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2011 Porsche Cayenne "test mules"  (Source: AutoCar)

2011 Porsche Cayenne interior  (Source: AutoCar)
Porsche's heftiest model benefits from hybrid power

DailyTech first talked about the Cayenne Hybrid way back in 2007. At the time, the vehicle was to be powered a 280hp 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with a 50hp electric motor. The powertrain was to be shared with the Cayenne's cousin, the Volkswagen Touareg.

A lot of time has passed since our original July 2007 story and quite a bit has changed with the Cayenne and the powertrain which will be used in the production version of the vehicle. The production hybrid will now be based on the second generation Cayenne which brings a wealth of advancements to the table. For starters, the vehicle now has a 1.57" longer wheelbase to add more rear passenger legroom. Also, the second generation Cayenne itself is now 440 lbs lighter than the first generation model thanks to the use of aluminum for the hood, doors, front bumper, and various drivetrain/suspension components. Less weight is always a good start when trying to extract better fuel economy from a vehicle.

The Cayenne Hybrid is able to save additional weight over its siblings with a Torsen 4WD system nabbed from the Audi Q7 crossover. The Torsen system is lighter than the multi-plate clutch 4WD system used on the standard Cayenne models.

The Cayenne Hybrid ditches the 280hp 3.6-liter V6 in favor of a smaller, supercharged 3.0-liter TSFI V6 engine which also sees duty in the Audi S4. The engine produces a healthy 325 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor adds in another 50hp and 184 lb-ft of torque according to AutoCar (for comparison, the 4.8-liter V8 used in the Cayenne S develops 394hp). For those that would like the ability to cruise along in near silence, the Cayenne Hybrid can travel just over one mile on battery power alone at up to 31 mph.

The hybrid powertrain is said to be good enough to scoot the Cayenne Hybrid to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and return 34.5 mpg on the European cycle.





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