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Speed, Performance, Luxury & Economy - 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid SUV

First, it was the extension of the Porsche brand to an SUV platform. Then came the over-the-top performance of the Cayenne Turbo. Now Porsche is taking things to the next level with the debut of the Cayenne S Hybrid. The Cayenne SUVs, like every new Porsche, were developed according to the Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy -- more power on less fuel, increased efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.

The highlight of this guiding philosophy is the introduction of the new Cayenne S Hybrid, which features a highly sophisticated parallel full hybrid system. With the combined power output from the supercharged 3.0L V6 with DFI engine and a 47 hp electric motor, the Cayenne S Hybrid essentially combines the performance of a V8 with the economy of a V6. This sophisticated interaction produces high torque at low engine speeds with peak torque of 428 lb-ft at just 1,000 rpm. The electric motor is able to drive the Cayenne S Hybrid by itself or in conjunction with the combustion engine while also serving as a generator and starter. Together with the decoupling clutch, it forms the hybrid module and is positioned between the gasoline engine and the new eight-speed automatic transmission. A further essential component of the hybrid system is the 288-volt nickel metal-hydride battery that is located under the floor of the luggage area.

The Cayenne S Hybrid offers the following unique performance qualities: Driving on electric power alone - the electric motor drives the vehicle all by itself without any support from the gasoline engine. With the driver opting for a moderate style of motoring - for example in urban areas - the Cayenne S Hybrid is able to cover short distances with zero emissions and minimum noise up to speeds of 37 mph; Boosting - the Cayenne S Hybrid is powered by the gasoline engine and electric motor together. The joint power of both drive units ensures optimum acceleration, for example when overtaking; Shifting the load point - the gasoline engine drives the vehicle by itself, at the same time charging the battery through the electric motor acting as a generator. The power used by the generator constitutes a further load on the combusition engine, which is therefore able to operate at a more favorable load point with high efficiency; Recuperation - the kinetic energy of the vehicle is converted into electrical energy when applying the brakes, and the battery is charged in the process; Sailing - whenever the driver lifts off the gas pedal at a cruising or highway speeds, the combustion engine is switched off and disconnected from the transmission to eliminate the drag forces from the engine; and Auto Start Stop - the gasoline engine is automatically switched off when sitting at a standstill at a traffic light, for example, to help save fuel and reduce

emissions. The engine then restarts automatically when prompted.

Additionally the driver is able to extend the availability of the all-electric driving mode by activating the E-Power Button in the center console. Activation of the button is displayed by an LED on the button itself and be the word "E-Power" coming in blue in the instrument cluster. Availability of E-Power depends on parameters such as the battery charge status and battery temperature. The E-power mode modifies the gas pedal control map, allowing the system to follow the driver's wish for acceleration much more smoothly and preventing the combustion engine from cutting in automatically at a too early a point whenever the driver wishes to use more power.

2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

Body style: four-door SUV gasoline/electric hybrid

Dimensions & specifications

Wheelbase: 114.0; overall length: 190.8; width: 76.3; height: 67.4

All vehicle measurements are in inches

Engine: 3.0L turbo-charged V6 - 333 hp at 5,500 - 6,500 and 324 lbs-ft of torque 3,000 - 5,250 rpm and high-voltage electric motor - 47 hp at 1,100 rpm and 295 lbs-ft of torque at 1,150 rpm; Combined - 380 hp at 5,500 rpm and 427 lbs-ft of torque at 1,000 rpm.

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

EPA Fuel Economy: 20 city/24 highway

Cargo capacity: 59.7 cubic feet

Payload capacity: 1,477 lbs.

Towing capacity: 7,716 lbs.

About the Author

Ken Chester, Jr.

Ken Chester, Jr. is President & CEO of Motor News Media Corporation – an automotive news service founded in 1989 as The AutoBuyer Plus Corporation. Featured on numerous television and radio programs, viewers, listeners and readers alike relate to Ken's friendly manner and wealth of information about the many vehicles currently for sale in today's complex automotive marketplace.

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