When most people think about the high-performance Porsche Cayenne
SUV, fuel economy isn't exactly the first thing to come to mind. The Cayenne S
with its 4.8 liter normally-aspirated 385HP V8 engine achieves city/highway
numbers of 13MPG/19MPG according to 2008 EPA estimates.
Stepping up to the 500HP Cayenne Turbo drops fuel economy to 12MPG/19MPG.
Cayenne buyers who wimp out and go for the 290HP 3.6 liter
V6 are greeted with EPA numbers of 14MPG/20MPG. Regardless of which engine you
choose, the Cayenne does not impress when it comes to fuel economy -- and it
was never really intended to do so until now.
The European Commission is clamping down on CO2
emissions and fuel economy requirements for new vehicles and companies like
Porsche will be obliged to comply.
One way that Porsche is looking to avoid potential fines for
producing vehicles that fail to comply with standard is by developing a hybrid-electric system for its
gas-guzzling Cayenne. The hybrid system will debut
next year in the Cayenne's platform-mate, the VW Touareg, and the following
year will appear in the Cayenne. A 50HP electric motor will be used in
conjunction with the existing 280HP 3.6 liter V6 on both vehicles.
According to Reuters,
the Cayenne hybrid will consume 8.9
liter of gasoline for every 100 kilometers as opposed to 12.9 liters on the
The hybrid system will also help to reduce C02 emissions.
The Cayenne currently spews 320 to 378 grams of CO2 per kilometer. That number
will have to be reduced to 130 grams per kilometer by 2012 according to new
rules set to go into effect courtesy of the European Commission.
Reuters also notes
that the upcoming Porsche
Panamera four-door sedan will also receive a hybrid powertrain option. The
911, Boxster and Cayman, however, will survive the hybrid craze unfazed.