The 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is a sneaky performance crossover disguised as a plug-in hybrid. Porsche places it below the Cayenne S in its price and performance hierarchy, but the E-Hybrid is arguably more fun and enjoyable to drive than the S. Thank the 134-horsepower electric motor that delivers all of its torque right away, bringing power output all the way up to 455 horses and 516 pound-feet of torque. It uses the 3.0-liter single-turbo V6 out of the base Cayenne that makes 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque as its fuel-burning source of power. This is then routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. Porsche uses a 14.1 kWh battery pack in the new E-Hybrid, which is good enough for an EPA-rated 13 miles of all-electric range. It doesn’t sound like much, but shorter commutes can be done without firing the gas engine up if you’re careful on the throttle. Like other Porsches out there, this one has a mode dial on the steering wheel to switch between various drive modes. Default is E-Power, where the gas engine won’t fire unless you either push the accelerator pedal down past a detent or run out of charge. Then, there’s Hybrid mode. This will make the Porsche operate like a regular hybrid, letting you dip into the engine as you please. The final two — Sport and Sport+ — keep the engine on and ready to provide varying degrees of aggression at any given moment. The Cayenne E-Hybrid is considerably more money than a base Cayenne, but it’s also cheaper than the S. This, and you get a $6,712 federal tax credit for buying one. A base Cayenne E-Hybrid starts at $82,450 after the $1,350 destination charge. Ours came in at $97,270. This included plenty of performance options like the $2,170 adaptive air suspension and $3,590 Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. The $6,470 Premium Package also contributed heavily to our tester’s hefty price. [slideshow id='2154401'] Assistant Editor, Zac Palmer: The Cayenne E-Hybrid’s 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds feels like a gross overestimate from behind the wheel. Activate the car’s “Performance Start” launch control mode, and this Cayenne feels much closer to four seconds than it does five. The power from the electric motor is noticeable instantly, springing the Cayenne forward far quicker than I thought it would have. This gives the single-turbo V6 time to spool up and pick up where the electric motor fades away. It’s brutally effective. Instead of the E-Hybrid being a boring, efficiency-focused Cayenne, it’s a quick and efficient machine, proving once again that electrification of the powertrain is a great way to make a fast car even more fun. The E-Hybrid is a spectacular car to drive when outright speed isn’t the goal, too. Once the battery is taxed, it turns into a regular hybrid, handing the forward momentum duties off between the engine and the electric motor. Every transition is seamless. That excellent eight-speed gearbox was right where …
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|Power||335 @ 5300 rpm|
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