2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid First Drive: Amazing Mainstream

– Montpellier, France

There was a time, not so very long ago, when the idea of a turbocharged gasoline-electric powertrain in a Porsche SUV would’ve seemed… exotic. Circa the 2019 model year, that formula represents one of the basic building blocks of the Porsche lineup.

In Cayenne, of course, the German automaker has its biggest volume model, and a serious profit center. And now the Cayenne E-Hybrid represents an accessible trim level of the model range, but takes that role with such sophistication and confidence that you’ll have a hard time calling it “the practical one.”

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With the ability to drive in all-electric mode farther than ever, or to use its electric drive for on demand power, the E-Hybrid can be versatile, frugal, but also exceedingly rapid. This ain’t no Prius.

The advanced drivetrain starts with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 gas engine, producing 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, all on its own. That mill is paired with a centrally mounted electric motor that itself churns out 134 hp and 295 lb-ft, with maximum ratings for the full system output pegged at 455 hp and 516 lb-ft. The marriage of electrons and oil allow the SUV to pass 60 miles per hour in just 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 157 mph.

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid: First Drive

Battery capacity and performance has improved versus the outgoing Cayenne hybrid, as you’d expect. The 2019 version uses eight battery modules made from 13 cells apiece, w...