Next-gen Porsche Cayenne Electric confirmed; expected in 2026 - SUV VEHICLE

Next-gen Porsche Cayenne Electric confirmed; expected in 2026

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Update: ‘Charging & range’ sub-section of ‘Specifications’ updated.

The third-gen Cayenne will receive a facelift in a few months, but reports are already doing the rounds on the fourth-gen, all-electric Porsche Cayenne. The first-ever Porsche Cayenne Electric could hit dealers in 2026, as per an Autocar report dated February 6, 2023. Here’s what all we know about and expect from the upcoming electric SUV so far:

Confirmation

On March 13, 2023, at Porsche’s Annual Media Conference 2023, CEO Dr. Oliver Blume said that the 718 EV will arrive in the middle of the decade, and “this will be followed shortly by the all-electric Cayenne.” This announcement came after the company confirmed the launch of the Cayenne EV at its 2022 Capital Markets Day on July 18, 2022. There were indications of this development in the media much earlier.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid front quarters
The Cayenne is already available as a PHEV, and the facelift and next-gen model will offer an improved electric range. Image Source: Porsche

According to a report from Autoweek that was published in April 2021, the big news is a pure EV variant on the 2026 Cayenne. Autoweek said that Taycan series manager Stefan Weckbach was moving to take charge of the Cayenne project. It was seen as an indicator that an EV is in the pipeline as part of the renewal. Weckbach was later in charge of the Porsche Mission X, and in September 2023, he became the Head of Group Strategy, Group Product Strategy and General Secretariat of Volkswagen Group.

This would also align with Porsche’s strategy announced on March 19, 2021, during its earnings report. The brand said that it would target a CO2-neutral balance for 2030, which involves many initiatives and investments, and the notable ones are that in 2025, half of all new Porsche vehicles sold will have an electric motor, and in 2030 more than 80% of new vehicles will be electric. For reference, 40 percent of Porsches delivered in Europe in 2021 were full or partial electric (PHEV).

Specifications

Platform

Michael Steiner, Porsche’s R&D boss, revealed during his presentation at the company’s 2022 Capital Markets Day that a battery-powered Cayenne is in the pipeline and that it will share the PPE platform with the Porsche Macan electric.

Future Porsche electric models
The Porsche Cayenne Electric (circled) will be based on the PPE platform co-developed with Audi. Image Source: Porsche

Performance

It’s safe to assume that Porsche would launch the Cayenne Electric with a dual-motor powertrain. The company has already confirmed this setup for the smaller and cheaper Macan EV. The Macan EV’s powertrain produces up to 630 hp and up to 833 lb.-ft. of torque. Based on this, we expect the top-end Cayenne EV’s powertrain to be very powerful and torque-heavy. We are confident that the acceleration from 0 to 60 mph will take under three seconds and that the top speed will be around 200 mph.

Porsche Active Ride

The Porsche Active Ride suspension that debuted in the 2024 Panamera plug-in hybrid and is now available on the 2025 Taycan, should be one of the chassis highlights of the Porsche Cayenne EV. The super-sophisticated suspension requires a high-performance power source, which is why Porsche doesn’t offer it on the ICE variant of the third-gen Panamera. The system gets its required power from the traction battery pack; a voltage converter isn’t involved in the process.

Porsche Active Ride suspension works using active shock absorbers that feature two-valve technology. Each shock absorber is connected to an electronically operated hydraulic pump. Based on sensor feedback, the system can compress or extend each wheel individually to keep the car level at all times. It almost nullifies all jerks emerging from bumps.

If the driver is feeling particularly enthusiastic on a winding road, they can even have the car bend like a motorbike at turns. Porsche Active Ride can not only balance out body roll but also overcompensate for it. Moreover, it can also keep the car from squatting back or diving forward. Lastly, it can make ingress and egress more comfortable by tilting the car’s body as soon as the driver or passenger opens a door.

Charging & range

The battery pack of the Porsche Cayenne Electric should have an energy storage capacity of 110-120 kWh and an operating voltage of around 800 volts. Charging from 10 to 80% SoC should take just around 21 minutes. On a full charge, expect an EPA-est. range of up to around 300 miles.

