You are here
A plug-in hybrid Porsche Cayenne. All about the numbers, I take it? All PHEVs live or die by their on-paper tax-dodging viability – but the new Cayenne is a bit different. Plus, as this is the third version of Porsche’s sporting luxury 4x4 to get a downsized engine and battery-powered boost, it’s also a useful yardstick. A chance to take stock of where and how progress is being made, in producing naturally quite-thirsty cars that don’t stick two fingers up to the planet they – and we – call home. Let the number-crunching commence. The first Cayenne S Hybrid was not a good car. It wasn’t a PHEV: you couldn’t plug it into the wall and charge up the battery. Its supercharged 3.2-litre V6 and electric motor combined for 328bhp and just 320lb ft, making the heaviest Cayenne by far the slowest. And because it couldn’t do much more than dawdle on all-EV power, CO2 emissions couldn’t cheat the NEDC test procedure. So it emitted a claimed 193g/km. That’s the same category as a modern Mercedes-AMG C63. With its socking great bi-turbo V8… Porsche knew the Cayenne S Hybrid was a bad dog. It got its act together with the plug-in-able, Cayenne S e-Hybrid from 2015. Battery capacity went up six-fold, there was a charging cable in the boot and the NEDC test was thoroughly gamed. Under test conditions, this Cayenne could do 22 miles without the V6 waking up. That kneecapped CO2 emissions down to 79g/km (bye-bye road tax, cheerio London congestion charge), and lifted claimed economy to 83.1mpg. And to hell with the fact that in real-world testing, it was a 34mpg machine, chewing more fuel than the mighty Cayenne S Diesel, while going considerably less quickly, with more fuss.