The countdown has begun for the Porsche Cayenne. At least, in its current form, because in two years Porsche’s worldwide bestseller will have a fully electric successor. Before that, Porsche gives it one last refresher.
From pariah to success number, from rejected to leader of the pack. When the Cayenne saw the light of day more than twenty years ago, the Porsche world was too small. The loyal 911 drivers felt that the “clumsy device” disgraced the heritage of the sports car brand. They predicted a bleak future for him. Although they also had to admit that the Cayenne drove incredibly well for an SUV and was the most practical Porsche ever.
Curious about the electric Cayenne? Keep an eye on our newsletter!
Nearly 100,000 Cayenne per year
In any case, the newcomer quickly became the success of the manufacturer from Zuffenhausen. Also in 2022, the Cayenne left all other Porsches far behind, with sales of more than 95,000. That amounts to twice the number of 911s sold (about 41,000) and almost a third of the total number of Porsches sold.
Serious upgrade Porsche Cayenne
Yet the current Cayenne is booming, because the future is also electric at Porsche. To prevent the Cayenne from spending its last days as a lonely elderly person in a corner of House Evening Red, its makers gave it a serious upgrade.
On the outside, you can recognize the facelift version mainly by the new bumpers and slightly more angular headlights with a modified light signature – with four horizontal LED stripes instead of four points. Less noticeable are the widening of the fenders and the modified bonnet.
Toyota Aygo X now from just €249 per month
Want to see more of this compact crossover?
Compose your package
The interior of the new Cayenne is characterized by the arrival of a third screen in the dashboard. Anyone who has a 911 for Sundays and holidays in addition to the weekday Cayenne will immediately recognize the steering wheel of their favorite sports car.
More E-power, less V-power
Porsche is not the brand to deal exclusively with appearances, so the technology has also been tackled. All versions received more power, although with the E-Hybrid this is not due to the V6 turbo engine; it just took a step back from 340 to 304 hp. But thanks to a big power surge for the electric motor (+41 hp), the system power has increased from 463 to 470 hp. The software has been tuned in such a way that the electric motor now plays a greater role in the drive. That is why Porsche has increased the battery capacity from 17.9 to 25.9 kWh.
How economical is a Cayenne E-Hybrid?
With that extra portion of sting, the Cayenne is now 74 kilometers away purely electrically. The electric top speed is 135 km/h. During our first test drive, the on-board computer showed a consumption of 9.0 l/100 km (1 in 11). Not bad for 2.5 tons of rolling steel with an output of almost 500 hp. In the Sport and Sport Plus driving modes, the electric motor participates up to a residual capacity of 20 and 30 percent respectively.
In city traffic, the combustion engine is hardly used. Good for the air quality, but the battery runs out faster. For this reason, Porsche has increased the regenerative capacity from 66 to 88 kW. You can feel that too, because the plug-in hybrid previously only braked regeneratively to 14 km/h, now it keeps up to 2 km/h.
The V6 and electric motor work together like Lennon & McCartney in their prime; they produce a nice, but not too intrusive sound with a lot of momentum. The hundred sprint is a pleasantly fast tune of 4.9 seconds. But the fact that we would prefer to turn the Cayenne gray is not only due to the powertrain. The chassis and steering also play an important role in the addictive effect of this SUV. The standard coil springs with the two-valve shock absorbers ensure pleasant comfort. If desired, the optional air suspension adds a touch of civilization on top.
Although the Cayenne is still a bitch of a car, it is even more nimble and manageable than before. This is partly due to the differently tuned steering and the adaptive shock absorbers. In addition, the weight distribution with the heavier battery in the back approaches perfection.
Porsche warranty is a joke
If you opt for the four-wheel steering, which is available at an additional cost, you will notice, especially in city traffic, that it sends in further at low speeds than before. You should not try to turn the car on a dime, but it should work on a 2 euro coin.
Do we then have nothing to complain about? It is: the brakes are too biting for us and the price takes huge bites out of your budget. For less than 110,000 euros you can whistle at a Cayenne E-Hybrid. On the price tag of the Porsche Cayenne Coupe E-Hybrid even features an amount of 113,200 euros. And then that warranty: two years! That’s a joke these days, especially if you know that Lexus offers ten years.
It can be much faster
The Cayenne may have been a hit for years, but in its current form it has started its farewell tour. For its driving characteristics and performance, it deserves the evergreen stamp, especially as a plug-in hybrid. But the EV revolution is in full swing and so the Cayenne must make way for a new, fully electric version. Until then, he has to compete against the plug-in hybrid versions of the roughly equally expensive ones Range Rover Sport and the clearly cheaper one BMW X5. If the 470 hp of the test car is not enough for you, you will soon be able to opt for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid with more than 700 hp! If that doesn’t end up being a blast…