The concept of a high performance hybrid SUV might seem unusual to anyone not familiar with the engineers at Porsche and their desire to constantly push the limits of what is possible in a modern vehicle. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is not only quick, practical and comfortable, but it retains the world-renowned driving feel and precise handling that is built into every single Porsche product. Seemingly defying physics, the large sport-utility vehicle has been re-shaped to offer a lighter, more eco-friendly hybrid model for drivers who demand both perfection and responsibility from their automobile.
Let’s take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid.
01. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is Fast
Hybrid technology is only slowly beginning to penetrate the world of high performance automobiles, but the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is definitely one of the fastest gasoline / electric vehicles around. The S Hybrid model makes use of a supercharged V-6 engine that is paired with a battery-powered electric motor to generate 380 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque. This allows the vehicle to launch to 60-mph in just 6.1 seconds, and the people mover tops out at a lofty 133-mph due to its factory-installed speed limiter. The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid can also eat up the quarter mile in 14.9 seconds, which is outstanding for an SUV – let alone a hybrid SUV.
02. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is Efficient
Despite its impressive power output, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is surprisingly efficient. Great effort has been made to reduce the weight of the current generation Cayenne, and the S Hybrid can even drive on battery power alone for short distances at city speeds. An automatic engine start / stop feature helps to curb idling, and a “sailing” feature where the vehicle’s motor decouples from the transmission while decelerating also helps to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by the SUV. All told, the Cayenne S Hybrid’s fuel economy rating comes in at 20-mpg city and 24-mpg highway, which is a substantial improvement over the V-8 edition of the Cayenne (which features similar power output).
03. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Can Actually Tow
Even though it might be geared towards providing both rapid acceleration and a high level of fuel efficiency, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is still an SUV at heart. This means that like all of the class-leading sport-utility vehicles in its class, the S Hybrid packs a substantial towing capacity to go with its blistering acceleration times. The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is rated to pull up to 7,716 lbs, and the vehicle can also accommodate 1,477 lbs of payload. This adds a versatile dimension to the sporty truck that is all the more impressive given its gasoline / electric design.
04. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Is Spacious
The interior of the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid can handle as many as five adults across two rows, opting to forgo a third row of accommodations in favor of a generous 20.5 cubic feet of “trunk” space behind the second row of seating. If necessary, the Cayenne S Hybrid can be configured to swallow up to 59.7 cubic feet of cargo by folding the seats aft of the driver and passenger forward. This makes the S Hybrid perfect for runs to Home Depot or trips up to the lake on the weekend.
05. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Is Luxurious
The word “utility” should never be confused with “utilitarian” when discussing the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid’s capabilities. Porsche has gone out of its way to upgrade the interior of the 2011 model Cayenne when compared against older versions of the SUV, and this means leather upholstery, wood trim, a touchscreen navigation system and the availability of several intriguing options packages. When the Premium Package Plus is selected, the Cayenne S Hybrid gains such features as heated front and rear seats, HID headlights and even a heated steering wheel. Audiophiles will particularly enjoy the optional Bose surround sound system that can be installed in the Cayenne.
06. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Handles Like A Sports Sedan
Despite its heft, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid has been tuned to offer the level of handling that longtime Porsche fans demand from any vehicle bearing the German brand’s logo. The Cayenne S Hybrid is available with an air suspension system that can raise and lower the vehicle’s ride height, an active suspension system that automatically adapts to road conditions in order to provide maximum responsiveness and the Porsche Traction Management system which aims to plant as much of the Hybrid’s horsepower to the ground as possible without any wheel spin detracting from the driving experience. A Tiptronic S eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control helps to cement the performance SUV feel offered by the nimble Cayenne S Hybrid.
07. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Has Been Re-Styled
The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid wears new duds compared to the 2010 model, and although the SUV is now larger than the model it replaces, visually it maintains similar proportions. The wheelbase and body are longer than before, but thanks to smoother sheet metal and a muscular fender treatment, the S Hybrid keeps its tight look. The vehicle also comes with intimidating front air intakes mounted in the bumper, which give it a definite aggressive character. Overall, Porsche has done an excellent job of bringing the looks of the Cayenne back inside the brand’s styling family.
08. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Rides on an All-New Platform
The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid’s beauty isn’t just skin-deep – the vehicle also rides on an re-engineered platform that has seen substantial attention paid to reducing weight in some areas and shoring up structural integrity in others. The end result is a Cayenne that is 15 percent more rigid than before, with much of the vehicle’s diet coming through the elimination of bulky door panels and inefficient interior components. The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid’s battery is located in the floor behind the rear seat, sneaking into the compartment that typically holds the vehicle’s spare tire in order to avoid eating too much into usable cargo space.
09. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Offers A Fresh All-Wheel Drive System
The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S abandons the low-range transfer case found in the previous generation of the SUV in favor of a full-time all-wheel drive system that is lighter and better suited to on-road pursuits. The Porsche system diverts 60 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels during most driving conditions, preserving the dynamics of a rear-wheel drive vehicle while maintaining the ability to instantly transfer power to the axle with the most traction. The rear wheels also offer variable torque distribution, which is most useful when cornering under heavy acceleration.
10. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Is Loaded With Technology
It goes without saying the most hybrid automobiles are technological showpieces, but the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid goes a bit above and beyond the norm. The vehicle can be had with safety features such as radar-guided lane change assist, parking assistance, a rearview camera and ceramic composite brakes that haul the big SUV down from triple-digit speeds with authority. The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid can also be had with the Porsche Communication Management system (for interfacing with the communications and entertainment features of the vehicle), Bluetooth integration and keyless entry and ignition.