Porsche Cayenne Coupe hybrid review
The Porsche Cayenne Coupe is a rakish alternative to the standard car, available with the same plug-in hybrid drivetrains
- Great to drive
- Impressive performance
- Comfortable, especially in top trim
- Pricey options
- Expensive to buy
- Taycan a better bet
|Car type||Electric range||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions|
|Plug-in hybrid||24-29 miles||69-88mpg||73-86g/km|
The Cayenne was one of the last large luxury SUVs to get the sloping-roofline treatment when its Coupe variant arrived in late 2019. It's more or less identical to the standard SUV, but with a sportier silhouette.
The range includes six models, with the majority sporting purely internal-combustion engines that we're not too interested in at DrivingElectric. As with the standard Cayenne, however, there are two plug-in hybrid options: the E-Hybrid and the Turbo S E-Hybrid.
The powertrain in each is broadly similar to that found in its Panamera luxury saloon counterpart: the E-Hybrid gets a V6 petrol engine and electric motor for a combined 456bhp, while the Turbo S E-Hybrid gets a monstrous petrol V8 and electric motor combination with a total output of 671bhp. Each boasts a similar electric range from the same 17.9kWh battery, with the lighter, less powerful E-Hybrid offering 25-29 miles, versus 24-26 miles for the heavier Turbo S E-Hybrid.
Where the E-Hybrid is aimed at rivals including the BMW X5 xDrive45e (there's no plug-in X6), Audi Q7 55 TFSI e and Range Rover Sport P400e, the more powerful Turbo S E-Hybrid takes its performance to the next level. The market for sporty plug-in hybrid SUVs hasn't quite taken off yet, so the majority of its rivals are still purely internal-combustion powered, or at least mild-hybrids: the Audi SQ7, BMW X6 M50i, Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe and so on. If you've got even more cash to spend, the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is perhaps the closest rival in terms of luxury and performance.
It's the more powerful of the two Cayenne Coupe hybrids that we've tested here: we've yet to drive the standard E-Hybrid version. On the face of things, it's hard to justify a £100,000-plus luxury SUV powered by a V8 petrol engine, even if the electric motor is able to reduce emissions and take over entirely at lower speeds. This is a car less concerned about environmental impact than it is about performance.
It certainly delivers the goods in this department: 0-62mph takes 3.8 seconds, top speed is 183mph and there's a huge 900Nm of torque on tap, which helps the Turbo S E-Hybrid feel effortlessly quick. In fact, it's one of the fastest SUVs on sale – despite weighing in at over 2.6 tonnes, around 335kg more than the conventionally powered Cayenne Turbo Coupe.
Performance isn't the only aspect that's impressive for such a large, heavy car; the Cayenne holds its own in corners, too. The S E-Hybrid has air suspension fitted as standard, along with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), an anti-roll system that makes the car feel much more nimble than it really should. Rear-wheel steering is optional and adds even more keenness to the Cayenne's handling.
This is still a luxury SUV however, so there's still a good amount of comfort tuned into the car's suspension. It's not quite Range Rover smooth but the harsher edge found on sporty rivals like the BMW X6 M is replaced by pliant, well damped ride quality.
There's plenty of space for passengers to stretch out in comfort in their beautifully trimmed seats, while the 500-litre boot is around 98 litres down on the non-electrified Cayenne Coupe due to the battery under the floor. This in turn is around 145 litres less than you get in the full-size Cayenne, but it's a useable space nonetheless. Just don't expect to carry your dog around quite as easily.
Although we've yet to try the E-Hybrid, our experience with the standard Cayenne in this specification suggests that it's the one to go for. Performance is more than sufficient and it's a good chunk cheaper and more efficient than the Turbo S. However, if you have the budget and simply want to own one of the fastest plug-in hybrids money can buy, it's hard to do much better.
It's worth noting that for the circa-£125,000 it costs to buy a Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe, you could secure an all-electric Porsche Taycan Turbo with plenty of change for options. It's a better car all-round in our view, not to mention much less polluting, faster and better to drive. If you're in the market for an electrified Porsche of any kind and don't need the Cayenne's ride height or bigger boot, it's a worthy alternative.