by Jared Rosenholtz
From the moment Porsche revealed the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that the drivetrain would make its way into the Cayenne. The standard Cayenne Turbo is already one of the quickest SUVs on the planet with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 550 horsepower and 567 lb-ft of torque, good for a 0-60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds.
But Porsche always has something quicker up its sleeve, which is why the company recently unveiled the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, which is now the most powerful Cayenne ever built. It's even more powerful than the Lamborghini Urus.
Porsche doesn't love to shout about its Turbo cars, rather it lets them go about the business of speed silently with dignified grace. The Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid doesn't look any more outrageous than a standard E-Hybrid model, except for some larger wheels and intakes. You will notice acid green accents around the car, which have become a Porsche signature color for hybrid models. If you are searching for a more shouty high-performance SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Track Hawk might better suit your tastes.
Moving into the cabin, the most noticeable differences between a Turbo S E-Hybrid and a standard Cayenne live in the gauge cluster and central display, which show information about the battery charge and where the power is coming from. Aside from these minor differences, the interior feels very "standard Porsche" with excellent materials and an emphasis on the driver. As the flagship of the Cayenne lineup, you can expect most Turbo S E-Hybrid models to come very well-equipped, though Porsche still charges extra for advanced technology and safety features.
The Cayenne sits in the mid-size luxury segment along with rivals like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. It can seat five comfortably with no option for a third row and the cargo area can hold up to 26.3 cubic feet, which increases to 59.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. This is not the most in the segment but the Cayenne clearly emphasizes driver involvement over luggage capacity.
The 14.1-kilowatt-hour battery can be charged in about two and a half hours on a 240-volt charger and Porsche says the Turbo S E-Hybrid can travel around 26 miles on electric power at a maximum speed of around 83 mph. EPA fuel economy has yet to be released but should see an improvement over the standard Turbo's 15/19/17 mpg city/highway/combined ratings.
The reason why you choose a Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is to say you have the most powerful SUV in the Volkswagen Group lineup (yes, even more powerful than the Urus). It produces 541 hp and 567 lb-ft from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, supplemented by an electric motor producing 134 hp and 295 lb-ft. Together, the engine and electric motor combine to produce 670 hp and 663 lb-ft going out to all-wheel-drive through an eight-speed automatic. 0-60 mph takes only 3.6 seconds, which matches the time set by the Urus.
The Cayenne Turbo S has always had an exotic price tag and the Turbo S E-Hybrid is no exception. The standard SUV starts at $161,900 and you'll have to pay $2,500 more if you want the Coupe model (and that's before you get crazy with the Porsche options list). Porsche will offer a far more reasonable E-Hybrid model with a V6 engine starting at $86,400. It may seem like a lot of money for the Turbo S E-Hybrid but just remember, the Urus starts at over $230,000.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid should be a strong seller for Porsche while the Turbo S E-Hybrid model remains more of a rare bird. With a starting price over $160,000, we don't expect it to sell in high-volume but with Super SUV-rivaling speed and electrical practicality, Porsche should have no trouble hitting its projected sales numbers. Unless you love the styling of the Urus and the prestige associated with owning a Lamborghini, the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid seems like the better value.