The scheduled mid-cycle face-lift in 2014 for the Porsche Cayenne SUV will get the expected technical updates and styling revisions as well as new options. But the most major change is that it will be offered with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain Porsche, which has been dubbed the e-Hybrid, according to MotorTrend.
A drivetrain that uses a concept similar to what’s under the hood of the current Cayenne Hybrid will be featured on the plug-in Cayenne e-Hybrid. However, it will have a much higher power and capacity. The electric motor will be given a boost to offer about 95 to 100hp so the SUV could go much farther at real-world speeds without requiring the V-6 engine.
Since the electric motor is installed between the engine and transmission, the Cayenne model will be 4WD even when it’s in electric mode. At the back of the Cayenne is a Panamera e-Hybrid, but it will be rear drive. When the vehicle is in electric mode, having an output of about 100hp means that the highway performance would suffer.
However, the vehicle will feature a functional urban acceleration. It will eventually benefit freeway speed as well. In hybrid mode, the electric motor and 333-hp supercharged V-6 gas engine, when combined, deliver about 420hp for acceleration.
Porsche is also considering another driving mode named the e-charge. This was seen on the Panamera Sport Turismo concept car at the Paris show. This can be selected by the driver, for example, when approaching the city.
The engine output can be slightly increased for a short period of time, as it uses surplus to charge the battery. This means that the vehicle gets to the city already with a full charge and prepared to drive in electric-only mode. According to a Porsche engineer, the Cayenne will have an electric-only range of above 15 miles. A lithium-ion battery with a capacity of about 10 kW-hr is used.
Just like other electric vehicles, a smartphone app will give owners the ability to control and monitor charging of the vehicle remotely. It can also pre-heat or air-condition it while it's still on its electric umbilical cord. Porsche is developing a fast charger for the 918 Spyder. It could also be used on the Cayenne and Panamera e-Hybrids.