Late last summer, Porsche unveiled the completely redesigned third-generation Cayenne. Built on the same platform as the Bentley Bentayga, the 2019 Cayenne impressed us with its sharp handling and powerful engine choices. Unfortunately, while we’ve driven the base Cayenne, the S, and the Turbo, Porsche’s kept quiet about the hybrid version. Based on the latest announcement, however, it’ll be well worth the wait.
According to Porsche, the Cayenne hybrid is almost ready to go on sale. It just has to go through a final round of endurance testing beforehand. But instead of hopping curbs in the suburbs, Porsche took the Cayenne hybrid to South Africa. With plenty of rough streets, unpaved roads, and nearby mountain passes, Porsche says Johannesburg was the best place to test its electrified off-roader.
“We are on the cusp of the market launch and are bringing the vehicles up to speed in terms of functionality. We are testing them here once again in a customer-focused way,” said Oliver Laqua, Porsche’s head of SUVs, in a statement.
As tough as endurance testing in South Africa may be, the most interesting part of today’s announcement has little to do with how rugged the Cayenne hybrid will be. It’s actually the part where Porsche says the Cayenne hybrid is “inspired by the 918 Spyder super sports car.” We still don’t have any official specs, but it doesn’t sound like Porsche’s building a fuel-sipper. Odds are, we’re looking at a Cayenne that’s just as powerful as the 456-hp Panamera 4 E-Hybrid. Porsche may even eventually offer the Cayenne Turbo with the same powertrain it gave the 671-hp Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.
For now, Porsche won’t say whether or not it plans to bring the Cayenne hybrid to the U.S. When asked for a comment, Porsche’s spokesperson would only say that “the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid has been a great success in the U.S. market.” If you read between the lines a little, that almost sounds like a yes, but we probably won’t find out for sure until the Porsche Cayenne hybrid’s official reveal.