Variety is the spice of life, and Porsche has recognized this. The German carmaker has a talent for creating many variations of its small number of models, each of which adds a distinctive flavor to the same fundamental components. The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is a prime example.
The 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is followed by the Turbo S E-Hybrid. Both vehicles are plug-in hybrids, however the Turbo S replaces the turbocharged V6 in the standard E-Hybrid with a twin-turbo V8. When the SUV debuts in stores, the Turbo S E-Hybrid will be the most potent Cayenne available thanks to its V8 and electric muscle combination.
Porsche brought a Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid over from Germany for us to drive alongside the standard E-Hybrid even though it won’t be available in the United States until 2020. We weren’t allowed to discuss the Turbo S until today because Porsche hadn’t even made an announcement about it. Now that the car is out of the bag, we can reveal that the Turbo S will start at $163,150, which is significantly more than the standard E-starting Hybrid’s price of $81,150. (all prices include a mandatory destination charge). Is the Turbo S pricey but worth it? Let’s investigate.
Details are where the devil is.
The Turbo S E-Hybrid will be the only current-generation Cayenne in a lineup of Porsches that a true Porsche nerd could choose. Because of this, Porsche allowed us to test-drive the new model in plain view a few weeks before to its official announcement of existence. Nobody in that beachfront community knew where to look.
While the more aggressive front fascia, quad exhaust tips, and large brake rotors indicate that this Cayenne is a Turbo S and not the original V6 model, the spots of Acid Green paint on the emblems and brake calipers indicate that it is a plug-in hybrid. Porsche will sell the Turbo S E-Hybrid as a coupe and in the Cayenne body type, though we were unable to test the latter.
It’s not a problem that the interior is similar to other Cayenne models. The Cayenne stands out from other luxury SUVs because to certain aesthetic cues, such as the centralized tachometer that pays homage to the Porsche 911. Porsche exclusively provides Apple CarPlay on the 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is a high-quality device (Android Auto may become available soon, though). Although the basic price of the Turbo S E-Hybrid is exorbitant, at least you are getting the finest of the best. For instance, the Turbo S comes included with the incredible 18-way power adjusted sport seats that are an extra on the base E-Hybrid.
NASCAR would be proud of the music the V8 generates.
You receive a little less space than non-hybrid Cayenne versions, not to mention some significant competition vehicles, since we anticipate that measurements from the base E-Hybrid will continue over to the Turbo S. The floor of the cargo area is a bit higher in the Turbo S E-Hybrid than in a Cayenne that isn’t a hybrid because the 14.1 kilowatt-hour battery pack is located underneath it. The BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid models likely have more cargo room, and the Volvo is also offered with a third-row seat. However, neither of these alternatives can match the way this Porsche drives.
lightning and thunder
The Porsche 918 Spyder supercar, which helped establish the model for plug-in hybrid performance vehicles, came before the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. But this SUV makes the most of the dual advantages of internal combustion and electric power.
An eight-speed automatic transmission transmits the combined 670 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque from the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 and electric motor to all four wheels. For comparison, the Cayenne E-V6 Hybrid’s engine puts out 455 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The Cayenne Turbo, which lacks the hybrid system and has the same V8 engine as the Turbo S, delivers 541 horsepower and 567 lb-ft of torque. So a plug-in hybrid Cayenne is the most potent model available. Greetings from the future.
The 2020 Turbo S E-Hybrid, according to Porsche, is also the fastest Cayenne ever. The maximum speed of the plug-in hybrid is 183 mph. That’s faster than a Range Rover Sport SVR and close to the 190-mph Bentley Bentayga Speed and 189-mph Lamborghini Urus, both of which use the Cayenne’s basic base. Only on a racetrack or an autobahn will the Bentley’s 7 mph speed advantage over the Porsche, the world’s fastest production SUV, be significant.
Additionally, the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid outperforms the less expensive Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk, which needs 707 horsepower to achieve 180 mph. When going from 0 to 60 mph, the Jeep takes only slightly less time than the Porsche, 3.5 seconds as opposed to the Cayenne’s 3.6 seconds. The Cayenne still outperforms the Range Rover Sport SVR, Bentayga Speed, and comes close to matching the Urus in speed.
