The Cayenne S Hybrid has a 3.0-liter V6 supercharged engine. The charging effect of the compressor ensures high levels of torque, even at low engine speeds. The unit generates an output of 333 hp. 325 lb.-ft. of torque is available between 3,000 and 5,250 rpm, enabling a low-rpm, economical driving style while offering exceptional reserves of power.
At 288 volts, the electric machine has a maximum output of 47 hp. The benefits of the synchronous motor with inner rotor design are extremely compact dimensions and high levels of efficiency. It also acts as a starter motor and alternator. Working in tandem, both units provide a total output of 380 hp and maximum torque of 428 lb.-ft., propelling the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds. These are the levels of acceleration you would usually expect from an eight-cylinder unit, but with a combined fuel consumption of the six-cylider.
On the parallel full hybrid system, the electric machine is integrated directly into the drivetrain. The hybrid module is positioned between the transmission and the combustion engine. The engine is engaged and disengaged using a specially designed decoupler.
The electronic engine management system receives all information on the driving and energy status and controls both drive systems to ensure optimum performance in any driving scenario. It shuts off the combustion engine and switches it back on. Thanks to the ultra-fast decoupler and instantaneous engine start-up, all of this goes unnoticed by the driver. Under moderate acceleration, the electric machine can power the vehicle independently using electricity alone. For example, for driving quietly through residential areas. In addition, it can be used to boost performance – for even faster acceleration.
The parallel full hybrid concept also comes into its own during performance driving. When the Cayenne S Hybrid is driven at high speeds and on overrun, the combustion engine is automatically disengaged from the drivetrain and shut off: the car continues to ‘coast’ along. Engine drag and the associated losses are eliminated and efficiency is increased at speeds of up to 96 mph..
The ‘e-power’ button can be used to expand the range in which the vehicle can be run solely on electric power, when heading out of a residential area, for instance. The throttle map is adapted so that the combustion engine is engaged later than in ‘Normal’ mode depending on performance requirements. This is activated via a button on the center console.
The hybrid system features a high-voltage nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery consisting of 240 cells. It provides the electric machine with the energy required for the vehicle to drive short distances solely on electric power.
The compact battery is located under the loadspace floor in the luggage compartment. Weighing approximately 176 lbs, its dimensions are 16.8 in. x 36.5 in. x 11.3 in.
The battery is designed to last without the need for any maintenance throughout its entire life. As the electric machine also functions as a generator, it can charge the battery under certain conditions when the combustion engine is in part-throttle mode and through energy recovery during braking. A special battery management and cooling system maintains a constant temperature and protects the battery from overheating. It also monitors the charge/discharge processes. As a result, the life of the battery is optimised and its suitability for everyday use ensured, while offering a high capacity: 1.7 kWh.
Systems that are usually dependent on the output provided by the combustion engine, such as climate control, power steering and brake assist, run solely on electricity on the Cayenne S Hybrid. As they do not rely on output from the engine, these functions remain active when the car is running in electric mode or when it is ‘coasting’ or gliding along with the engine turned off.
In summary: despite its six-cylinder powerplant, the Cayenne S Hybrid offers performance levels that are comparable with an eight-cylinder unit – but with significantly lower fuel consumption. Also when it comes to hybrid drives, we’ve taken a completely new path. Hardly surprising really, with a technology this convincing.