• Jul 2nd 2010 at 11:04AM
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2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

Porsche's recent ad for the Cayenne S Hybrid makes a claim that hasn't gone over well with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK. As the ad states, "More performance, less fuel... The new Cayenne S Hybrid can even travel to a speed of 37mph without using its V6 petrol engine." We see nothing wrong with Porsche's ad, but the powers that govern potentially misleading advertisements don't like it one bit.

The ASA isn't thrilled about the portion of Porsche's ad that discusses traveling without using any fuel. The ASA believes Porsche is misleading buyers into believing that the Cayenne S Hybrid can be driven indefinitely at speeds below 37 miles per hour without using any gasoline. Clearly, this is not Porsche's intent with the ad, nor is this an actual capability of the vehicle. The ASA wants the ad reworked to include a clause indicating that the Cayenne S Hybrid can travel without using gas for a limited distance only. As the ASA states:
Although we understood that Porsche is unable to provide a definitive distance of travel using the electric motor only, we nonetheless considered that the ad should have made clear the car could only travel for a limited distance at up to 37 mph before it would need to engage the petrol engine. In the absence of that clarification, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.
The ad has been pulled until Porsche meets the conditions of the ASA, but we feel that most buyers in search of a hybrid would hopefully be knowledgeable enough to know that no conventional hybrid can continuously move at speed without using a drop of gas.

[Source: Autoblog UK]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I once had a customer come in to ask about buying a Hybrid. It had just been delivered, so I said, "Let me run it over to the gas station and we can take it for a test drive." She replied, "Gas? What would it need gas for??"

      I hate people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why didn't they have a problem with the Ford Fusion Hybrid ads that stated that it can go up to 47 MPH in just electric?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Of course, a regular internal combustion engined car will only travel a finite distance on a given load of fuel, so I guess all advertisements that talk about mph or mpg are misleading since the car will not do so infinitely.

      My god! I am defending Porsche!

      Probably more on point, most regulators will only wait a finite time before they say something illogical and/or useless. This level of analysis must have Ferdinand P spinning in his grave at a given rate which will now last until the end of time, perhaps beyond.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Most hybrid buyers don't buy Porsches do they?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This isn't a plug-in hybrid, is it? Because unless it is, ALL of the miles driven at under 37 mph are driven on power provided by that V6 engine burning gas. The fact that the power is stored in a battery for a while after the V6 burned gas to make the power does not matter.

      The misleading thing is saying AT ALL that it can travel any distance at any speed "without using its V6 petrol engine". That is completely false. The V6 petrol engine is requied to burn the petrol to charge the battery, so that later it can run on the power stored in the battery.

      This ad makes it sound like the battery is charged by magic, without having to burn gas at all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nixon said:
        The misleading thing is saying AT ALL that it can travel any distance at any speed "without using its V6 petrol engine". That is completely false.

        No it isn't. It's completely true! It can travel some distance using only an electric motor, using (of course) energy provided via a battery. Where the energy came from to charge the battery doesn't enter into THAT PARTICULAR statement.

        The same thing is true of a Toyota Prius. The fact that it can travel at low speed on electric only is a feature - it's quieter, smoother, and on the whole more efficient. You may not care about whether a vehicle has that ability, but I do, and I think many other people do as well.

        Yes, of course, it's still in the end just a more efficient gasoline-burning car, but that should be obvious from the fact that it has a gasoline tank but no electric plug. Aren't you oh-so-smart for pointing that out to us all.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hell yea! This car is awesome, I can drive for ever at under 37 mph and never use gas, I don't know how those German's did it. The don't ask, don't tell policy is all right with me as long as I can drive forever under 37 mph with out gas. How do they do it? Must be some energy fairies in the car, are they slaves or do the Germans pay them?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who in their right mind would drive a Porsche under 37 MPH all the time?!?!
      • 5 Years Ago
      You mean the Porsche Cayenne isn't a perpetual motion machine?!! I'm canceling my pre-order.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh, this is nothing new. this is corporate lawfare, that is corporate warfare by lawyers. I would state probably a 75% likelihood that if you dig a little deeper all of this was prompted by one of the their competitors. This goes on all the time and its frankly more than a little dirty. The famous example is Papa John's saying "better ingedients make a better pizza" being twisted by Pizza hut as in insult on them. i don't remember how it turned out, except that there was years of litigation on the subject. The ideal goal is to force them to reshoot the ad, forcing them to spend all their money all over again. i belonged to a firm that represented a hair care company that successfully forced its competitor to reshoot its ad having its celebrity endorser say new and different things. i won't say the celebrity's name or the companies involved, but they are all household names. you can bet that cost them alot of money, having to pay the celeb all over again.

      To be very blunt, we need to stop differentiating between commercial speech and non-commerical speech and institute less controls, not more. But i ain't holding my breath for that to happen.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So the ASA thinks the UK public thinks that this car can travel unlimited distances at 37mph?
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you're buying a cayanne, you probably are dumb enough to believe the literal interpretation of that ad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What happened to 97 MPH electric they promised?
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