2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid: not cheap but you get a lot for the money

Enlarge (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Porsche might be known for sports cars like the 911, but today it makes its money selling SUVs. Four doors and voluminous cargo space may not be attributes we traditionally associated with the brand, but the Cayenne has proven it can hold its own in a segment that’s extremely important to the car industry. The third-generation Cayenne is due before too long, but before it arrives on these shores, we thought we should take a look at the current model, in particular the 2017 Cayenne S E-Hybrid. Starting at just under $80,0000, this plug-in hybrid is not cheap, but it turns out you do get a heck of a lot of vehicle for your money.

Porsche probably owes its existence to the Cayenne. Adding an SUV to its line-up in 2002 opened the brand up to a far wider range of customers than its usual fare of mid- and rear-engined sports cars. And for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the purists, it’s hard to dispute the model’s success in the showroom. And because it doesn’t have the same cult-like following as the nimble little sports cars, the company can use the platform for experiments, like a hybrid option.

Just add electrons

When the first hybrid Cayenne arrived in the US in 2010, it was a relatively tame example of electrification. Its nickel-metal hydride batteries were only rated for 1.7kWh, and its electric motor generated just 47hp (35kW). More recently, it got a significant upgrade. Under the hood is the same 333hp (248kW), 325ft-lb (441Nm) 3.0L supercharged direct-injection gasoline V6 engine borrowed from Audi, but now it gets much more help: the electric motor now provides 95hp (70kW) and 229ft-lbs (310Nm).

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Source: Ars Technica

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