2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
We all know that car makers are on a mission to increase fuel economy in all of their vehicles, mostly because of ever-stiffening regulations. Well increasingly, PHEVs are the hot ticket to get that done. Even Porsche is not immune to this, having applied the plug-in treatment to the Panamera sedan back in 2014. But now they’re getting much more serious, and what better vehicle to showcase that ultimate eco-performance in, than the Cayenne.
Yes, it’s all about the utilities in the luxury market these days; so this 2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid will almost assuredly drum up its fair share of attention.
Now, some might still look at a plug-in hybrid utility as a bit silly, perhaps even a waste of money; but keep in mind these vehicles are mostly designed for a European market that aims to do away with the internal combustion engine in major cities.
So, obviously there’s a market for people who want to maintain their current level of posh transportation, yet have the benefits of an EV when necessary.
Powertrain stats begin with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 delivering 333-horsepower and 325 lb-ft. of torque on its own. Add in a 70kW electric motor, and output climbs to 416-horsepower and 435 lb-ft. of torque.
The 10.8kWh battery allows for 14-miles of EV-only driving at speeds up to 78 miles-per-hour.
Both an 8-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive are standard.
Like the best of plug-ins that we’ve sampled, the Cayenne delivers seamless operation; requiring you to keep an eye on the tach or power meters if you care where the power is coming from.
You can be certain that Porsche wants to preserve their performance image at all costs, so this Cayenne is indeed very fast; especially when the battery is full and boost mode is available, a bit less so without battery assistance.
At the track, with all systems full-go, we hit 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s almost two seconds quicker than the no longer available Cayenne turbo diesel.
There’s a decent amount of torque at launch, and it builds even more as you get rolling. Shifts were not PDK-quick, but efficient enough to keep the gears coming, as we finished out the ¼-mile in 13.9-seconds at 103 miles-per-hour.
And as spirited as that is, it gets even better when you start throwing curves at it. Through the cones, we found little to no over or understeer; just great balance and point-and-shoot precision, with virtually no body roll to upset things, despite pushing 5,200-lbs of curb weight.
Steering is quick, and sure it could use a little more feel; but no matter how hard we pushed this Cayenne, it seemed to be begging us for more.
Porsche likes to differentiate their plug-ins with Acid Green brake calipers, and little else. And while they tend to look cool accompanying a silver or black vehicle, most thought they clashed with our Cayenne’s Mahogany Metallic livery.
That aside, the Cayenne’s form really hasn’t changed all that much in its 14-years on the streets. There are still plenty of 911 design cues, combined with a sleek profile that fully portrays its performance potential.
The interior is busy, but well laid out as always. There are unique gauges and drive mode setup, but otherwise things are mostly the same throughout the rest of the space.
Available Platinum trim adds Apple CarPlay, illuminated door sills, upgraded Bose audio, heated front seats, and Alcantara trim among other things, though surprisingly…still no back-up camera.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-Combined when operated in gasoline only mode; and climb to 46-Combined when EV driving is added in. Our loop was an EV-free one; still we managed 23.0 miles-per-gallon of Premium.
There’s a great Energy Impact Score of just 9.5-barrels of annual oil use, accompanied by 4.3-tons of CO2 emissions.
Cayenne S E-Hybrid’s start at $79,750, almost 20-grand over a base Cayenne; but a Platinum Edition with much more content is available for only a bit more at $82,650.
We can surely appreciate the effort and engineering that went into creating the 2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. But really, at this time, at least in this market, like a lot of other luxury plug-ins, it remains a niche vehicle built for boasting your ecodentials more than being a must-have vehicle.
In our eyes, it needs a much bigger battery, with much more EV range, for it to truly make sense here. Ah, but it still drives like a Porsche. And after all, that may be more than enough reason for this clean-rolling piece of engineering excellence.
- Engine: 3.0-liter V6
- Horsepower: 333
- Torque: 325 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 13.9 seconds @ 103 mph
- EPA: 22-Combined gas only mode / 46-Combined with EV
- Energy Impact: 19.5 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 4.3 tons/yr
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70
Genesis Waves Their Magic EV Wand Yet Again
The Genesis Electrified GV70 is not only the 3rd all-electric vehicle offering from Hyundai’s luxury division, but it’s also the first Genesis model to be built here in the US. You know, the GV70 was already a big hit with both critics and buyers, so let’s find out if a big pack of batteries and American workers can take it to the next level.
