Lost in the shuffle here last week was the fact that Porsche demonstrated a prototype of the forthcoming Cayenne Hybrid in Germany. Long discussed, this performance SUV will share its powertrain with the Panamera when the four-door GT arrives. Motor Trend was on hand for the demo and reported that despite being a hybrid, the "greened" Porsche retains its SUV capabilities -- it is off-roadable and will ford a 20-inch body of water without complaint. Add to that a 7,000 lb towing capacity and a fuel economy rating of 24 mpg in the US FTP cycle as of right now (better economy is expected by launch), and you've got the makings of a pretty attractive-sounding setup. The Cayenne Hybrid is a full hybrid vehicle which boasts performance numbers that are actually a smidge better than the standard Cayenne V6. On a cosmetic note, we dig the prototype's RS-style "hybrid" script on the bodywork. Porsche's press release is pasted after the jump, and MT's report can be found by clicking the "Read" link below.
[Sources: Porsche, Motor Trend via Jalopnik]
It is targeting a decrease in fuel consumption of about 25 percent, particularly in city traffic
ATLANTA, July 26, 2007 --- Porsche, a company renown for its high-performance sports cars and sport utility vehicles (SUV), this week in Stuttgart demonstrated to the media a Cayenne SUV hybrid prototype, providing a glimpse of what the company will offer to consumers by the end of the decade.
Porsche is targeting average fuel consumption figures of 9.8 liters/100 kilometers in the New European Driving Cycle and about 24 miles per gallon in the US FTP cycle for the Cayenne Hybrid, and future developments may allow Porsche engineers to push towards an average fuel consumption figure of 8.9 liters/kilometer (approximately 26 miles per gallon).
The Cayenne Hybrid will feature a full-hybrid design where the hybrid module (clutch and electric motor) is positioned between the combustion engine and the transmission rather than having the hybrid drivetrain branching output along various lines and in various directions via a planetary gearset. Porsche selected this design because the in-line configuration of the hybrid components are more compatible with the existing Cayenne platform, this system in testing is more fuel efficient, and because this configuration is a better fit for Porsche as it will provide improved acceleration and engine flexibility compared to a conventional Cayenne.
Coordinating the car's three main components – the combustion engine, the electric motor and the battery – is the Hybrid Manager, the heart of the Cayenne Hybrid. The Hybrid Manager, which oversees some 20,000 data parameters as compared to only 6,000 data parameters for a conventional engine, is one of the most powerful technologies found in any hybrid vehicle.
Other unique features of the Cayenne Hybrid designed to decrease fuel consumption include the power steering and vacuum pump for the brakes, as well as the air conditioning, which operate on electric power. Technical components, such as the oil pump in the Cayenne's automatic transmission, have been replaced by electrically powered units. The Cayenne Hybrid's electro-hydraulic steering – a first for a vehicle of its kind, will ensure the Cayenne Hybrid drives like a Porsche with predictable and safe handling characteristics and the agility that is expected of a Porsche SUV.
Porsche plans to introduce similar hybrid technology in a version of its Panamera four-door Gran Turismo. The Panamera will debut in 2009, with a hybrid to follow.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., and its subsidiary, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd., are the exclusive importers of Porsche sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles for the United States and Canada. A wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, PCNA employs approximately 300 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 213 U.S. and Canadian dealers. They, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service.