The U.S.-spec Porsche Cayenne Electric will have a North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging port. This will make charging more convenient for customers, as they will have access to more than 15,000 Tesla Superchargers across North America. Tesla Superchargers currently have a maximum output of 250 kW, but by the time Porsche releases the Cayenne Electric in the U.S., that figure is likely to have increased to 350 kW.

Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus with an electronically locking differential will likely be standard in the Cayenne EV. Rear-wheel steering, adaptive air suspension, 23-inch wheels, carbon ceramic brakes, etc. will likely be among the available options.

Aero-heavy design

First spy pictures of the Porsche Cayenne Electric have just popped up on the internet. On May 16, 2023, Germany’s auto motor und sport released images showing a strange test mule disguised like the Porsche Macan Electric and reported that’s actually the next-gen Porsche Cayenne. The wheel arches and tires of the early prototype are wider than those of the Porsche Macan Electric. Additionally, it boasts larger brakes and a modified front-end design without split headlights, just like the Taycan. The headlight design on the production version will probably be entirely new, though.

The road-ready Porsche Cayenne Electric will feature a revolutionary design, which is not the usual way of full model changes for Porsches. It’ll be a big departure from the first three generations, taking maximum advantage of the transition to the electric era and setting a new solid foundation for many future generations.

2026 Porsche Cayenne Electric front teaser
The 2026 Porsche Cayenne Electric, as hinted in this teaser, will look strikingly different than its predecessors. Image Source: Porsche

The picture you see here is the first teaser of the Cayenne Electric, and it indicates a more aerodynamic, softer, and more technical-looking exterior. The front-end will be visibly lower and curvier. The hood won’t need to be very high, as the vehicle won’t need to accommodate a big V6 or V8 engine. It’ll slope down at a flat angle between the brand’s signature highly pronounced wings.

The compact dimensions of the electric powertrain and other drive components of the 2026 Cayenne will allow Porsche to give it a lower height for enhanced aerodynamics, which typically reduces the vehicle’s energy consumption and increases its driving range. Reduced air drag should lead to better driving dynamics, too. The third-gen Cayenne has a drag coefficient of 0.34 or 0.35 Cd, depending on the configuration. That’s pretty high by today’s electric SUV standards. The Mercedes EQE SUV is already at 0.25 Cd, while the Lotus Eletre is close to that with 0.26 Cd.

Porsche Cayenne EV rendering
In our speculative rendering, the Porsche Cayenne EV borrows design cues from the Taycan. It’s also possible that Porsche renews its design language by the time it introduces its second electric SUV, so watch this space!

Rectangular and lower-positioned headlamps could emphasize the Cayenne Electric’s low and wide stance. A horizontal light blade is visible in the headlamp area on both sides, but it’s difficult to say whether that’s a replacement of the Porsche-typical four-point DRLs in the main lights or an addition to that. Regardless, the (low-beam and high-beam) main lights could be located at a different level on the same vertical axis. The cooling air intakes will likely be smaller, giving the SUV a cleaner appearance.

Next-gen interior

With some inspiration from the Macan EV and other things brand new for Porsche, the interior of the Cayenne EV will likely be thoroughly upgraded. We don’t expect a heavily digital interior like that of Tesla’s Model X, though. The new layout will take advantage of the model’s dedicated electric platform and offer more space and functionality than its gas-powered predecessor.

Porsche will likely equip the Cayenne Electric with a fully digital instrument cluster that has multiple layouts, including a navigation view that displays maps from third-party apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps. We expect an augmented reality head-up display to further reduce distraction for the driver.

Porsche Macan Electric interior dashboard
The all-electric Cayenne will likely have an interior similar to the Macan Electric (pictured) but with more premium materials and higher-end electronics. Image Source: Porsche

Rest assured, Porsche would not annoy its driving enthusiast customers with unnecessary touch controls, offering toggle switches, knobs, buttons, and scrollers for core functions like going through instrument cluster menus, adjusting cabin climate settings, changing speaker volume, etc. A high-tech ambient lighting system, in addition to improving the vibe of the cabin, may double as an interaction method. It may signal certain driver assistance system alerts with different colors and animation sequences.

The Cayenne Electric may have a flat floor, giving the middle-seat passenger significantly improved comfort. We expect more storage space between the front seats. It’d be great if Porsche could offer a floating or movable center console that leaves plenty of storage space between the front seats, big enough for a few grocery or shopping bags. Porsche may use several new eco-friendly materials that are recycled or upcycled.

