What does the Porsche Cayenne have to do with Audi’s V6? Porsche is owned by Volkswagen Auto Group, but they’ve shared many components in the past with VAG cars. The significance of the Porsche Cayenne hybrid is that it’s announcement was a harbinger for the 2011 Audi Q7 hybrid and 2011 VW Touareg hybrid.
The Cayenne hybrid first appeared in the 2007 LA auto show and goes on sale in 2011 as the Porsche Cayenne S hybrid with the VW Touareg hybrid. It uses the same exact 333 hp supercharged V6 from the Audi S4 and A6. However, it also uses a 52 hp electic motor betweeen the transmission and engine for the hybrid system. Like most hybrids, it has a Nickel metal hydride battery pack (NiMH). It has 1.2 miles of electric only propulsion but relies on the engine to charge the battery while it also drives the car. When available, the engine shuts off and lets the electric motor drive the car. Unlike the Prius, it doesn’t use the engine to charge the battery instead of drive the car – the hybrid uses clutches to control if the engine is driving the car and charging the battery or if only the electric motor is driving the car. When the clutch is disengaged, the engine is shut off. Like most hybrids, it has a regenerative braking mode which charges the battery when you brake.
The 288 volt hybrid system adds 300 lbs to the car which isn’t too bad. The car also has electric AC instead of running the AC off the engine. Porsche also plans on putting this system in the Panamera.