For the 2023 model year, the Genesis GV70 utility has gone electric. And like the Electrified G80 sedan before it, Genesis has integrated an all-electric drivetrain into its existing platform seamlessly and effectively.
Now, it may look almost exactly like the sleek and sophisticated internal combustion powered GV70 SUV that arrived just last year. But packed underneath it all, is the GV60’s next-gen propulsion system that uses a pair of electric motors delivering standard all-wheel drive and 429-horsepower. Both the front and rear-mounted electric motors are 160-kW and produce a combined 516 lb-ft. of torque, relying on energy from a 77.4-kWh battery. Full 350-kW charging capability will get the battery to 80% in just 18-minutes. The Electrified GV70 is rated to travel 236-miles between those charging sessions.
But based on our driving loop, we’d say more is easily possible as we were on pace for over 250-miles; making it an overachiever, much like the G80.
The approach to the interior is not so much a heavy-handed blast of over-the-top luxury, rather just a soothing blend of high-quality metal and leather materials with soft tones, subtle ambient light, and an airy feel that ultimately delivers a very comforting experience.
There’s an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, along with a 14.5-inch touchscreen that houses standard navigation, and it also has a rotary style control on the console if you prefer that, just don’t confuse it with the rotary gear selector like we did. Lexicon audio, quilted leather, and a suede headliner come with the Prestige package that also includes active noise control and white brake calipers.
Regen braking paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel allow for adjusting amounts of regen up to full 1-pedal driving; or you can let Smart Regen take control, gathering data from past driving history, navigation, and road conditions to determine the appropriate amount of braking. Drive modes include Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport +, and Custom, and Genesis has added some additional sound deadening for this EV.
Based on the incredibly quiet, smooth, and steady highway ride we experienced, we weren’t sure what to expect when we pulled this GV70 up to the line at our Mason Dixon Dragway test track.
Well, not much calmness or serenity here, as this thing absolutely blasted off the line like a rocket, hitting 60 in just 3.9-seconds. That’s almost a full 2-seconds quicker than last year’s 2.5-liter turbo-equipped GV70. It’s hard to beat performance-tuned EVs when it comes to torque delivery, and like the GV60, there’s a boost button on the steering wheel that delivers an additional 54-horsepower for a thrilling 10-seconds, helping us clear the ¼ in 12.4-seconds at 112 miles-per-hour.
The low center of gravity, an electronically controlled suspension, and a Disconnector Actuator System that allows for 2-wheel or 4-wheel-drive operation depending on circumstances, helped keep the Electrified GV70 well-planted through our handling course, and provided a livelier feel than the ICE version.
Substantial side bolstering of the front seats kept us settled in place very nicely. Great steering feel, very little body roll, and only minor amounts of understeer at its limits. Brakes were equally as sporting, with good feedback and stability, despite the noticeable nosedive that typically accompanies stopping 5,000-lbs. of utility vehicle in just 111-feet, 6-feet shorter than the standard GV70.
There are some subtle changes outside for this Electrified version of the GV70; it gets unique 20-inch wheels, and as in the G80, the signature crest grille gets an aerodynamic makeover, nicely integrating the charging port. Same 2-line lighting theme up front, and in back, where the rear bumper is reshaped now that there are no tailpipes. Cargo area is well finished with thoughtful use of space; at 28.7 cubic-ft. with a max of 56.5, capacity is down a tiny bit, but a small storage bin up front under the hood more than makes up for it.
At 37-kWh/100 miles, the Electrified GV70 rates a good efficiency score. Pricing starts at $66,975, about 20-grand over a base ICE GV70, and 3-years of free charging at Electrify America charging stations is included.
Genesis is slowly but surely electrifying their lineup, and the 2023 Electrified GV70 is not just another step in the process, but further proof that carmakers can progress to EVs without upsetting the entire apple cart of their brand. Forward thinking but staying classy, just what we’ve come to expect from Genesis.
- Motor Setup: Dual 160-kW Motors
- Horsepower: 429
- 0-60 mph: 3.9 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 111 feet (avg)
- MW Range: ~254 miles
- Battery Size: 77.4-kWh
- Torque: 516 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 12.4-seconds at 112 mph
- EPA Range: 234 miles
- Efficiency: 37 kWh/ 100 miles