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2015 Porsche Cayenne refreshed, adds plug-in hybrid

By Bob Nagy on July 24, 2014 3:44 PM
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Set to debut this October in Paris, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne gets a comprehensive mid-cycle refresh that brings a bolder appearance, extra muscle and improved efficiency, thanks in part to a new plug-in variation. On sale here in November, U.S. buyers will be able to choose Cayenne Diesel, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo models in addition to the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid which replaces the existing S Hybrid.

Cleaner, meaner look

The 2015 Cayenne features an all-new front clip that adds tasteful edge while helping enhance aero qualities. In addition to recast fenders and hood, the Cayenne's reshaped grille and air intakes are complemented by new outboard "airblades" that improve flow to the intercoolers. Active air flaps - a first for the Cayenne - are positioned behind the center intake and automatically open and close to optimize thermal management. In the lighting department, the Diesel, S, and S E-Hybrid are fitted with bi-xenon headlamps while the Cayenne Turbo gets full LEDs and the Porsche Dynamic Light System. Out back, the 2015 Cayenne sports new 3D-look LED taillamps, a more deeply sculpted liftgate and a revised lower valance with integrated exhaust outlets. Although the Cayenne's 5-passenger cabin is largely carryover, it will have a new 918 Spyder-style multifunction steering wheel with shifter paddles and optional ventilation on the redesigned rear seat. 

More performance with better economy 

Motivation for Porsche's enthusiast-grade all-wheel-drive SUV will come in four distinct powertrains for 2015. All are turbocharged and backed by an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission as well as having an improved start/stop function. With the departure of the Cayenne V6, the Diesel S becomes the entry-level model. It returns with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel rated at 240 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The 2015 Cayenne S swaps its 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V8 for Porsche's new 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 also used in the Macan Turbo. Here, it makes 420 horses - up 20 from the V8 - and turns out 406 lb-ft of twist compared to the V8's 369 figure. Porsche says this new engine lets the 2015 Cayenne S sprint from 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds, 0.4-tick quicker than the current model, and top out at 160 mph. 

Also: The Class of 2015 -- New Vehicles Ready to Roll

The first plug-in premium hybrid SUV to hit the market is the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid will arrive on the scene with significantly more capability than the S Hybrid it replaces. While its carryover 3.0-liter supercharged V6 continues to make 333 horsepower, output of its new electric motor rises from 47 to 95 e-ponies, which are fed by a new 10.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a plug-in feature. Total system stats rise to 416 horses/435 lb-ft of torque making the E-Hybrid nearly a second quicker to 60 mph. Unlike the S Hybrid, it also can operate in full EV mode -- at speeds up to 78 mph. 

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Turbo tops the range

Topping the range, the 2015 Cayenne Turbo packs the familiar 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 but the engine now develops 520 horses an 553 lb-ft of peak twist, up from the 500/533 numbers it makes in 2014. While the Turbo's top speed holds at 173 mph, its 0-60 mph time dips from 4.4 to 4.2 seconds - or 4.1 ticks when fitted with the optional Sport Chrono Package.  While final EPA figures are still pending, the additional aero enhancements, upgraded start/stop package and improved electric assist potential on the E-Hybrid are expected to boost EPA figures on all 2015 Cayenne models.  

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As a final touch, Porsche says chassis tuning on the 2015 Cayenne has been tweaked to create an even wider degree of differentiation between the driver-selectable comfort and sport settings. Pricing for the 2015 Porsche Cayenne Diesel will start at $62,695 with the Cayenne S opening at $75,095. The Cayenne S E-Hybrid begins at $77,395 and the 2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo commences at $114,595. 

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