The crew at British magazine CAR have more details on the configuration of the new Porsche Cayenne hybrid that's due in 2009 and even got a chance to drive it. Porsche has some lofty targets for the fuel efficiency improvement with their hybrid setup including a fuel economy bump from 18.2 mpg (US) for the current Cayenne V6 up to 26.5 mpg. They aren't there yet though only managing 24 mpg right now.

The hybrid setup uses an electric motor situated next to the engine that can send torque to all four wheels. A clutch between the engine and transmission allow auto-shutoff of the engine and electric power mode at up to 75mph, battery charge permitting. The Cayenne will have electro-hydraulic steering and braking as well as electric air conditioning. The Porsche engineers are also working to reduce the 330lb weight gain by eventually replacing the NiMH battery pack with a lithium ion unit, but that won't be ready for start of production.

[Source: CAR]


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