Underneath this Panamera-based test mule could be Porsche's key to EV SUV domination.
In the past, the best way to make an SUV look sportier was to cut off two of its doors. Nowadays if you want an SUV to look sporty you give it a sloping coupe roofline while keeping all four doors intact. That seems to be Porsche's plan for the next Cayenne. Our spy photographers once again captured what is believed to be the Panamera-based test mule for the new Cayenne Coupe. During testing the mule apparently wasn't making any noise, which led our photographers to believe that this mule was either hybrid or all-electric.
A hybrid Cayenne Coupe sounds much more plausible than an all-electric model, especially since the SUV is already offered as a hybrid. That's not to say that the latter couldn't happen, though. Porsche is diving into the electric car scene head first with the Mission E, which could debut as early as 2019. The automaker thinks it can sell 20,000 of these cars a year. That number isn't bad but it could be better, say by expanding the platform out to the Cayenne. Tesla has proved with the Model X that people will buy luxury electric SUVs. The only thing that's stopping Tesla from flooding the streets with Model Xs is the fact that its production line can't keep up with demand. Porsche obviously wouldn't face that problem.
Speaking of Volkswagen, the automaker is still being pounded for its emissions-cheating ways and plans to right public perception by electrifying a ton of its cars. An all-electric Cayenne Coupe would go a long way in convincing pissed off politicians and the public that the VW Group has learned the error of its ways. The Cayenne got a facelift in 2015 which means a completely new model should debut sometime soon, potentially late this year. The all-electric model likely won't be in that initial launch lineup, especially given the fact that we've only (potentially) seen it out testing as a Panamera mule. The all-electric Cayenne Coupe will likely debut around the same time as the Mission E, 2019 to 2020.