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Porsche Cayenne Hybrid

Porsche is a very rare visitor to the pages of Green-Car-Guide, and
we’re certainly not suggesting that this is the greenest car in the
pipeline, however it is significant that Porsche is bringing a hybrid
Cayenne to market – especially after all the derision directed from some quarters at hybrids
such as the Toyota Prius.

BMW has managed to deliver lower emission drivers’ cars, but Porsche is coming late to the party, and has had to team up with Volkswagen to do it. The Cayenne S Hybrid will have CO2 emissions of less than 210g/km, equating to around 31mpg. This is still hardly a class-leading green car, but Porsche claims that the Cayenne S Hybrid, with its six cylinder engine, combines the output of an eight cylinder with the fuel consumption of a four cylinder.

The Cayenne S Hybrid has a parallel full hybrid drive, with a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 with Direct Fuel Injection interacting with a 38kW/52bhp electric motor used either as an additional source of power to boost the output of the petrol engine or as the sole drive unit operating on its own. A unique function of the Cayenne Hybrid is its ability to smoothly cruise or ‘roll along’ with the combustion engine switched off and disengaged at high speeds in the so-called ‘sailing’ mode. This allows for more efficient driving at constant motorway speeds.

In conjunction with the combustion engine, the electric motor serves as a booster for extra power; maximum combined output is 374bhp (275kW) and peak torque of 550Nm at 1,500rpm. Accelerating from rest to 62mph (100km/h) in 6.8secs, the Cayenne S Hybrid offers the same acceleration as a V8, so it’s been given the same ‘S’ designation.

Porsche says the Cayenne S Hybrid will be on sale by 2010.

If you really want a Cayenne and can’t wait for the hybrid, here today is the Cayenne Diesel, which manages 30.4mpg combined and emissions of 244g/km CO2. Interestingly, this is virtually identical mpg to the Hybrid – although the CO2 emissions of the Hybrid are much lower. And the performance of the Hybrid is also likely to be better than that of the Diesel.

You can test all models of the Cayenne range at the Porsche Driving Experience Centre at Silverstone, both on the circuit and on the off-road course.

Porsche claims a long tradition with hybrid drives, with company founder Ferdinand Porsche being acknowledged as the inventor of this drive system.

As early as 1900, Ferdinand Porsche developed the Lohner-Porsche Mixte as a serial hybrid vehicle, to use today’s terminology, with the car’s 15bhp four-cylinder connected directly to an 80 volt dynamo. The electricity generated in this way went either to wheel hub electric motors integrated in the front wheels or to a battery. This vehicle is acknowledged as the world’s first hybrid car built in standard production.