function if desired. The eight-speed automatic transmission has also been redesigned for quicker shifts. And if desired, there’s a mode to gain back some battery charge by effectively using the engine as a generator, or switch to full electric mode at speeds of up to 83 mph.
In addition to all of the weight savings introduced on the third-generation car, the Cayenne E-Hybrid will also boast the newly introduced technology, such as a trio of digital displays in the dashboard for driving information, navigation, and a new off-road app. Energy and efficiency displays are also included as part of the E-Hybrid package.
Starting from $79,990, the 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid may not sound like an important car for the masses. There are other, less expensive plug-in hybrid SUVs already on the market. But for Porsche’s reputation as an electric vehicle manufacturer, it’s the way most of its customers will experience technology in the near future. And if you were already going to spend a lot of money on a Porsche SUV, why shouldn’t it qualify for better parking closer to the mall entrance?