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
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.