The Cayenne Hybrid ……an all weather Porsche.
The Hybrid Cayenne was something new to us and initially we were not sure where it sat with regard to the more conventional models. The opportunity to properly try one for ourselves rather than read about it is most welcome. Since we brought it into our stock we have had the opportunity to test it in real life under many conditions.
I think the way to tackle this review is in two parts, so first lets look at a ‘modern’ Cayenne, and then the Hybrid aspect.
The later model Cayenne is a massive step forward from the original model, the drive of it is much improved and especially the ride quality. That’s the thing we notice, there is definitely less pitch roll and jiggle. Wind noise and mechanical /road noise is much improved too, in fact it is one of the most refined cars that you could wish to sit in.
The attention detail is what fascinates and impresses me. It’s a common theme throughout the Porsche brand, on the ‘new’ Cayenne this is brought to a new level. There are plenty of cars with all the gadgets, but there is something difficult to describe about tiny details like how a button feels when you press it. Is it important? Well in the greater scheme of things you could say that so long as it works that’s fine. But that wouldn’t be why we consider buying a Porsche. Objects do have the ability to make you feel good. A quality pen feels different to a biro. Both work. Quality clothes feel different to cheap ones, if you just want transport then there are plenty of cars that work!
So back to the switches, they feel lovely and work so nicely, better than that is the door handle. Yep the door handle impresses me….in fact I had to open and shut the car several times just to see what it was about. Normally when the handle is pulled there is a clunk clonk sound and feel as the catch is unlocked. Up until today I never noticed at all, I accepted this as no less normal than a clock ticking. Pull the handle on the cayenne and it is smooth, there is no noise, no sound of unlatching, no feeling, just a smooth , gliding motion. It feels like quality. This feeling is evident throughout the car, whatever you see and whatever you touch. It really is impressive.
The quality of the drive, and the quality of the parts we touch, match… perfectly. This is deeply impressive stuff for a chap like me.
I shall skip over performance, how it handles, and all the technical specs as these are described very well elsewhere. All you need to know is that the new Cayenne is a thing of great quality and if you notice such things, it will feel good.
On now to the Hybrid.
We have just supplied a new Cayenne Diesel which Richard was mighty impressed with. This replaced for our client a 2011 model X5 diesel that we had also supplied. All I want to say here is that our client thought the new Cayenne a big step forward from the X5 and taking a diesel Cayenne is another option .
I have to admit that prior to our purchase of this Hybrid I hadn’t paid them much attention and didn’t really know much about them……even now I cant actually describe in detail how this works technically, I can tell you how it works in practice…… Very well!
So here we go, under the bonnet is a 3.0 Supercharged V6 petrol engine producing 330hp, coupled to a 8 speed PDK gearbox. The 8 speeds mean that it can keep the car in the correct rev range all the time, seamlessly shifting between gears and more often than not, its doing just 1500 -2000 rpm. This has a great influence on economy.
The gearbox deserves a little more mention. Not only is it seamless, it is sensing how you are driving and altering its shift mapping to suit, so the more sporting you drive, the more sporting the shifts, the more gentle, the earlier it shifts. Beyond that you can push the buttons on the steering wheel. These buttons are beautifully crafted and again feel lovely in your hands. Attention to detail once more.
This touch and feel thing….we supplied a brand new Discovery to a client recently, I know it’s a different value to the Cayenne and although she looked nice inside, it was the action of the buttons and switch gear, the road noise, the wind noise that bore no comparison to the Cayenne. That doesn’t make the LR product bad, just illustrates the quality that you pay for. The depth of engineering. Back to the Hybrid cayenne.
So a super smooth petrol engine sits under the bonnet with sufficient power to make good progress and not felling strained, it runs very quietly whilst inside and yet has a nice exhaust not e outside, the gearbox is superb and will do anything you ask. Now to the Hybrid bit. What you have is an electric motor with 47 hp and massive torque. This is powered by a quick charge battery pack where the spare wheel might normally sit.
When all you need to move your Cayenne is 47 hp then the electric motor automatically switches in ad the petrol switches off. Completely automatically and without any sign other than the tacho needle dropping to zero. So in practice this means that you use electric power in many situations, at junctions, in slower moving traffic, parking etc. I like this. You are only using the power you need.
For me, running from home through the country lanes into town it runs mostly on the electric, on the open road she is running on the petrol engine and once I pick up traffic running at 40mph she is switching to electric. And it is automatic, completely unnoticeable other than the tacho dropping to zero. Fascinating.
It charges its own battery pack whenever you lift off the power, whenever you slow down, or in traffic. Its swapping between electric and petrol constantly. The result, nearly 35mpg extra urban, lower Road fund licence, lower company car tax.
I also appreciate the silent running, the sense of calm that you feel in traffic, the response from the petrol engine and I think, though others may disagree, that it feels better on the road, maybe because there is less weight on the front axle, and for such a size of car it steers very well .
Overall, quality, engineering excellence, superb detail finish, performance, refinement definitely an all weather Porsche. If you are in this market, a Cayenne is well worth consideration, I genuinely think they are a finer, more sophisticated choice than the competition.
Not wanting to miss an opportunity, call us and we will be delighted to supply a Cayenne, just ask for Richard Williams!