This most potent Cayenne’s plug-in hybrid powertrain has previously cropped up in the Panamera, although the numbers don’t get any easier to swallow with repeat readings. In total, there is 671bhp and 664lb ft, the latter arriving at 1500rpm – figures that suggest explosive performance in any circumstance.
The majority of that power, some 552bhp, is delivered via a front-mounted 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8. The remainder is provided by an electric motor tucked between the engine and the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, which is operating near the limit of its torque-channelling potential. Porsche says that with a stronger ’box, this powertrain could quite easily deliver as much as 850lb ft.
Even without this theoretical maximum torque, the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is only around a second slower to 62mph than the 911 Turbo S, which is difficult to comprehend given that, at 2490kg, the SUV weighs some 850kg more than the coupé. But performance is just half the story. The 14.1kWh battery pack housed beneath the boot floor gives the car an electric-only range of up to 19 miles (down from an unrealistic, pre-WLTP figure of 27) and a CO2 figure as low as 110g/km, which looks almost as improbable as the acceleration figures. On the spec sheet, the car exhibits the contradictory extremes made possible only through electrification.
In similarly logic-defying fashion, the Cayenne’s mass and performance potential suggest some very clever chassis technology needs to be present, and it is. The Turbo S E-Hybrid is a rolling menu of what Porsche has at its disposal. As well as three-chamber air suspension, the car benefits from active anti-roll bars (two bars, joined in the middle by a pivot motor that torques them in opposite directions), torque vectoring controlled via the carbonceramic brakes and through the locking rear differential, and optional rear-axle steering, which our test car uses. It’s plain to see that the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is very much one of those cars that, paradoxically, needs additional weight to contain its weight.