Porsche Cayenne plug-in hybrid due in 2015

  •  Porsche SUV gets 410bhp petrol hybrid engine
  •  On sale in 2015, likely to cost around £70,000
  •  Other plug-in hybrid luxury SUVs on the way

Insiders at Porsche have confirmed to What Car? that a plug-in hybrid Porsche Cayenne will appear in early 2015, following the face-lifted car’s debut at the Paris motor show in October.

The plug-in Cayenne will share the 410bhp petrol-electric drivetrain from the Panamera S E-Hybrid, and will be badged in the same way. Although the Cayenne S E-Hybrid will be around 180kg heavier than the equivalent Panamera, it is still expected to sneak under the 75g/km CO2 threshold.

Porsche hopes that a plug-in Cayenne will attract more buyers than the standard hybrid it replaces. The latter currently makes up just 6% of Cayenne sales, while the S E-Hybrid counts for one in every six new Panameras sold here. We’d expect the Cayenne S E-Hybrid to cost around £70,000 when it goes on sale in 2015.

Almost every luxury SUV manufacturer has a hybrid model on the way within the next two years. Some will use petrol engines while others get more economical diesels, but all are set to use plug-in technology.

Like the Cayenne, the new Audi Q7 will be unveiled in Paris later this year. A hybrid version is planned, although this won’t be seen until 2015. As in the Range Rover Hybrid, this is set to use a V6 diesel mated to an electric motor, but it will have a bigger battery and plug-in capability.

Mercedes already offers a petrol-electric version of the M-Class in the USA – badged ML450 Hybrid – but it’s unlikely we’ll see a plug-in ML until 2016 at the earliest. An S500 plug-in hybrid limo will arrive in the UK later this year, but that petrol-electric set-up won’t appear in the M-Class.

Bentley is currently in the development phase for its luxury SUV due in 2016. A plug-in hybrid Mulsanne concept was revealed in April this year, which company sources tell us was used to test customer reaction to a Bentley hybrid. When the production version appears in 2017, expect to see a petrol V8 mated to an electric motor.

Elsewhere, the arrival of the Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid has been delayed until later this year – it goes on sale in July, with the first deliveries expected from October. By 2016, there will also be plug-in hybrid Land Rovers that will have CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km.

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