Hugely powerful performance SUV with a striking breadth of ability and the price to match

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The roll-out of the facelifted Porsche Cayenne is a work in progress. Initial models were launched back in early 2023, including the updated Cayenne E-Hybrid.

Now, the German car maker is extending the electrification of its upmarket SUV with the addition of two even more powerful petrol-electric plug-in hybrid models, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid and the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid. It’s the latter, the new performance flagship of the refreshed Cayenne line-up, that we drive here.



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Developed as a successor to the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, the Turbo E-Hybrid is being sold in both standard and coupé bodystyles, offering the promise of supercar-crushing performance together with a vastly improved electric range.

There’s also an optional GT package. It introduces a series of lightweight components originally developed for the Cayenne Turbo GT Coupé (a model that is no longer sold in the UK) for even sharper dynamic ability, but it's offered in combination with only the more sporting coupé bodystyle.

Cayenne Turbo E-hybrid too brash? The milder Cayenne S E-hybrid might be more to your taste. Its turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine and electric motor kicks out a 512bhp and 553lb ft of torque, giving it a 0-62mph time of 4.7sec and 163mph top speed, together with an electric range of up to 48 miles.

At the heart of the new range-topping Cayenne is a heavily reworked version of Porsche’s 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine. With new single-scroll turbochargers, electric wastegates, a 350-bar fuel injection system and a two-stage variable valve lift system among other detailed changes, it alone delivers 591bhp and 590lb ft.

The petrol engine is supported by an all-new disc-shaped synchronous electric motor. Mounted within the forward section of an eight-speed, torque-converter automatic gearbox, it develops 40bhp and 37lb ft more than the unit used by the old Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, at 174bhp and 331lb ft.

Combined, the two power sources provide the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid with up to 730bhp and 700lb ft – some 59bhp and 37lb ft more than the model it replaces – to make it the most powerful Cayenne model yet. But with a kerb weight of 2495kg, it also holds the distinction of being one of the heaviest. By comparison, the petrol-electric BMW XM Red Label serves up 738bhp and up to 737lb ft of torque.

Drive is channelled through a uniquely programmed four-wheel drive system featuring torque vectoring. It boasts a distinctly rear-biased apportioning of power and torque in a move that the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupé’s product line manager, Shayan Bagheri, says is aimed at taking full advantage of the weight of the lithium ion battery mounted underneath the luggage compartment at the rear. Altogether, there are five driving modes: Off-Road, E-Power, Hybrid, Sport and Sport Plus – all accessible through a rotary dial mounted within the steering wheel.

The new battery offers 8kWh more capacity than any previous Cayenne PHEV, at 25.9kWh. It’s sufficient for an electric range of up to 45 miles on the WLTP test cycle, says Porsche.


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Apart from its various exterior styling tweaks, the new electrified Cayenne benefits from all the interior changes brought to other, less powerful models earlier this year. It's classy, complete and of suitably high perceived quality, with all the functions you’d expect of a car of this price.


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We initially had a chance to drive a prototype of the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid in Germany earlier this year. It was clear back then that it was not only a rather accomplished piece of engineering but, in line with Porsche’s own claims, also heroically fast in the right conditions. This time, we’re in the final production model and about to tackle some very challenging roads in Spain.

The new Cayenne is programmed to start in E-Power (read, all-electric) driving mode. The step-off is quite energetic, with the increased reserves and range delivered by the new electric motor and battery entirely suitable for extended stop/start city driving. Hybrid driving mode adds the petrol engine to the mix, instantly increasing the performance for brisk running and effortless cruising on the open road.

Porsche has improved the brake pedal feel compared with the earlier Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. There’s still an undefined feel in the initial degrees of travel, where a three-stage energy recuperation system is triggered. But there’s now greater feel to the optional ceramic-composite brakes, which are also part of the GT package, when you add greater pressure.

You’ll want either Sport or Sport Plus to fully appreciate the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid’s towering performance potential. Here, the instant torque of the electric motor masks any lingering turbo lag, making for wonderfully linear and muscular qualities at the lower end of the rev range. There is relentless thrust and great determination when the reworked V8 comes on boost, making for rampant acceleration and big speed. The claimed 0-62mph time of 3.6sec and governed 190mph top speed beat the XM Red Label by 0.2sec and 9mph. 

A titanium exhaust system brings added intensity and drama to the driving experience, emitting a deep baritone blare under load and a distinctive crackle on the overrun. It is part of a number of unique touches included in the GT package, all of which serve to shave 100kg off the kerb weight compared with the standard Turbo E-hybrid SUV.


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The Cayenne's revised underpinnings combine newly developed air suspension with twin-camber plungers together with electronically controlled twin-valve dampers. The GT package brings a carbonfibre roof and a 10mm reduction in ride height over the standard Cayenne Turbo E-hybrid – both of which serve to lower the centre of gravity – along with revised camber angles for the front wheels.

Despite the weight, there’s impressive poise to the handling. The steering is lightly weighted even at speed, but it’s also very sharp in its actions. Optional rear-wheel steering further heightens the agility by pivoting the rear, where the substantial weight of the battery is concentrated, allowing you to commit to corners with great confidence.

Generously dimensioned tyres – 285/40 ZR21 front and 315/35 ZR21 rear on our test car - provide plenty of bite upon turn-in. With electrohydraulic anti-roll bars, there’s also outstanding body control. And with variable four-wheel drive and mechanical torque vectoring to vary the amount of drive going to each individual rear wheel, you get tremendous drive on exit.

The Turbo E-Hybrid is less effective at masking road shock than non-electrified Cayenne models, since it rides on Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres that come with the GT package. However, the combination of air springs and continuously variable damping control ensures most road shock is diffused without any great harshness.


Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid

The breadth of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid’s abilities is striking. It whisks you quietly around town on electric power for extended distances; offers truly effortless cruising ability; and also delivers the sort of heavy-hitting performance to challenge even the most potent of its upmarket SUV rivals. It’ll even go off road when you want it to, assuming it has suitable tyres.

It’s a brilliant feat of engineering and compelling to drive. But at £154,000, it’s likely to remain a rather rare commodity on UK roads.