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Porsche's 2015 Cayenne lineup to include plug-in hybrid

Porsche will revamp its Cayenne SUVs for the new model year and will add a plug-in hybrid version

Porsche’s moneymaker is getting an update for 2015, and winning some eco-cred in the process.

The German automaker will revamp its lineup of Cayenne SUVs for the new model year and will add a new plug-in hybrid version. The move makes Porsche the only brand in the world to offer three different plug-in hybrid models, even if one of them is the $900,000 918 supercar.

Four versions of the refreshed second-generation Cayenne will be available for 2015.

The $62,700 diesel model now becomes the entry-level edition (though a base V-6 may rejoin the lineup at a later date). It uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

Next up is the $75,000 Cayenne S, which jettisons the previous V-8 in favor of a less-thirsty twin-turbo V-6. Horsepower jumps by 20 to 420 total and torque rises 37 pound-feet to 406 pound-feet.

The all-new $77,395 Cayenne S E-Hybrid follows. Using the same drivetrain as the one in the Panamera S E-Hybrid sedan, this SUV pairs a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with an electric motor for 416 total horsepower.

Finally, the Cayenne Turbo sits atop the range. For $114,595, buyers get a 4.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 that makes 520 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

Notably absent from this revised lineup are GTS, Turbo S and base V-6 models, though count on each of them returning over the next few years.

All 2015 Cayennes get new sheet metal with redesigned headlights, front fenders, hood, LED taillights, front and rear bumpers and tailgate. Cayenne Turbo models now have full LED headlights. Inside, a steering wheel inspired by the one inside the 918 is now standard.

Launched in 2002, the Cayenne was initially loathed by purists who saw it as a betrayal of Porsche’s sports car heritage. But well-heeled SUV fans flocked to it. The first- and second-generation models have sold 579,000 copies worldwide, Porsche said. Last year the Cayenne accounted for nearly half of all Porsche sales in the U.S.

This helped make Porsche the most profitable arm of Volkswagen Group, whose stable also includes Bentley, Audi and Lamborghini.

The new Cayenne models will head to dealerships at the beginning of November.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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