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Spotlight On: Automobiles
Originally published: Monday, August 1, 2011 (3:12:39 a.m. ET)

For an SUV that weighs nearly two-and-a-half tons, the Cayenne S Hybrid achieves a respectable 24 mpg on the highway. (Photo courtesy of
Featured Automobile: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
Available Locally at: The Collection

MSRP: $69,900.00

Written by: Billy Walsh

PORSCHE'S MOST OVERT ATTEMPT to date at luring environmentally conscious consumers has produced a fast and dynamic sport utility vehicle that handles as well as any option in its class. That's only part of the upside to the 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid. This SUV looks sporty, that is, despite its 4,938 pounds, and provides as much enjoyment and convenience as possibly imaginable.

As for the downside, the MSRP ($69,900) makes the Cayenne S Hybrid the most expensive offering of any hybrid SUV on the market.

But, wow, is this ever a fast SUV. The Cayenne S Hybrid can reach 60 mph from a dead-stop in 6.1 seconds and can achieve a top speed of 150 mph. All of that power is made possible by a 333-horsepower, 6-cylinder, 3.0-liter supercharged engine. All things considered, the expectations of 20 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway are not bad. The fuel capacity is 22.4 gallons.

To satisfy customers who have adopted a green lifestyle, Porsche outfitted the Cayenne S Hybrid with a high-voltage, nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery with 240 cells. That provides the electric motor with more than sufficient energy to power the vehicle short distances without the consumption of any fuel.

The battery was designed as not to require any maintenance over its lifetime and the electric motor even serves as a generator, charging the battery under certain circumstances (when the gas motor is in part-throttle mode and through energy recovery during braking).

There is even a function, dubbed "e-power" by the manufacturer, which can be activated with the push of a button on the center console to expand the range in which the Cayenne S Hybrid can travel exclusively on electric power.

Of course, the interior of this hybrid features all of the same interior luxuries and amenities as its brethren in the class. A few for instances include the electronically operated, 12-way front seats; the leather-trimmed, 3-spoke steering wheel with Porsche crest; refrigerated glove compartment; and AM/FM/CD sound system with 12 speakers.

With the implantation of adjustable rear benches, all of the Cayennes come equipped with a large luggage area that totals 23.7 cubic feet. And thanks to a self-leveling air suspension option, constant ground clearance at the front and rear can be achieved even when the car is loaded to capacity.

Another incredibly useful option that was built into the Cayenne I test-drove was Porsche Communication Management (PCM), a central communications hub for every conceivable device. PCM includes a seven-inch, high-resolution, touch-screen display, as well as remote-control and voice-activated operation.

• To make an appointment to test-drive the 2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, call The Collection at: 305.444.5555.
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