Quick Look: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

The world stood still when Porsche announced they would build and SUV. Purists said it was akin to Rolex building a clock radio. Yet several years later 280,000 have sold, the enthusiast body didn’t run for the hills, and all new redesigned model was commissioned for 2011. And to add insult to injury, Porsche has added a hybrid model to the lineup.

But don’t go thinking they’ve gone all soft. Porsche’s first production hybrid is the “other kind” of hybrid. This is to say that this hybrid’s main purpose isn’t to give you a nice show car to arrive in at the next Earth Day celebration. This hybrid with its 333hp supercharged V6 engine and 47hp electric traction motor are about letting you have your cake and eating it too.

For 2011, the Cayenne is redesigned from the ground up to begin with. While the styling appears evolutionary, it has an all new exterior design that appears sleeker and smaller yet it has grown a bit larger. It is 1.9 inches longer than its predecessor, and an added 1.6 inches in wheelbase ensures extra space and greater versatility. New headlights resemble those on other Porsches, with the high-beam lamps positioned closer to the center line of the car and the low-beams toward the outer edge.

A new interior is even richer than before with more deeply sculpted forms, more leather, and more wood. There is a high center console that like the original Carrera GT and now the Panamera rises up at an incline to meet the dashboard center stack with high-quality fittings and a touch-screen infotainment interface to provide a cockpit-like environment up front. The center console grab handles that were present in the original Cayenne are still there, yet with a new design that is carried over to all four doors.

While it has gained more size and technology, Porsche managed to lose about 400lbs over the last generation Cayenne with is a major feat. An active all-wheel drive system can be paired with Porsche’s new optional torque vectoring control.

Through continuous interaction between the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and electric motor, the
Cayenne S Hybrid focuses on maximum efficiency. Depending on driving conditions, either drive unit can operate independently or together. The 47-horsepower electric motor is sandwiched between the engine and the Cayenne’s 8-speed transmission. The two combine for a total potential output of 380hp and 428 lbs. of torque.


The “Hybrid Manager” seamlessly coordinates the two power units. Its electric motor and its
supercharged V6 are connected to one another by a decoupling clutch, which ensures that the
Cayenne S Hybrid may be driven either by the electric motor or the combustion engine alone, or
by both drive units together. Their complex interaction is managed via the clutch in a way that makes the transition among various driving modes seamless and comfortable.

The Cayenne S Hybrid can go up to 40 mph in electric mode. For aggressive acceleration, the
motor is summoned to supplement the gasoline engine. The system uses a 288-volt nickel metal-hydride (NiMh) battery fitted beneath the luggage compartment. Regenerative braking is used to regain electricity during braking and coasting.

Additional savings potential by ‘sailing’ up to 97 mph Using the decoupling clutch, the Cayenne S Hybrid also has the potential to further enhance fuel economy at high speeds. Christened by the Weissach engineers as ‘sailing’ – or coasting – mode, when the Cayenne S Hybrid does not need drive power and the driver lifts off the accelerator at speeds up to 97 mph, the gasoline engine can be completely switched off and disengaged from the drivetrain.

This means a significant reduction of fuel consumption at steady highway speeds, with engine
drag forces and their braking effect being eliminated to reduce driving resistance. As soon as
the driver presses the accelerator in the sailing mode, to pass another vehicle for example, the
gasoline engine smoothly starts within fractions of a second and engine rpms are increased to
match the current vehicle speed. The Cayenne S Hybrid is able to accelerate dynamically in gears at higher speeds much like a conventional Cayenne.

The Cayenne S Hybrid comes with permanent all-wheel drive complete with a self-locking center differential. Handling prowess is gained by using more lightweight aluminum in the suspension components. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid starts at $68,300.

About the author

M2Staff

Staff posted articles include excerpts or entire content from official company press releases, company statements and other news content which comes to us from various sources.

Overview: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
In the world of hybrids there are many species to the genus. There are Hybrids that are designed as economy cars, and there are Hybrids designed to offer ...
READ MORE
Tech Look: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Hyundai's entry into the Hybrid market in the US has come in their successful new Sonata mid-sized sedan. The new Sonata Hybrid uses what Hyundai calls their "Direct Hybrid Blue ...
READ MORE
Overview: 2011 Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid was the first such SUV sold in America back in 2005. It was the pioneer in a new land, bringing high mileage for the first time ...
READ MORE
Quick drive: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
For 2014 Toyota has given us almost a clean sheet re-design of their Highlander Hybrid three-row crossover SUV. The new Highlander Hybrid comes to us with 3” more length, all ...
READ MORE
LA Auto Show: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
At the Los Angeles Auto Show Toyota has unveiled the 2014 Highlander Hybrid, the third-generation of their three-row, seven passenger hybrid SUV. The new Highlander Hybrid is based on ...
READ MORE
2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid to start at $35,110
Nissan has announced its 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid will start at a bast MSRP of $35,110. Available in both FWD and AWD, the premium for the hybrid model is ...
READ MORE
Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid bows at New York
If you questioned Nissan's resolve in the hybrid vehicle arena, look no further than the new 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid SUV. Just unveiled at the New York Auto Show today, ...
READ MORE
Infiniti QX60 Hybrid SUV arriving this summer
Infiniti has announced they will introduce a hybrid version of their QX (previously JX), crossover SUV at the upcoming New York Auto Show. The new 2014 Infiniti QX60 hybrid will ...
READ MORE
Kia unveils full-sized hybrid Cross GT Concept
Ever since the demise of the V8 powered Kia Borrego SUV, the brand has missed an entry in the full-size premium market. The Cross GT concept Kia unveiled at the ...
READ MORE
Sports Hybrid to get Honda competitive again
Honda, despite being the first car company to offer a hybrid car in the States, has since been the kid in the back of the bus. Companies like Toyota, Ford ...
READ MORE
Overview: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
Tech Look: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Overview: 2011 Escape Hybrid
Quick drive: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
LA Auto Show: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid to start at $35,110
Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid bows at New York
Infiniti QX60 Hybrid SUV arriving this summer
Kia unveils full-sized hybrid Cross GT Concept
Sports Hybrid to get Honda competitive again