Did you know that Porsche’s hybrid tradition extends back into the 19th century? Back in 1899, Ferdinand Porschedesigned the Lohner-Porsche “Mixte,”the world’s first vehicle with a combustion engine as well as battery-powered electric drive.
His hybrid horseless carriage boasted a low-friction drivetrain with 10-to-14-horsepower hub mounted electric motors that were driven by lead acid batteries and/or with a gasoline-fuelled engine.
Fast forward to the 21st century and Porsche is still carrying on with their tradition of ambitious engineering.
With the launch of the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, the German automaker has broken new ground. Indeed, this is the world’s first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment and borrows powerful hybrid technology that has already been implemented in Porsche’s 918 Spyder super sports car. This is another example of the company’s tradition of transferring technology from motorsport to production cars.
This new E-Hybrid Cayenne has a lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 10.8 kilowatt-hours, sufficient enough to enable significant pure electric-only driving of between 18 to 36 kilometres depending on driving style and road conditions.
The lithium-ion battery has the same basic housing as in the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid (launched last year) but with uprated energy capacity thanks to different cells. It is also mounted under the luggage compartment floor and does not eat into the cargo space.
The ability to plug the Cayenne S E-Hybrid into the public electrical power grid means that the lithium-ion battery can be charged in another manner other than while driving.
A 95 hp electric motor enables an all-electric top speed of 125.5 km/hr, and when combined with the 3.0 litre supercharged V6 engine (which itself outputs 333 hp) results in a total system power of 416 hp at 5,500 rpms and 435 ft-lbs of torque from 1,250 to 4,000 rpms.
Being a Porsche, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid’s acceleration figures do not disappoint. The company claims a sports-car-like zero to 100 km/hr time of 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 243 km/h.
The new Cayenne models will launch in the Canadian market starting in November 2014.