2011 Porsche Cayenne (S, S Hybrid, Turbo) Review - Official photos, features, specs, pricing

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It’s been more than seven years since Porsche launched the original Cayenne to the United States. Since then Porsche’s first-generation SUV has enjoyed remarkable success, selling more than 280,000 Cayennes worldwide, including more than 88,000 in the United States.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo -Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo -Check out more 2011 Porsche Cayenne (S, S Hybrid, Turbo) pictures in our 2011 Porsche Cayenne (S, S Hybrid, Turbo) photo gallery

On the heels of this success comes the next-generation 2011 Cayenne, truly an all-new model that is even more sporting and dynamic, more fuel efficient, and more spacious and lighter than its predecessor.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S HybridPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

For example, the next generation Cayenne improves on it predecessor models with:

* An entirely new exterior design that appears sleeker and smaller when in fact it is larger than the previous model, but is still instantly recognizable as a Porsche Cayenne;
* An all-new, spacious interior that raises the luxury bar and puts this SUV’s passenger compartment on par with the award-winning interior found in the Panamera Gran Turismo;

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne SPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S

* More rear cargo room and interior space for the rear passengers thanks to a longer wheelbase and rear seats that adjust fore and aft with seat-back incline adjustability;
* Significant weight savings as Porsche engineers shaved roughly 400 lbs overall (145 lbs alone with a lighter yet still robust body structure) when compared with the previous Cayenne models;
* A new active all-wheel drive system that can be paired with Porsche’s new Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) Plus option to provide agile on-road driving dynamics, yet it’s still extremely capable when the pavement ends;

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne TurboPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Other unique features to the 2011 lineup include a new high-end audio systems from Bose® and Burmester® and new safety systems like the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS), Lane Change Assistant (LCA), and Adaptive Cruise Control.

The North American Cayenne model range includes four models: the 2011 Cayenne, Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo and the Cayenne S Hybrid. The Cayenne model lineup base MSRPs (excluding $975 for destination) are as follows: Cayenne, $46,700; Cayenne S, $63,700; Cayenne S Hybrid, $67,700; and Cayenne Turbo, $104,800.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S HybridPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

Three Cayenne flavors have two main ingredients: performance and efficiency

While the new entry level Cayenne has a 300-horspower 3.6-liter V6 engine, thanks in part to the new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission it is approximately 20 percent more fuel efficient than the model it replaces.

The high-torque Cayenne S with its 4.8-liter V8 likewise shows a significant decrease in fuel consumption, down by 23 percent. At the same time engine output is now 400 horsepower compared to 385 horsepower in the former Cayenne S. And similarly the range-topping Cayenne Turbo with its 500-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 4.8-liter V8 is 23 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor. The Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo have U.S. fuel economy ratings of 16 city/22 highway and 15 city/22 highway, respectively. The Cayenne with the standard six-speed manual gets 15 city/22 highway and 16 city/23 highway when fitted with the optional eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission. The Cayenne S Hybrid gets an estimated 20city/24 highway under current EPA regulations.

In addition to Porsche’s new eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission with a wide range of gear ratios, other factors also contribute to this reduction in fuel consumption. Specifically this includes the Automatic Start Stop function (first introduced on the Panamera), efficient thermal management of the engine and transmission cooling circuits, on-board electrical network recuperation, variable deceleration fuel cut-off and the Cayenne’s intelligent lightweight construction.

Thanks to the combination of material weight minimization and overall changes in the vehicle concept such as the new, active and extra-light all-wheel drive system, overall weight for the Cayenne S is down by a substantial 396 lbs. The benefits are not only better fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions, but also improved performance, agility and handling.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S HybridPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

Porsche’s First Production Hybrid

The new-generation Cayenne lineup sets the standard in its class in efficiency and sporty performance. Compared to the previous Cayenne models, fuel consumption throughout the lineup is down by up to 23 percent. In fact, the entire lineup of new generation Cayenne SUVs, like every new Porsche, were developed according to the Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy -- more power on less fuel, increased efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.

