The diesel-powered Porsche Cayenne has been a popular vehicle for fleet owners, but they'll soon be able to consider a hybrid powertrain for the luxury SUV since the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is coming to dealer showrooms this November.
We've known it was coming since 2007, but the Cayenne hybrid is, finally, Porsche's first production hybrid. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't come cheap: price of entry starts at $67,700 (excluding destination). Compare this to the base 3.6-liter gas-powered V6 model, which comes in at $21,000 less ($46,700). That may sound like Porsche is charging $20k for the 288-volt nickel metal-hydride (NiMh) battery, but what you're really paying for is the S trim level (the non-hybrid Cayenne S starts at $63,700).
What does your extra money get you with the Cayenne S Hybrid? The ability to go up to 37 miles per hour on battery power for a short distance. How far? Porsche's official PR says only "for a time." The Cayenne S Hybrid can also "sail" at cruising and highway speeds, which is when the gas engine turns off and disengages from the drivetrain until the driver steps on the accelerator.
The EPA certifies the hybrid SUV at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway. This is a big improvement over the non-hybrid base model (14/20 mpg) and way better than the stupid-expensive Turbo S model, which costs $104,800 and gets just 12/19 mpg. The Cayenne S Hybrid also offers 380 horsepower and peak torque of 428 lb-ft at just 1,000 rpm.