Reworked combustion-powered Porsche Cayenne will be followed by a technically unrelated all-new electric version.
Porsche will extend the lifespan of the current-generation Porsche Cayenne – which remains comfortably its best-selling car – with a significant round of updates aimed at sustaining its appeal past the middle of the decade, but development is already under way on an electric successor.
Expected to launch in 2026, around two years after the delayed Porsche Macan EV and a year before the marque’s new K1 range-topping SUV, the electric Cayenne will provide its maker with a crucial zero-emission alternative to the car that has underpinned its dramatic growth trajectory over the past two decades.
The Cayenne EV – an official name for which has not been confirmed – will use the same Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture as its smaller Macan sibling and the closely related Audi Q6 E-tron due by the end of this year. This means it is in line to receive the same advanced torque-vectoring technology and four-wheel steering functionality in a bid to carry some of the Cayenne’s trademark sports car-aping dynamics into the electric era.
It will be engineered to offer outright pace and functionality on a par with today’s top-rung EVs. The PPE platform is confirmed to be fitted with 800V hardware for charging at speeds in excess of 270kW. The Macan EV will be fitted with a 100kWh battery for an expected range of more than 480km, but Porsche’s new modular prismatic batteries can be scaled up or down according to the vehicle’s wheelbase, so the larger Cayenne could receive a boost in capacity to go after the long-legged Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV.
As reported, the new-generation batteries being rolled out to Porsche EVs will also effectively be able to split into two halves to charge more efficiently at a 400V charger, which could translate into noticeably shorter stops at these more common devices.
Power is set to be served up by a pair of permanently excited motors – one on each axle – offering greater efficiency and power density than those used by today’s Porsche Taycan. The electric Macan will be launched with a combined 450kW and 1000Nm, giving it substantially more grunt than any existing Macan variant. If that is mirrored by the Cayenne EV, it would be considerably more potent than today’s Cayenne S and GTS.
Porsche has yet to give any further details about the electric Cayenne but the model will play a crucial role in the firm’s bid to make EVs account for more than 80 per cent of its sales in 2030.
It is likely to be sold – at least initially – alongside a further-evolved version of the combustion Cayenne, which will be heavily updated in the coming months with a revised engine line-up and a raft of styling changes. As with the Macan EV, however, the pair are likely to be related in no more than name, with the electric model bringing a host of EV-specific design cues and an altered silhouette.
Over the past two decades, Porsche’s best-selling models have been the Cayenne and Macan, thanks to a growing trend of buyers wanting to mix performance with practicality.
Last year, the Cayenne and Macan were again Porsche’s two best-sellers, racking up 95,604 and 86,724 sales respectively. This accounted for almost 59 per cent of its global annual sales of 309,884.
The popularity of Porsche’s SUVs has driven huge growth in regions such as North America and China. In 2022, the two markets accounted for 55 per cent of the German brand’s global sales.
The new flagship SUV is being created to build on this success, with those two markets key to its future.
Sales of the new K1, arriving as an electric range-topper, aren’t expected to hit the heights of the Cayenne’s 2022 numbers, but with a starting price significantly higher than that of the car it will sit above, the K1’s development costs will be easily swallowed while a sizeable margin is still returned.