by Deiondre van der Merwe
The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe meshes the best-selling aspects of the Cayenne SUV with the coupe styling that originated with the BMW X6, and topping it off with a shot of electric assistance for a greener conscience. The E-Hybrid Coupe range gets a choice of two engines - a turbocharged V6 or V8, both paired to electric motors and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, with the 4.0-liter V8 in the Turbo S E-Hybrid churning out a combined 670 horsepower and 663 lb-ft of torque. Monumental figures, but when you need to shuffle a 5,673-pound behemoth from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, nothing less than monumental will do. In E-Hybrid form, the Cayenne Coupe is a luxurious range-topper rivaling the likes of the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid, as well as, to some extent, the Lamborghini Urus.
The fastback-styled version of the Cayenne is a newly introduced model for the 2020 lineup, and the E-Hybrid variants are the first of their kind, blending both electric augmentation and coupe styling. Together, the two form the pinnacle of the Cayenne Coupe range.
See trim levels and configurations:
In terms of styling, the E-Hybrid Coupe is essentially a Cayenne with a sloped roofline. The electrified luxury SUV bears classic Porsche styling and a roofline that is almost one inch lower than its regular-bodied stablemate. Full-LED headlights and taillights grace the face and the rear of the Cayenne, and the latter is complemented even further by wide haunches. The base Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe features a set of twin tailpipes, with the Turbo S E-Hybrid boasting quad items, while both electrified models get acid green brake calipers and accents. The entry-level model comes standard with 20-inch wheels and 21-inch wheels tie the Turbo S version together.
Slightly smaller than the Bentayga Hybrid, the base-level E-Hybrid Coupe measures 194.2 inches from front to back, while the Turbo S increases this measurement by 0.3 inches. Both have a 114-inch wheelbase, and both have a width of 86.4 inches. The E-Hybrid has a curb weight of 5,265 pounds, while the Turbo S E-Hybrid packs on a few extra pounds and rounds off at 5,673 lbs. While owners are unlikely to head off-road, the Cayenne boasts appreciable ground clearance of up to 9.6 inches with the air suspension in off-road mode and a maximum wading depth of 11 inches.
Porsche makes two hybrid powertrains available for the Cayenne Coupe lineup, each as impressive as the next. The entry-level engine is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 producing 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, but with the assistance of an electric motor develops a combined maximum of 455 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. This is enough to send the coupe SUV from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package. The Turbo S E-Hybrid keeps the same electric motor in its clutches but combines it with a twin-turbocharged V8 displacing 4.0 liters and producing 541 hp and 567 lb-ft on its own. When combined, the V8 and the hybrid system push out 670 horses and 663 lb-ft, shunting the halo SUV to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Both engines in the E-Hybrid lineup are coupled with a competent eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive.
The Cayenne has always been a winner for Porsche, not only appealing to those who want high luxury and family practicality but for the fact that solid driving dynamics have always been part of the package. The E-Hybrid twins are no different, striking a fine balance between comfort and capability, but can be criticized for the somewhat sterile feel they're imbued with. The standard adaptive dampers do a wonderful job of eliminating body roll and minor imperfections, and while it doesn't have a truly plush ride, it's comfortable when you want it to be. Any doubts about a slightly harsh ride are quelled by the suspension setup's ability to keep the SUV buttoned-down in sharper corners. The optionally available air suspension does an even better job at soaking up any unpleasant impressions on the road. Rear-axle steering has also been made available, allowing the Cayenne Coupe to feel stable at speed and nimble around town.
Large luxury SUVs generally aren't kind to their owners' fuel bills, and that's one of the reasons hybridized powertrains have become such an attractive offering. The 3.0-liter V6 found in the entry-level model returns a combined estimate of 21 mpg and 41 MPGe on electrons alone, while a regular Cayenne S Coupe with comparable performance averages 19 mpg and doesn't have the ability to drive at up to 14 miles at speeds of 83 mph on electricity alone. At the time of writing, the EPA has not yet published figures for the Turbo S E-Hybrid, but the standard Cayenne Turbo Coupe achieves a combined figure of 17 mpg without electric assistance.
When the 19.8-gallon fuel tank is full, the Cayenne will manage a range of 420 miles on gas only, and 14 miles on electricity. It will take around four hours to charge with the standard 3.6 kW outlet, but upgrade to the 7.2 kW and the charge time drops down to two hours.
The Cayenne Coupe is capable of seating four or five, with the option of a three-seater bench in the back at no extra cost in place of the regular two-seat layout, so it ultimately depends on preference. Space is ample enough both in the front and the rear to accommodate even the tallest of adults, and seating is plush and supportive. Eight-way power-adjustable sport seats are standard in the front, but these can be upgraded to either 14-way power-adjustable seats with memory or 18-way adaptive sports seats, the latter equipped as standard on the Turbo S. The sloping roofline does impede headroom slightly in the rear, but it's a relatively small sacrifice overall.
One downside to the E-Hybrid is the marginal reduction of cargo space. This is because the battery is housed beneath the load floor. While the standard Cayenne Coupe boasts 22 cubic feet behind the rear seats, the E-Hybrid manages only 17.6 cubes. The regular Cayenne allows for 27.2 cubes. Nevertheless, with the rear seats folded (they do so in a 40/20/40 split), the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe offers 50.8 cubes of cargo space compared to the 54.3 in the non-hybrid variants. In-cabin storage is impressive enough thanks to a sizeable glovebox and decent door pockets, while the center console provides ample storage and, in base four-seat configuration, the rear occupants get a storage console between them.
