Skip advert
Advertisement

Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupe GT Package review: long on name, big on ability

The most powerful of Porsche’s SUVs promises sports car thrills with room for the dog

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Find your Porsche Cayenne
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

Verdict

Porsche has managed to turn its plug-in hybrid range-topper into a sensational sports SUV with a wide breadth of talent. The star of the show remains the glorious 4.0-litre V8 engine, which with a helping hand from the electric motor and a titanium exhaust, produces a soundtrack to make it hard to believe there’s a big battery at play. Added to that, the quality, tech and space keep this big Porsche at the top of its game.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Porsche seems to be able to do no wrong these days, whether it’s refreshing its core petrol-powered line-up, or going for full-on electrification. Whatever direction it takes, driver appeal is undiluted, while quality, tech and everyday usability just keep getting better and better, too.

Plug-in hybrids are often seen as the worst of both worlds, though; petrol power lumbered with a heavy battery to drag around, and a limited all-electric range without the financial benefits of a full EV.

Could the latest Cayenne, now in its third generation and with a recent round of revisions, buck the trend? As you’d expect, the focus is clearly on performance, so it only seemed right that our first taste of the raciest Cayenne was on a race track.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Not only is the Turbo E-Hybrid the most powerful of the latest Cayennes, with a total of 729bhp and 950Nm from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and electric motor, the Coupé with GT Package has all the features you’d expect in a Porsche sports car rather than an SUV.

You can decide whether the latest tweaks to the Cayenne’s somewhat challenging looks have made it any more attractive, but the slimmer matrix LED lights give it a more premium look, while there’s no end of addenda to up the pulse rate. There’s a bespoke SportsDesign front end, carbon fibre roof and rear spoiler, an aggressive rear diffuser, and 22-inch alloys. Inside there’s a GT sports steering wheel, plus sports seats in the front and in the back. Further packs can make it feel even more focussed, too.

Alongside all the sporty stuff, the quality of the Cayenne interior is hugely impressive – as is the tech. The widescreen infotainment system is crystal clear, brilliantly effective and simple to use, while the confusing array of buttons from Cayennes of old is long gone. There’s a sensible amount of space inside, too, with decent legroom in the back and 434 litres of boot space. Of course, this can be extended to 1,344 litres if you want to take a quick (and we mean quick) trip to the tip.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

That GT steering wheel is lovely to hold with a Sport Response button to instantly give you maximum fizz for 20 seconds. Alternatively, you can twist through the various drive modes, taking you from fast to rocket ship – this sizeable SUV will get from 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds.

This Porsche isn’t quite perfect, though. You can use the modes to keep it running on battery power for as long and as much as possible – and Porsche says it will go nearly 45 miles on electricity alone thanks to a larger 25.9kWh battery. 

The sport modes combine electric and V8 power well, but in the more prosaic hybrid mode there’s still a bit of delay when the engine, motor and gearbox try to work out what they want or need to do. It’s best just to press on – when the confusion subsides and this Cayenne does what it does best: go fast.

The steering provides more accuracy and feedback than you’d expect from an SUV, while the Porsche Active Suspension Management system, along with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and a lower ride height, do their best to disguise the height and weight through all kinds of corners. We doubt there’d be many faster SUVs around a track – even if referring to SUVs and tracks does sound a little odd.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Although we were on a circuit, this will be the firmest of Cayennes on road. But when we were pootling around away from the main straight and in the gentlest of drive modes, the ride quality actually felt fine – and not as bruising as fast SUVs used to be.

What is really refreshing from a car with a decent slug of electric power is the noise this Cayenne makes. The titanium exhaust makes a fantastic sound that makes you forget about the electric boost that’s doing so much to help the car along. This setup saves weight, too.

Not that efficiency will be high on the list of many Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupé buyers requirements, but for the record, the official figures claim a frankly ridiculous 148.7mpg if you drive in the manner those official tests require – that is, plugging in as often as possible.

CO2 emissions of 43 g/km means there is some tax advantage to running this plug-in hybrid after all, especially if you’re lucky enough to consider one as a company car. Which will come in handy with a list price of £154,000 without any of the many tempting but expensive options…

Model:Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupé with GT Package
Price:£154,000
Powertrain:4.0-litre V8 plus electric motor
Power/torque:729bhp/950Nm
Transmission:Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-62mph:3.6 secs
Top speed:190mph
Fuel economy:148.7mpg
Co2:43g/km
On sale:Now
Skip advert
Advertisement
Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!
BMW M2 - front tracking
News

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!

Our Day of the Day for 18 April is the formidable BMW M2 performance car
18 Apr 2024
New Vauxhall Mokka Griffin lowers small SUV’s price to £21,555
Vauxhall Mokka Griffin front 3/4
News

New Vauxhall Mokka Griffin lowers small SUV’s price to £21,555

The Griffin trim level is carried over to the petrol-powered models after appearing on the Mokka Electric
18 Apr 2024
Mazda CX-80 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details
Mazda CX-80 - front studio
News

Mazda CX-80 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details

Mazda’s first seven-seater in Europe for nearly a decade, the new CX-80 will be offered with plug-in hybrid or straight-six diesel power
18 Apr 2024