Porsche are on the dawn of a new era. In just a few weeks they will unveil a car that they hope with revolutionise the industry – the Porsche Taycan. The all electric car is the first full EV for the Stuttgart based brand, but it is by no means their first foray into the high voltage. high stakes world of electricity.
Since the 918 hybrid hypercar, there have been a plethora of series production models that have been born as a result of the technology trickling down into cars you need not be a millionaire buyer on Porsche’s VIP list to own. The Panamera and Cayenne have been fitted with hybrid drivetrains to not only lower emissions and increase fuel economy, but also to make then more potent courtesy of additional power and instant torque. It is a winning formula, and now Porsche have applied it to the updated Cayenne and Cayenne Coupe – the Turbo S E-Hybrid models to be accurate.
The results are frankly, barmy. The Turbo Coupe I drove a few months back never had me thinking more power was necessary given that it weighed in at over two tonnes and packed 542 brake horsepower from its 4-litre V8. The added 14.1 kWh battery packs boost power by 134bhp bringing the total to 676bhp, in an SUV. The Turbo S and Turbo S Coupe both share the same drivetrain which launches the car to 100 in 3.8 (one tenth quicker than the Turbo) and top out at 295km/h (286 in the Turbo).
However, the added performance comes at a cost – those batteries add an additional 130 kilograms (add around 200 more for the DC converter, charger and cables) to the already beefy Cayennes. At a total of over 2.6 tonnes, the Turbo S-E Hybrid models should handle like cruise ships…they don’t.
With the usual raft of optional tech such as four wheel steer, torque vectoring, active engine mounts and other weight masking goodies, the sporty characteristics of the Cayenne remain. The weight penalty is negated by the shove that comes courtesy of hybridisation that almost abolishes any turbo lag. In Sport+ the hybrid drivetrain in working to provide the maximum amount of power and torque wherever possible and the gains are tangible. The in gear acceleration is vicious, there seems to be no fade in the force of acceleration, something I experienced time and time again on the derestricted autobahn.
Air suspension, roll stabilisation and ceramic brakes are all fitted as standard on the S E-Hybrid models, options that help to justify the €172,604 and €176,293 base prices for the normal and Coupe bodies respectively. The price tag is hefty, but the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrids really are cars that can do it all.
From long journeys in extreme comfort and luxury, to blasting down the autobahn with such brute force and even doing the school run in silence in electric mode for up to 43 kilometres, the Turbo S really can do it all. The choice of body styles and the vast array of configurable specifications make the appeal of such SUVs wider still.
Personally, I must question the necessity of the added power, as I mentioned, driving the Turbo earlier in the year, I never felt that the car required more power, even when driving up valley and mountain roads. However, I am not in the market for such a car and with ever tighter emissions and regulations, the hybrid element may well be enough to persuade a few buyers to fork out the extra cash and bare the additional weight. Either way, there is no way of denying that the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is a mighty fine machine.