What is it?
Time was when the wildest Porsche generally took the form of a turbocharged 911 with four-wheel drive and a wing, at least as far as spec-sheet figures went.
Following the launch of the latest 911 Turbo S – a car with 641bhp, a 2.6sec 0-62mph time, hips wider than a bin lorry, and a wing – you could argue that nothing has changed. However, if you accept modern Porsche is really now an SUV company that builds proper sports cars mainly to protect its pedigree (last year, it sold almost 200,000 Cayenne and Macan models compared with only 80,000 of everything else) then the 'wildest', most ambitious model it makes is now the £123,000 Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid.
The car's plug-in hybrid powertrain has previously cropped up in the Panamera and we’ve already driven the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid abroad, but now we have one in the UK for the first time and the numbers don’t get any easier to swallow with repeat readings. Altogether, you have 671bhp and 627lb ft, the majority of which is delivered via a front-mounted 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8. The rest is provided by an electric motor, although both sources drive through the same eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which is operating near the limit of its torque-channelling potential. With a stronger ’box, as much as 850lb ft would be possible.
From a standstill, the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is therefore only around a second slower to 62mph than the 911 Turbo S, which is absurd, but performance is only half the story. The 14.1kWh battery pack under 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 of 90g/km, which looks almost as ridiculous as the acceleration figures. It's a mutant powertrain fitted to arguably the best road-biased SUV money can buy, which ought to make the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid compelling on several levels.