PORSCHE this week unveiled its first hybrid vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show. The Cayenne S Hybrid sports utility vehicle features parallel full hybrid drive with 279kW of power yet fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions comparable to a medium-sized car.
Porsche claims the three-litre super-charged V6 and 34kW electric motor provide economy figures of 8.2 litres per 100km while pumping out CO2 at 193g/km, making it their greenest vehicle yet.
The Cayenne S Hybrid is the "technological flagship" model in the new Cayenne fleet which has increased power and reduced fuel consumption in most models:
• Cayenne Turbo: 4.8L biturbo V8, 368kW, 11.5L/100km (down 23 per cent).
• Cayenne S: 4.8L V8, 294kW (up from 283kW), 10.5L/100km (down 23 per cent).
• Cayenne V6 diesel: 3L, 176kW, 7.4L/100km (down 20 per cent).
• Cayenne V6 petrol: 3.6L, 220kW (up from 213kW), 9.9L/100km (down 20 per cent).
Sales in Australia start on July 24 with the Cayenne S, S Hybrid and Turbo. The V6 diesel and V6 petrol models will follow.
Porsche Australia PR manager Paul Ellis said pricing would be announced closer to the launch, but pointed out that equipment levels would be increased across the range for "a stronger value proposition" and that the hybrid would not be the most expensive model.
"It will be the technological flagship of the fleet," he said. "We're estimating about 15 per cent of Cayenne buyers will opt for the hybrid. There has been a lot of curiosity and inquiry from existing Cayenne customers mainly.
"But we also expect some conquest buyers; those with a greener conscience who might be driving an SUV from other brands."
"People want to know about the hybrid system and how it works and what the advantages are in fuel consumption."
Porsche's parallel full hybrid drive connects the petrol engine and electric motor by a separator clutch.
It runs the Cayenne S Hybrid on both drive units, or just the petrol engine or just the electric motor at speeds up to 156km/h.
The electric motor mode is called "sailing mode" as the combustion engine is totally disengaged.
Improvements in power and reduction in the new Cayenne's environmental footprint across the range are also due to features such as the eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission with auto start-stop and a wide spread of gear ratios, thermal management on the engine and transmission cooling circuit and variable engine cut-off.
Outside, the front end has been tailored to give a more pointy and compact appearance and the sides are scalloped and less slab-like, although only serious fans would notice much difference.
Inside, it is more spacious thanks to a 40mm longer wheelbase.
The cabin is dominated by a new centre console that runs up to the dashboard and features an upright gear selector.
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