As expected, the Cayenne Coupe comes standard with a number of standard-fitted indulgences. For the outside, an adaptive rear spoiler and keyless entry as well as remote access are standard, and the Turbo S model gets a panoramic sunroof. Eight-way power-adjustable seats are standard for the E-Hybrid, while the Turbo S E-Hybrid gets standard access to 18-way power-adjustable seats. Dual-zone climate control is also standard. The Turbo S E-Hybrid upgrades its standard list with the addition of heated front and rear seats as well as a heated steering wheel. If these aren't enough to satisfy, Porsche offers a bevy of additionally available options. For the E-Hybrid, the Premium Package adds 14-way power-adjustable front seats as well as keyless entry. The Plus version of the package adds multiple features along with quad-zone climate control and ventilation for the front seats. Standard safety features are inclusive of a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and front and rear parking sensors.
Appropriately laden with modern technology, the Cayenne Coupe rolls off the factory floor with a 12.3-inch touchscreen that enables Apple CarPlay, a navigation system, HD Radio, SiriusXM functionality, and Bluetooth streaming. Four USB ports are standard, and audio is delivered with crystal clear clarity through a 10-speaker sound system. A 14-speaker Bose sound system is optionally available (standard on the Turbo S E-Hybrid), and if you're an audiophile, an over-the-top 21-speaker Burmester setup can also be had for a price. If you're planning on being a regular backseat passenger, a set of 10-inch screens can be optioned for the rear, while wireless charging will set you back $690.
For 2020, the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe has been at the center of two recalls, one for no visual warning of brake pad wear, and another for a potentially leaky transmission oil pipe. Porsche offers a four-year or 50,000-mile basic and drivetrain warranty, while corrosion is covered for 12 years. Hybrid and electrical components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles, while roadside assistance is valid for four years.
Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has rated the Cayenne Coupe E-Hybrid, but the standard safety features are sufficient enough to warrant some faith in the SUV's protective abilities. Both models come with ten airbags inclusive of dual front, front knee, front side, rear side, and side-curtain airbags. A rearview camera and front and rear park sensors are standard along with automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning. A plethora of additionally available safety features are offered by Porsche including lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display. It's a pity the best safety features aren't standard, as many rivals at lower prices include the full gamut of assistance features.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe is a stand-out contender in the hybridized luxury SUV segment. More powerful than it's gas-only relatives, the E-Hybrid models may cost a pretty penny in comparison, too. Both models in the lineup are undeniably luxurious on the inside and come with enough convenience to satisfy, but you'll need to add a few thousand dollars to the budget if you plan on achieving optimal levels of comfort and ease of use. While the higher-level Turbo S E-Hybrid model offers more power and some extra features, the entry-level E-Hybrid does a fantastic job of gluing itself to the road and showing impeccable road manners. It's also considerably more affordable than Bentley's Bentayga Hybrid. That being said, with the Cayenne, you're not only paying for what you get from the car, but you're also forking your cash out for the ability to say you own a Porsche. While the Cayenne is an impressive performer, it's a status symbol as well, particularly in coupe form, so bear that in mind when you're looking for your plug-in hybrid SUV. Still, it's a great choice.
We've mentioned before that you'll be paying for the name as much as the actual car, and the numbers talk. The entry to the range is the E-Hybrid Coupe that has a starting MSRP of $86,400. The range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid coupe nearly doubles its asking price in comparison to the base model and will cost you $164,400. Both prices are exclusive of the $1,350 delivery and handling fee.
We wouldn't recommend opting for the Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe if you don't truly need or want the extra power. The range-topping model offers subtle upgrades aside from its more powerful engine, begging the question of whether it's worth nearly double the asking price of the E-Hybrid. More than this, many of the extras are available on the standard model. We'd recommend the entry-level model with some added extras to round it off nicely. Opt for the Assistance Package that adds surround view, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, and lane keep assist as well as traffic sign recognition and night vision assist. We'd also opt for the Performance Package that adds rear-axle steering and adaptive air suspension as well as a sport exhaust system. Adding all of these goodies brings the final asking price to $97,540 excluding the destination fee.
While the entry-level Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe costs half the price in comparison to the Bentayga Hybrid, it offers vastly higher power outputs, and when we compare the similarly priced Turbo S E-Hybrid to the Bentayga Hybrid, the former simply leaves the latter to trail behind with combined power outputs of 670 hp and 663 lb-ft against the Bentayga's 443 horses. The inside of the Porsche feels more modern, but both are equally luxe with top-notch materials swathing the cabins of both SUVs. Being around 8.7 inches shorter than the Bentley, the Porsche is slightly easier to handle and maneuver. Beyond simply being easier to park, the Cayenne accelerates and handles better. It also offers a significantly larger cargo area both with the seats up and when they're down, and the Bentley doesn't offer folding rear seats at all. However, if you prioritize pure luxury over performance, the Bentayga is leagues above the Porsche.
Straight out of the gate, the BMW X5 Hybrid costs far less than the Porsche Cayenne at $65,400. Another aspect that will negatively impact Porsche in this comparison is that its add-on packages are known to reach far beyond tens of thousands to option, whereas BMW keeps their optional goodies in a more accessible price range and includes many advanced safety features as standard. The BMW offers quite a bit more trunk space with its seats up, as well as when they are folded down. While the Porsche offers more up-scale materials from its cabin, the BMW X5's interior is extremely well laid-out and also boasts premium interior quality. The Bavarian SUV also offers far more standard features off the factory floor in comparison to the Cayenne. All Cayenne models are more powerful in terms of outputs in comparison to the X5 Hybrid, the Bimmer only boasting 389 hp. However, the BMW gets a 30-mile electric range. The better car will depend on personal preference for most, but for us, it's the X5 - more practical, more affordable, and a better value for money prospect overall.
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