There seems to be no end in sight to what Porsche can do with an SUV; adding more and more performance, while also keeping functionality, style, and even efficiency high on the priority list. Well let’s see how all of that comes together in the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe.
2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe. That’s a lot of name, but fortunately for us, it’s also a heck of a lot of a vehicle. Let’s break this plug-in hybrid down.
The Cayenne name of course indicates the larger of the two utilities that are in the Porsche lineup.
Coupe indicates that it’s the more stylish and dynamic, but slightly less practical version.
Turbo S refers to the high-output 541-horsepower 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that’s under the hood...
...and finally, E-Hybrid denotes the 100-kW electric motor, and associated batteries, that combines with the V8 for a substantial 670-horsepower and 663 lb-ft. of torque. Which it then manages to deliver to all four wheels through an 8-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission.
Power pours out of this PHEV in a way that’s exhilarating, yet also intimidating at the same time; reminding us of one of our all-time favorite Porsche driving experiences, SUV or otherwise.
In the fall of 2004, we got a chance to take the then new Porsche Cayenne Turbo through the 156-turn, 12.4-mile course of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. We didn’t set any records that day, but came away amazed with the amount of performance that Porsche engineers were able to cram into a Sport Utility Vehicle.
Of course driving on battery power alone wasn’t even an option back then, but the Turbo S E-Hybrid’s 14.1-kWh battery allows for 12-miles of strictly EV operation, before it reverts to functioning as a full-hybrid. E-Hold and E-Power modes allow you to decide when you want to use those EV miles.
And no matter where power is coming from, this utility handles better than a heck of a lot of sports cars.
It was really just child’s play through our slalom course; super quick steering, hardly any roll, feeling very tight and aggressive. And that was before we even put things in either of the two available Sport Modes. Yes, even in its softest setting, this thing is willing and able.
Getting to the main attraction, our first few launches on cold tires were, shall we say, a little more exhilarating than we expected; and that’s an understatement. But, once the tires were warmed up, it was game on, and a whole different experience.
Flawless, consistent launches rocketed us to 60 in just 3.7-seconds. Steady, unrelenting power from there on out, combining with lightning fast shifts, resulted in 11.9-second ¼-miles at 121 miles-per-hour.
Now, we’ve already covered what makes the Cayenne Coupe so special; lower, sloping roofline, wider stance, and fixed rear spoiler, all unique from the standard Cayenne SUV.
Here in the Turbo S E-Hybrid, you can add to that, the Acid Green treatment applied to the brake calipers and logos, which really seems to pop on our Lava Orange tester.
The optional Lightweight Sport Package in Black adds wider 22-inch GT design wheels with fender extensions to cover them, Sport exhaust system with black tips, and a carbon fiber roof.
Inside, there are plenty of soft Alcantara materials, as well as silver and carbon fiber trim.
Optional Adaptive Sport Plus seats hug you in all the right ways, as does the seatbelt when you fire things up.
Cargo capacity is of course the only thing you’re compromising here. If you need more than the 17.6 cubic-ft. of space that’s in the cargo bay, stick with the regular Cayenne; you’ll get 22.7 cubic-ft. Max is 50.8. Or, you could tow it behind you, as both have the same tow rating of 7,700-lbs.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 18-Combined, with an MPGe rating of 39-Combined. Putting the two together for a test loop, we averaged a decent 20.8 miles-per-gallon of Premium fuel.
That’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.1-barrels of annual petroleum consumption, with 6.0-tons of CO2 emissions.
As for pricing, well a Turbo S E-Hybrid will set you back $165,750. That’s $40,100 over the “Plain Jane” Cayenne Turbo SUV we tested last year.
Is it worth it? Depends on what your priorities are; it’s certainly techier, and faster, it looks cooler and has a lot more standard features, plus you can drive it around town like an EV.
So, while the Porsche Taycan pure EV lineup is grabbing most of the current headlines, plug-in hybrids like this 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe will have a more significant impact for the near future; showcasing the potential of electrification, both for performance and for the environment’s sake, while still giving buyers the freedom to easily roam as far and wide as they desire.
Engine: 4.0L Twin-Turbo V8
Torque: 663 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
1/4 Mile: 11.9s @ 121 mph
EPA: 18 MPG Combined / 39 MPGe Combined