For the driver, the management of the gasoline and electric power balance is effortless.
The Cayenne’s method of generating those figures is also rather amazing. Initially, all eyes are on that V8, which creates a soundtrack deserving of NASCAR. However, that electric motor is continuously at work in the background, giving an extra boost of power and bridging troughs in the V8’s torque curve to maintain rapid acceleration. It sounds like you are in a jet airliner being propelled forward by a tailwind, with the thunderous V8 filling your ears and the silent force of electric power giving you an extra boost.
Porsche also uses a lot of technology to keep the driver out of ditches, which is vital when said driver is in control of 670 horsepower while operating a tall, heavy SUV. A torque-vectoring feature for the all-wheel drive system, adaptive air suspension, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control are all included as standard features. Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control uses a 48-volt electrical system to actively adjust the anti-roll bars (similar technology is used by Porsche sibling Bentley). On less expensive Cayenne versions, these amenities are all available upgrades. Carbon-ceramic brakes are also standard on the Turbo S E-Hybrid, while rear-wheel steering is an optional feature.
These characteristics combine to create a chassis that is more than capable of handling the Cayenne’s enormous power, giving you the assurance to take use of it. The gasoline and electric power ratios, as well as the different driver aids, are seamlessly regulated for the driver, just like in the base Cayenne E-Hybrid. Simply putting your foot down will do.
More mean than green
Plug-in hybrid vehicle manufacturers frequently tout their vehicles’ fuel economy, but with the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, we believe Porsche was more focused on boosting performance than lowering fuel consumption. According to Porsche, EPA fuel economy and electric range ratings are still pending. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to drive the Turbo S E-Hybrid for long enough to determine a valid fuel efficiency estimate.
The Turbo S E-Hybrid must be regularly charged in order to operate at its peak efficiency, like with all plug-in hybrids. We’re not sure how many consumers will actually do that, though, given the seductive sound and power of that V8.
The performance SUV for the cerebral driver is the 2020 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid.
Even though it has electric aid, this is still a V8, therefore you should anticipate a high gas consumption. Instead of pulling a Prius impersonation, this Porsche is far more at ease insulting other performance SUVs.
This model comes with the more potent 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger that is an available extra on the standard E-Hybrid for individuals who do intend to regularly charge their Turbo S E-Hybrids. Porsche does not, however, provide a DC fast-charging alternative. In the E-Charge and Sport Plus driving modes, the Turbo S and can also use its gasoline engine to replenish the battery pack similar to the base E-Hybrid, but you will eventually need to plug in to achieve a full recharge.
The useful information
The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid lacks some basic driver aids despite its high price. Adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist are available extras, while pedestrian safety systems that can automatically brake to prevent crashes are standard features. At the very least, the adaptive cruise control system is intelligent. It has the ability to stop the Cayenne completely in traffic, pick up speed again, and coordinate with the navigation system to determine the best accelerating and braking points for the next 1.8 miles of road.
Porsche provides a four-year, 50,000-mile guarantee along with a 12-year corrosion warranty. They also cover dealership maintenance. Although the Turbo S E-Hybrid is a new model, Consumer Reports gave other recent Cayenne variations relatively poor dependability ratings. Additionally, Porsche received a low brand ranking in the most recent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. There are currently no public crash test results from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
How DT would set up this vehicle
On this one, Porsche did the bulk of the work for us. The Turbo S E-Hybrid comes standard with several of the features we would have preferred on our ideal base Cayenne E-Hybrid, like with its 18-way power-adjustable seats and carbon-ceramic brakes. We would just add the available adaptive cruise control system.
The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid creates a delicious new dish with tried-and-true ingredients. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 from the Cayenne Turbo’s non-hybrid model ups the ante from the standard Cayenne E-V6 Hybrid’s engine in terms of performance. Porsche has created a high-performance SUV to compete with Bentley and Lamborghini, two other Volkswagen Group brands, and it raises the bar for the upcoming BMW X5 M and Mercedes-AMG GLE models.
Do you need one?
Yes. The 2020 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid is the performance SUV for the discerning buyer, albeit it may not have the same raw appeal as the manufacturer’s sports cars.