Infotainment system & passenger display

Porsche Macan Electric cockpit
We expect the Porsche Cayenne Electric’s infotainment system to provide customers a swift and snappy user experience. Porsche Macan Electric shown for reference. Image Source: Porsche

Porsche will use CARIAD’s new software platform, called ‘E3 1.2,’ in the Cayenne EV’s electronics. The new software stack will enable new connectivity and assistance features as well as advanced over-the-air update functions. The infotainment system will include the new app store that CARIAD and HARMAN are co-developing for common usage across Volkswagen Group brands. Rest assured, the look and feel of the app store in the Cayenne EV’s unit will be like a Porsche. This app store supports the installation of third-party apps such as Spotify, Yelp, The Weather Channel, Webex by CISCO, and TikTok.

In addition to a central touchscreen, the infotainment system will likely include a passenger touchscreen. Certain functions would be unique to the latter, including streaming videos on YouTube and other apps.

Production & Release Date

Porsche has confirmed that the production of the pure-electric Cayenne, which will rival the Range Rover Sport EV, will take place at Volkswagen’s plant in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Porsche Macan Electric and the flagship Porsche K1 SUV models, on the other hand, will roll out of Porsche’s Leipzig plant.

In his speech at Porsche’s annual general meeting on June 28, 2023, Blume indicated the Cayenne EV will debut in 2026:

Our ambition is to deliver more than 80% of our new vehicles to our customers fully electric by 2030. Our product strategy is fully aligned with this. Let’s start with the all-electric Macan. It is scheduled to go on sale in the course of 2024. Then, the 718 – it is planned to be fully electric in the middle of the decade. The all-electric Cayenne will follow immediately. In addition, we will expand our product portfolio upwards with a new all-electric SUV, positioned sportily above the Cayenne.

Dr. Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche, on June 28, 2023

Just weeks after Dr. Oliver Blume’s announcement, Albrecht Reimold reaffirmed in an interview with Automobilwoche that the Cayenne Electric will arrive after the 718 Electric. Reimold is the Executive Board Member for Production and Logistics at Porsche and also the Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche Leipzig. At the 2024 annual

The Cayenne contributes significantly to Porsche’s sales and is highly profitable. 87,553 units were delivered worldwide in 2023, making it Porsche’s best-seller. Compared to 2022 (95,604 units), sales were 8% down. The U.S. is one of Cayenne’s biggest markets. In 2023, 20,475 of the 87,553 units sold globally were delivered in the U.S.

“The Cayenne has conquered the sporty SUV segment over the past 20 years – as a family-friendly tourer, a robust off-roader and a highly dynamic sports car all rolled into one,” Blume said at the company’s Annual Press Conference. “The all-electric Cayenne shall continue this success story,” the CEO added.

Porsche Macan Electric prototype charging
The all-electric Cayenne, like the rest of Porsche’s future EV lineup, represents a significant step in the automaker’s evolution. Engineers should incorporate learnings from the Macan Electric (pictured) to make the Cayenne EV all the more attractive. Image Source: Porsche

Porsche is facing delays in the development of the E3 1.2 platform (a next-generation universal software platform and related hardware architecture), which it also plans to use in the Cayenne EV. The issues in software development could affect the Cayenne EV release date. The company has already had to delay the Macan EV’s start of production for this reason.

As the E3 1.2 platform is still under active development, a risk remains that the Group will not achieve its existing cycle plan for new vehicles on schedule, in particular BEV models of the 718 and the Cayenne. Further delays or difficulties with the E3 1.2 platform could also prevent the timely launch of models intended to use the E3 1.2 Evo platform.

Prospectus for IPO of Porsche AG (September 19, 2022)

TopElectricSUV says

The Porsche Cayenne EV is likely to be a great all-rounder for customers. In the U.S., it would be more practical than the Taycan Cross Turismo, offering more range, space, comfort, and ruggedness, as well as a high towing capacity, with the irresistible appeal of an SUV.

Porsche Cayenne EV FAQs

What is the release date of the Porsche Cayenne EV?

The Porsche Cayenne Electric is expected to go on sale in 2026.

What are the rivals to the 2026 Porsche Cayenne?

What is the price of the 2026 Porsche Cayenne EV?

Prices for the Porsche Cayenne Electric should start from about $95,000.

Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the Cayenne EV.

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