2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-hybrid first drive: Meanie greenie

Given this model’s sheer output on paper, it’s perhaps a little surprising that it can play the green card as well, perfect for silently crawling up to the EV chargers in the Whole Foods parking lot and settling in next to a Tesla Model S, in an effort to appear enviro-woke. In pure-electric mode, the Cayenne will run on electric power alone for about 20 miles if the battery charge level permits; this means that when E-Power mode is selected and the 14.1-kWh battery has enough juice, the Cayenne can rely on the battery alone. In hybrid auto mode, meanwhile, the gas engine and the battery work together as needed, based on what the driving speeds require. Selecting the e-charge mode tells the Cayenne to rely on its gas engine alone and to use excess power to charge the battery, while the e-hold mode will keep the battery at a steady level.
Out of those driving modes, the hybrid auto is the default — that’s the one drivers will likely use most of the time — but there are two more driving modes to use when safely out of range of quiet neighborhoods and farmers markets: sport and sport-plus. (Did you think there would be just one sport setting in a German SUV full of adjustable settings?) The difference between the two doesn’t boil down to the second one being super-sporty and making everything harsh and heavy. Rather,sSport mode keeps the battery charge at a minimum level needed to provide sufficient boost. In sport-plus, on the other hand, the engine recharges the battery as fast as possible to provide maximum performance rather than keep a minimum level.
Speaking of keeping things level, the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control System, or PDCC, in this Cayenne constantly adjusts the rigidity of the front and rear axle antiroll bars to compensate for lean at lateral accelerations of up to 0.8 g. When it’s time to do a little off-roading — let’s imagine some Cayenne owner will do this — the system actually disengages the antiroll halves, which gives the axles extra articulation. And when it comes to articulation, rear-axle steering is there as well to provide extra agility at speeds of up to 49 mph while also scrubbing off a few feet from its turning radius at slower speeds.