Just in time for clean diesel, Porsche is ready to debut its hybrid powertrain…almost. Based on what the Man said at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show, Porsche is taking the next step toward production, however, with plans to sell the Cayenne Hybrid in Australia sometime in 2009. Officials won’t say so, but US sales will surely be coming soon after. Built alongside what is expected to be a Audi Q7 Hybrid, the Cayenne will undoubtably get some unique powertrain options, though reports indicate that the hybrid model is built around the 3.6-liter V-6 engine and Tiptronic six-speed automatic transmission.
Why it Matters: Rumors hint at 30 percent fuel savings, and though real-world tests will knock that number down a bit, that won’t sway the hordes of rich housewives in southern California, Chicago and NY from jumping at the chance to own an “earth-friendly” Porsche. First an SUV, now a hybrid SUV. What’s next for Porsche…a four-door sedan that looks like an elongated 928?
What’s Under the Hood: Reports put the 3.6-liter V-6 engine under the hood, along with a 54-horsepower electric unit that Porsche says can go up to around 70 mph on juice, and amazing feat considering the ample girth that the Cayenne tosses around. Of course, power starts from the line will cause the engine to kick on and provide the necessary oomph. So far, the Cayenne Hybrid’s engine will be mated to a Tiptronic six-speed transmission.
What Porsche Says: The German automaker is trying to clean up it’s act in terms of pollution, and this is one way they aim to achieve a more earth friendly position. Besides, it’s as natural a fit as a Porsche SUV, so why not join in and start selling hybrids?
What We Think: Should they decide to, Porsche will have no trouble selling Cayenne Hybrids in America. Consider it: wealthy people who want to make a statement – without any sacrifice – will find this the perfect choice, as it gives you the bling of the Porsche badge, more performance than any other hybrid on the road, and – wow – there’s a hybrid badge on the back, too, which means you do care about little Jimmy. At least, you do from the leather-swaddled comfort of your Cayenne chair.