Next week in Geneva, Porsche will officially unveil the all-new second-generation Cayenne with the brand's first ever hybrid powertrain. Like the new Volkswagen Touareg that it shares a platform with, the Cayenne gets many of the same improvements including eight-speed automatic transmissions across the board and a significant drop in weight.
The original Cayenne was never very svelte, but Porsche has managed to slash over 400 pounds from the new model. That goes along with new styling that, while still obviously an SUV, now has a sleeker, more Porsche-like appearance. Those true-blood Porsche fans that howled at the thought of a Porsche SUV when it was announced a decade ago certainly won't be appeased, but Cayenne buyers can now feel significantly less guilty.
The hybrid system is the same one already shown on the Touareg, including the same supercharged and direct injected 3.0-liter V6 already in use in the latest Audi S4. The electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission can be decoupled from the engine for electric drive at speeds up 40 mph. Even at speeds up to 97 miles per hour, the engine can shut down, allowing the Cayenne to cruise on electric power. The EPA mileage numbers won't be announced until closer to the July on-sale date in North America. In Europe on the EU combined test, the Cayenne hybrid is rated at 28.7 miles per gallon (U.S.). All non-hybrid Cayennes also get the same automatic start-stop capability that was introduced last year on the Panamera.