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First UK drive: Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe. Image by Porsche.

First UK drive: Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe
Trying out the entry-level plug-in hybrid version of Porsche’s updated flagship Cayenne SUV on UK roads for the first time.


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Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe

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Having sampled pretty much every version of the revised third-generation Porsche Cayenne overseas, now we're getting to try the flagship SUV out for size on the UK's roads. We'll bring you a full, in-depth review of the V8-powered Cayenne S soon, having lived with one for a few days, but here we're testing the entry-level plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model on some of the best roads the country has to offer. So does the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe still stack up now we're on home territory?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe
Price: Cayenne SUV from Coupe from £73,300, E-Hybrid Coupe from £81,900, car as tested £118,775 with options
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbocharged petrol plus 130kW electric motor
Battery: 25.9kWh lithium-ion
Transmission: eight-speed Tiptronic automatic, Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive
Power: petrol 304hp at 5,300-6,400rpm, electric 176hp, system max 470hp
Torque: petrol 420Nm at 1,340-5,300rpm, electric 450Nm, system max 650Nm
Emissions: 33-42g/km
Economy: 156.9-188.3mpg
Electric driving range: 44-48 miles
0-62mph: 4.9 seconds (with Sport Chrono)
Top speed: 158mph (hybrid mode, 84mph electric)
Boot space: 404-1,344 litres


We've covered off the broad styling updates of the Mk3 Cayenne range in our earlier reviews, so click on any of the links in this piece if you want a full breakdown of what has changed. Suffice it to say that the latest model does look good, although the headlight treatment is mildly divisive; some people like the fresher face, others think the lamp units themselves are too high-mounted and pointy in appearance. Nevertheless, overall it's a familiar but likeable shape that the Cayenne sports these days, while we're absolutely not against the Coupe spin-off either. OK, we'd probably still err towards the greater practicality of the SUV, but as these things go the Cayenne Coupe is truthfully pretty handsome. Like any PHEV Porsche, as standard the E-Hybrid we're testing here would have Acid Green detailing for its badgework and brake callipers, but if someone gets busy with the option tick-boxes then those defining hybrid features are deleted. Instead, you need to note the fact this model has two 'filler' caps, the one on the right-hand rear flank for petrol, the other on the left for electricity.


As with the exterior, the main interior changes can be read about elsewhere on our site, which leaves us saying that the cabin ambience of the Cayenne remains suitably upmarket and generally excellent all round. Its blend of show-stopping digital interfaces (that, thankfully, work well, are every-which-way configurable, and which also look sharp and clean) with some carefully thought-out physical switchgear means it's ergonomically on the money, while material finishing is exemplary throughout. Watch out for weird options on the lengthy, and very costly, Porsche list, though. Our test car had Race-Tex material cladding all of its grab handles - so the big fixed items either side of the transmission tunnel, as well as all four headlining ones - and while this might look attractively opulent, especially in the case of the latter which we felt moved to christen 'The Plushest Grab Handles In The World', it'll relieve you of more than £1,300 for the privilege (£737 for the central handles, £602 for the items in the roof). And the retractable headlining-mounted handles didn't, well, retract on their own. Maybe all the Race-Tex and padding was too much for their damping mechanism...


As ever with the biggest Porsche SUV in its third-gen format, there's a step down in practicality depending on which powertrain and which body style you go for. Choose a non-PHEV SUV and you enjoy a whopping 772-litre boot with all seats in use. That figure drops to 627 litres if you go for an E-Hybrid SUV, or 600 litres if you have a Cayenne Coupe. Opt for this PHEV Coupe, though, and the boot is right down at 404 litres. Now it's still perfectly usable at this size, but on bare numbers it looks like one hell of a sacrifice. Similarly, rear headroom is a little tighter in the back of the Cayenne Coupe than it is in the SUV, but it's by no means restrictive for adults to sit comfortably in the back of the more rakish-looking Porsche - even if they're of above-average height.


The widespread availability of pure power these days - where even run-of-the-mill electric vehicles, for example, can give you in the vicinity of 300hp, while hot hatchbacks are running sub-four-second 0-62mph times and there's an increasing number of 700hp-plus vehicles available to those with deep enough pockets - can make you somewhat inured, or even blasé, about a vehicle which packs a headline horsepower figure of 470. Especially when said vehicle tips the scales at a chonky 2,455kg. Unladen.

But anyone who tries to tell you that the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe feels 'slow' is clearly demented. What it is, is 'less fast' than some of its siblings, yet it can still summon up more than enough low-revs acceleration and roll-on pick-up to make your eyes widen and your driving licence start to tremble in fear. It sounds great when it spins right out to its redline, the petrol-electric running gear works beautifully with the SUV's slick eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox and Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive, and the result is that you have to say the E-Hybrid's sheer power and speed is more than ample for anyone's needs.

For what it's worth, the main difference here is that the V6 part of its powertrain is shorn of 49hp and 80Nm when compared to the unit in the S E-Hybrid (304hp and 420Nm versus 353hp and 500Nm). Then, when coupled to the electric part of its propulsion system, Porsche calibrates it so that the resulting powertrain peak outputs are also different between the two PHEVs: it's the same 49hp here, so 470- plays 519hp, but the S gains fully 100Nm overall, with a maximum of 750Nm compared to this model's 650Nm.

Realistically, there's not a huge amount in it out on the roads, but we'd say that it's the extra muscle of the S which helps it feel that bit sharper. Again, on paper, the gaps are small: the E-Hybrid is 5mph slower outright and only two-tenths behind for 0-62mph, recording a 4.9-second time if equipped with the Launch Control-packing Sport Chrono option. However, there's that bit more urgency about the S, which is understandable because any gain in power or torque is welcome on vehicles which weigh around 2.5 tonnes. It is that mass which makes itself most keenly felt when you're pushing the Cayenne E-Hybrid hard, where it isn't quite ever as forcefully insistent as its 519hp sibling.

