Luxury Cars: It's no secret that Porsche's planning a range of production Cayenne hybrids, but today Porsche board member Wolfgang Dürheimer told the German daily Rheinische Post that the vehicle would be in dealerships and on the street by the second half of 2010 with a starting price around €90,000 ($124,500).
Specifics on the Hybrid models haven't been abundant, but Porsche did release several key details about the Cayenne S Hybrid earlier this year. The vehicle is targeting V8 performance with four-cylinder emissions and efficiency - exactly what you'd expect of a hybrid.
But it's not just about the fuel-saving aspects. Teaming an Audi 3.0L V6 DFI engine rated at 333hp and 324lb-ft of torque with a 52hp, 221lb-ft electric motor and a 38kW NiMH battery pack, the Cayenne Hybrid S is a perkier than the average hybrid, or six-cylinder SUV for that matter. Zero to 62mph (100km/h) ticks by in 6.8 seconds, despite the ULEV II emissions rating, cutting CO2 by 20% compared to the standard version.
Porsche also revealed the function of the hand-off between electric and combustion drive. Good for up to 1.2mi (1.9km) on electricity alone, once that reserve is exhausted, the computer fires up the engine, engages the clutch and transfers power all in just 380ms. And it does it "without the driver or passengers noticing what is happening" according to Porsche.
An eight-speed transmission ties the whole system together, offering long gears at the high end for more efficient cruising. The top-speed gear is actually sixth, so seventh and eighth are effectively overdrives. In top gear, the vehicle can maintain constant speeds up to 86mph (138km/h) on electricity alone.
The Cayenne Hybrid S drive system will also make its way into a Panamera hybrid, which could hit the streets as early as the third quarter of this year.
By Nelson Ireson