Porsche will introduce the next-generation Cayenne sport utility vehicle, including a hybrid gas-electric version. Outstanding performance, dynamic power and excellent engine. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid will use a direct-injected, supercharged Audi 3.0-liter V6 engine rated at 333 horsepower, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Between the two is mounted a 38-kilowatt (52-hp) electric motor that puts out 221 lb-ft of torque, a full two-thirds as much as the engine itself does. Featuring 32 valves, the engine comes with two camshafts on each row of cylinders, the Cayenne S developing its maximum torque of 420 Newton-metres or 310 lb-ft between 2500 and 5500 rpm.
The Cayenne actually is defined by its computerized electronics (as all modern vehicles soon will be), and the S model has all the good stuff. The driving dynamics are brilliant, and they cut across all road surfaces and all weathers.
Inside, the luxurious interior features a high center console that, like the Panamera, rises up at an incline to meet the dashboard center stack and a touch-screen infotainment interface. Porsche’s traditional set of five round instruments in the driver’s gauge cluster includes a high-resolution circular TFT screen to the right of the tachometer. It can be used to change radio stations, vehicle settings, access the navigation system or view the map. Rear-seat comfort is improved, as well. The bench slides fore-and-aft by 6.3 inches, while the backrest can be adjusted.
The Cayenne is too tall for easy ingress and egress, and the doors swing closed too easily while loading passengers. The rear hatch opens too high to be pulled closed without some NBA-style leaping. The seats are too firm, the switches too fussy. The bewildering appearance of the instrument binnacle and nav system recalls a bad wristwatch with too many functions.
The Cayenne’s new exterior leaves no doubt it is part of the Porsche family. Its sporting character is evident from all angles, and its Porsche shape and highlights are more distinct than before. From a dimensions standpoint, it is 1.9 inches longer than its predecessor, and its wheelbase adds 1.6 inches, ensuring extra interior space and greater versatility. Still, despite its larger exterior, this next-generation Cayenne looks even more compact and dynamic.