Like any updated Cayenne, the E-Hybrid Coupe has the more powerful 130kW (176hp) electric motor with 450Nm, coupled up to a large (for a PHEV) 25.9kWh battery pack. This allows it to go nearly 50 miles on electric power alone, which is a boon, and it also makes the Porsche SUV incredibly discreet and civilised to travel in when the V6 is dormant, although it's hardly raucous with the petrol engine fired into life either.

Finally, running costs. The low CO2 and high fuel economy figures which are officially published for the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe obviously make it privy to certain tax breaks, even if (oddly enough) the more powerful S E-Hybrid Coupe has slightly better eco-data in this regard. But then we must also sound the usual PHEV note of caution about the fact you will never see three-figure fuel economy from your plug-in Cayenne. Case in point: a spirited drive around some glorious roads on the Northumbrian moors saw our Coupe's average economy dip to sub-20mpg, thanks to injudicious use of both Sport and Sport Plus driving modes - where the car favours its combustion engine far more than its electric motor. A more representative, considered (yet far shorter) drive later in the day in a regular SUV-shaped E-Hybrid on smaller wheels did at least bring a more impressive 43.3mpg despite the fact the Cayenne didn't have a lot of battery power left by this point, but it just goes to show that if you enjoy the Porsche performance these E-Hybrids can serve up, they're not really much better on fuel than the physically lighter pure-petrol versions. Including the Cayenne S and its mellifluous V8.

Ride & Handling

Equipped with the optional air suspension and enjoying the upgraded Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with its two-valve technology, as well as a set of large 22-inch wheels with wide rubber for maximum grip, the way the E-Hybrid drove could best be described as 'beautifully'. This is Porsche, after all, and it's a company which has a magnificent track record in tuning many of its chassis set-ups to the highest of standards.

Again, though, the E-Hybrid really drives no better nor worse than other Cayenne models. Don't go thinking it'll feel much sharper for turn in than any of the models with V8 engines up front, like the regular petrol-powered S or the mighty Turbo E-Hybrid flagship. There may be a gnat's more bite and immediacy to it, but there's not enough of a dynamic gap here to proclaim the E-Hybrid is the handling purist's choice of Cayenne. Indeed, even if there were, it wouldn't be any sharper than the more potent S E-Hybrid with the same engine.

Yet we're not criticising the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe here. What you have is an SUV with simply wonderful steering feel and heft, some decent, progressive brakes (even if they work through a degree of regenerative fuzziness on this PHEV), and damping which is from the very top drawer. Hooked all together and you can throw the E-Hybrid about almost as if it was dimensionally no larger than a hot hatch - only occasionally might you feel the Porsche is too wide for UK back roads, or a bit lumbering on the brakes as they try to corral two-and-a-half tonnes of prime SUV, but in general you can have a fabulous time behind the Cayenne's steering wheel.

Ride comfort is nigh-on faultless too, even if you opt for a set of 22s, while mechanical refinement is also of the highest standard for this class of vehicle. All told, whether you're going for it in the Cayenne or not, it'll turn in a highly polished and thoroughly enjoyable kinematic display when it comes to ride and handling.


The Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe is £8,200 cheaper than the newly introduced Cayenne S E-Hybrid, which uses exactly the same twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol-electric powertrain as it does, only in a higher state of tune. The S also gains some of the more desirable equipment that's an option on the E-Hybrid as standard, with nothing more overt on this particular list of technical omissions than the £1,760 required to equip the 470hp PHEV Cayenne with air suspension. It would roll on standard steel springs with the new, improved two-valve PASM otherwise.

Apart from the kit, though, plus some slightly nicer-looking 20-inch alloys and also the badge cred having that 'S' in the middle of its nameplate brings, you're essentially paying £5,375 for the additional 49hp and 100Nm the more powerful PHEV drivetrain brings. Worth it? Well, some would say not - in order to access the performance zone of the S E-Hybrid where its numerical advantages will be most keenly felt, you'd probably have to be doing illegal speeds on the public highways. That said, we think it's the additional torque which just makes the S E-Hybrid feel that bit more... Porsche-y, so we're inclined to say it's definitely worth that little bit extra over this 'plain' E-Hybrid Coupe.

Furthermore, despite it being the 'base' Cayenne PHEV, the E-Hybrid still has the potential for enormous purchase costs. Our test Coupe looked spectacular in its Montego Blue metallic paint (£899) and specced up with 22-inch Exclusive Design Sport wheels in Neodyme (£3,893), but as you can see from that latter item the pounds can soon mount up. It had 11 options in a much longer overall list for which each of them was a four-figure upgrade on its own, with four of them being £2,000-plus and culminating in the £4,620 Burmester 3D High-End Surround Sound system. All totted up, everything added to our demonstrator Coupe swelled its ticket to an enormous £118,775, and while you can happily argue that some of the options fitted to the SUV were/are not strictly necessary, it still shows how a vehicle which is nearly £82,000 as standard can soon balloon 45 per cent come ordering time if you're not careful.


Driving the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe on the UK's roads for the first time has not thrown up any notable deficiencies in its broad array of talents. Sure, it can be expensive if you load on every extra bit of kit imaginable and the fuel economy claims are going to be a pipe dream too, while we reckon both the S E-Hybrid and the V8-powered Cayenne S are both arguably more rounded and pleasing versions than this gateway PHEV. But the fact of the matter is that if you end up with a Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe, for whatever reason, you're going to be in one of the best premium SUVs you can possibly think of from any manufacturer out there.

Matt Robinson - 5 Feb 2024    - Porsche road tests
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2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.

2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe UK drive. Image by Porsche.


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