When we went out to the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon to put the plug-in hybrid Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid through its paces last month, there was a bonus SUV waiting for us: the all-new 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid.
Porsche has officially taken the wraps off this $161,000 V8 PHEV, along with a pair of coupes: the V6 Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe and the V8 Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe.
The Turbo S E-Hybrid is Porsche’s most-powerful SUV, capable of 670hp (493kW) and 663lb-ft (899Nm) of torque. Most of the power comes courtesy of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, which spits out 541hp (404kW), while the rest is produced by a 134hp (100kW) electric motor mounted between the internal-combustion engine and an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission. Like the base Cayenne hybrid, drivers can select from a handful of drive modes to dial in the preferred balance of performance and economy. In Sport+ mode, the S Turbo constantly charges the battery enough so you can always get that extra oomph from the motor-engine combo. It’s the same powertrain as you’ll find in the Panamera.
Using the word “economy” in conjunction with very fast Porsche may appear odd, but the Cayenne’s E-Hybrid mode—the default when the car starts up—uses the electric motor for propulsion until the battery is sapped or the driver asks for more than the electric motor is capable of. The electrical bits in the Turbo S appear to be the same as the base model: a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery paired with a 7.2kW onboard charger. EPA mileage (and range) figures haven’t been finalized, but our brief time behind the wheel led us to believe it would come in at around 20 miles of range on battery power.
No one will be buying the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid because of its battery-only range, however. This car is designed for those who want to drive fast, in comfort. And it delivers. My time behind the wheel of the V8 Cayenne PHEV variant was brief, but it was enough to get the adrenaline pumping. The 670hp of horsepower translates to an electronically limited top speed of 183mph (294km/h) and a zero-to-60 time of 3.6 seconds. In practice, that means it screams off the blocks and has plenty of oomph to pass slowpokes on the winding mountain roads out of the Willamette Valley.
The Cayenne S Turbo E-Hybrid isn’t just fast—it’s a joy to drive. The 18-way adjustable seats allow let you find the ideal driving position, and the SUV is incredibly responsive. It may be an SUV, but it doesn’t feel like one when you’re changing lanes or flying around a curve. It’s rock-solid all of the way. You may even find yourself opening it up just so you can hear the glorious sounds the Cayenne makes.
There’s a coupe, too
In addition to the S Turbo E-Hybrid, Porsche has a pair of coupes for your consideration. The Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe has the same 3.0L turbocharged V6 as the Cayenne E-Hybrid, with the same specs (455hp (340kW) and 516lb-ft (700Nm) of torque). There’s also a V8 Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe with the same internals as the Turbo S Cayenne E-Hybrid. The Coupe swaps out the bench seat in the second row for a pair of bucket seats and loses some cargo space in the rear due to an aggressively sloped roofline (about 0.78in/20mm lower than the SUV); aside from that and a few other cosmetic differences, the Coupes have all of the same options available as the other Cayennes. The V6 Coupe starts at $86,400, while the V8 variant has an MSRP of $164,400.
At their $160,000-plus price points, the Cayenne S Turbo E-Hybrid is not for the faint of heart or thin of wallet. It also has very few peers when it comes to performance. The Lamborghini Urus is faster—and maybe a bit more rewarding to drive—but it’s at least $40,000 more. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio will go as fast, but the $80,000 Alfa is a rawer, less-refined ride with less cargo space. There’s the Tesla Model X, which is faster to 60mph than anything else in SUV land. But not everyone is ready for the tradeoffs that come with owning a BEV.
The new Cayennes will begin arriving at US dealerships in the first quarter of 2020.