The diesel gate scandal of 2015 was the last nail in the coffin for the Cayenne diesel. This put the brakes on the sales on the Porsche SUV in India. In our country, we prefer to spend as little as possible on our cars, which is why most people who could afford a luxury SUV went straight for the diesel models. Here is the detailed review of the new Porsche Cayenne Hybrid.
There is a wide gap between the operating and maintenance cost of V8 petrol versus a V8 turbodiesel. But now that the big diesel is gone, it takes an enthusiast to buy a petrol Cayenne.
In the US, the average buyer is prepared to keep their Porsche SUV as their only car. It must be comfortable to drive, spacious for people, full to the brim with the latest in automotive tech. It should be good for back roads and carrying kids.
In our country those who can afford a Cayenne can often also afford to have two cars instead – a big diesel SUV for family duty and a sports car for flexing. And that’s why the Cayenne gets no love. We do love our SUVs, so we have only been craving for something that works for us – and here it is. The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid comes with a V6 and an electric motor and can go for 33 km on just one litre of octane-rich petrol. If you want even more value for your rupee, this car will go up to 44 km in all-electric mode. That’s a terrible range, but remember that this is a heavy car.
Performance and Driving
Porsche Cayenne Hybrid makes a lot more power than the V6 – 455 hp and an earth-moving 700Nm of torque. That makes it much, much faster than the diesel – 4.7 seconds to 100 kmph. While that number may feel glacial compared to the world’s fastest Cayenne, imagine the setting of the Indian highway. You will still be a God among mere mortals, faster than all the BMWs and Audis and Jaguars that you see. Few cars ever sold in India are faster than this hybrid.
The Cayenne isn’t all perfect. The bellow and growl of the engine will keep your brain thinking this is a normal car and a heavy one at that. So you’ll press down on that brake pedal, ready to give more of a push if it still doesn’t slow down. If you do that, the car will immediately and abruptly come to a halt. The brakes have some regenerative ability, but that’s activated through the pedal. Which is simultaneously confusing for the Porsche’s computer and the driver. This is not a deal-breaker – it shows up only during gentle stops, or when you try to drive it like a luxury car. You’ll have to get used to it.
One advantage of a big diesel is its towing capacity. If you’re wondering how much this one can pull, it is rated at 3,500 kg. Not that many people would use it, but the Cayenne can park a trailer all by itself.
On the inside, there’s a futuristic dashboard, complete with touch buttons and screens everywhere. It feels rich and modern. Place the interior of this car next to that of a Prius and they don’t look like they are from the same century. It is refreshing to see knobs for the volume and AC controls. You will need a millennial kid to set the car up for you, but once they are through, it’ll be simple enough to use, even with the gadgetry. The seats are huge and better than a middle-class sofa. Everything has power controls. It is not a stretch to say that the only mechanical tools in the entire car are the door handles and the gear shifter. Yes, the gear lever isn’t a knob here.
Ride and Handling
Air suspension on the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid makes the car feel like a cloud, even on the firmest setting. The PASM adaptive dampers work their magic in the bends and give this SUV athletic agility. The steering is also the best you can buy in a non-sports car. It has electronic trickery which makes it light at low speeds and heavy at high speeds. This robs it of feedback, but that’s the new way Germans are engineering their steering.
Porsche Cayenne Hybrid will go on sale with an ex-showroom price of 1.58 crore. That’s a collar-heating 40 lakhs more than the base V6 turbo. What seems like a steep price gap is just 30 lakhs less than the range-topping fast Cayenne Turbo. And this is going to be what makes or breaks this car. For all the rich Indians out there, here’s the perfect car for you.
|Maximum power (hp)||455|
|Maximum torque (Nm)||700|
|Fuel capacity (L)||85|
|Wheel base (mm)||2895|
|Boot capacity (L)||670|
|Front suspension||Adaptive air springs|
|Rear suspension||Adaptive air springs|
|Tire size||255/55R19, 275/50R19|
|Fuel economy (kmpl)||33|