Porsche’s new SUV, the 2018 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, has better emissions than a Toyota Prius, and a better emissions standard, and better fuel economy.
This is despite it being larger, heavier and sporting a bigger petrol engine. And being able to be charged from the wall.
Under the bonnet is the reason – a 340hp V6 coupled with a 136hp electric motor, which gives a total system output of 462hp.
The 3.0-litre V6 is the same engine as found in the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid, as is the whole hybrid system. It produces maximum torque of 700Nm (516 lb-ft), and can get from 0-100kmh in 5.0 seconds. Top speed is 253kmh.
And yet, the Prius returns 69mpg (3.4L/100km) but the Cayenne E-Hybrid outdoes it with 73mpg (3.2L/100km).
Porsche says that the Cayenne E-Hybrid’s boost strategy is based on the 918 Spyder supercar’s system. This couples the electric motor with the petrol engine to produce maximum torque as soon as you push on the accelerator.
Of course, the driving mode chosen will influence how much boost the electric drive adds, but Porsche says that depending on “driving situation and performance requirements, drivers can continue to draw on the boost torque across the entire range of speeds.”
The hybrid system separates the electric engine with a clutch, which is activated electro-mechanically, enabling faster engagement. The whole shebang runs through an eight-speed auto sending the power to all four wheels.
But the party trick is that the Cayenne E-Hybrid will actually run on pure electric power up to 135kmh (84mph), unlike the Prius which runs out of puff very quickly. And if your journey to work is within 22km (14 miles), then you can get there without using a drop of fuel.
The battery pack on board can be charged at home from a regular wall outlet (230 volts, 10 amps), which will take 7.8 hours. Let’s call it eight. Increase the amperage to 32A and it drops significantly to 2.3 hours.
This is thanks to an increase in charging capacity from 10.8kWh to 14.1 kWh. Of course doing that increases heat, which is why the battery is fluid-cooled battery, and stored beneath the loading floor in the rear of the car. There are eight cell modules, each containing 13 prismatic lithium ion cells.
Despite it being a hybrid (technically a plug-in hybrid), it will tow 3500kg.
A head-up display is available for the first time in a Porsche, as well as radar-based cruise control, autonomous braking, massage seats, heated windscreen, 22-inch light alloy wheels, and climate control that operates regardless of whether the engine is running or not.
Okay, so not too many people are going to be cross-shopping a Prius with a Cayenne. But when an SUV can outdo the original poster-vehicle for hybrid technology, it’s pretty impressive.