Of course the highlight of this guiding philosophy is the introduction of the new Cayenne S Hybrid, which features a highly sophisticated parallel full hybrid system. With a combined power output of 380 horsepower from the supercharged V6 combustion engine and an electric motor, the Cayenne S Hybrid essentially combines the performance of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

With its Cayenne S Hybrid, Porsche proudly introduces the company’s first hybrid drive vehicle in the market. Developing this trendsetting system, Porsche engineers are following in the footsteps of no less than Professor Ferdinand Porsche himself, who created the Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus way back in the year 1900. To this day, Lohner-Porsche is acknowledged as the first functional full hybrid in the world.

The Cayenne S Hybrid is driven primarily by a supercharged three-liter V6 with DFI that develops 333 hp. This sophisticated engine interacts with a 47 hp electric motor that is the ideal partner for the V6, producing high torque at low engine speeds with peak torque of 428 lb-ft at just 1,000 rpm.

The electric motor is able to drive the Cayenne S Hybrid by itself or in conjunction with the combustion engine while also serving as a generator and starter. Together with the decoupling clutch, it forms the hybrid module and is positioned between the combustion engine and the new eight-speed automatic transmission.

A further essential component of the hybrid system is the 288-volt nickel metal-hydride battery that is located under the floor of the luggage area.

By using a supercharged engine, the Cayenne S Hybrid offers the power and performance of a V8 with lower fuel consumption. With overall output of 380 hp, the car delivers 21 mpg in a combined driving cycle. And producing emissions of just 193g/km, it is the cleanest Porsche in the brand’s entire portfolio.

In short, together with many other technical attributes, the Cayenne S Hybrid offers the following main performance qualities:

* Driving on electric power alone: In this case the electric motor drives the vehicle all by itself without any support from the combustion engine. With the driver opting for a moderate style of motoring – for example in urban areas – the Cayenne S Hybrid is able to cover short distances with zero emissions and minimum noise up to speeds of 37 mph.
* Boosting: In this case the Cayenne S Hybrid is powered by the combustion engine and electric motor together. The joint power of both drive units ensures optimum acceleration, for example when overtaking.
* Shifting the load point: The combustion engine drives the vehicle by itself, at the same time charging the battery through the electric motor acting as a generator. The power used by the generator constitutes a further load on the combusition engine, which is therefore able to operate at a more favorable load point with high efficiency.
* Recuperation: The kinetic energy of the vehicle is converted into electrical energy when applying the brakes, and the battery is charged in the process.
* Sailing: Whenever the driver lifts off the gas pedal at a cruising or highway speeds, the combustion engine is switched off and disconnected from the transmission to eliminate the drag forces from the engine.
* Auto Start Stop: The combustion engine is automatically switched off when sitting at a standstill at a traffic light, for example, to help save fuel and reduce emissions. The engine then restarts automatically when prompted.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S HybridPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

Hybrid Manager seamlessly coordinates the two power units

Again, the Cayenne S Hybrid is Porsche’s first production hybrid. Its electric motor and its supercharged V6 are connected to one another by a decoupling clutch, which ensures that the Cayenne S Hybrid may be driven either by the electric motor or the combustion engine alone, or by both drive units together. The Hybrid Manager constantly coordinates their complex interaction, and intelligent management of the clutch makes the transition among various driving modes seamless and comfortable. The Hybrid Manager receives all driving and energy information and controls both the electric motor and the combustion engine for optimum fuel economy under all conditions. It also makes sure that the battery does not run too low nor that it is charged and de-charged too often.

The decoupling clutch works so smoothly that the driver will not notice the combustion engine engaging and disengaging, although the full power of both drive units is always available without the slightest delay for fast and powerful acceleration. This means that with the combustion engine switched off all the driver has to do to start the engine almost immediately is press down the gas pedal. The engine revs spontaneously and the clutch engages without the driver noticing the entire process.

Remarkably, the car does all this in just 300 milliseconds, all the time performing several processes all at the same time. As soon as the combustion engine cuts in the converter lockup clutch on the torque converter in the automatic transmission opens up and the torque coming from the electric motor is briefly increased to start the V6 engine. At the same time, the clutch between the electric motor and the combustion engine closes in a defined pressure curve within 70 milliseconds.

Apart from the intricate interaction of the combustion engine and the electric motor, all is ensured by the innovative spindle actuator in the clutch unit masterminding the hydraulic pressure operating the clutch with a level of precision never seen before.

Every time the engine cuts in the Hybrid Manager evaluates current driving conditions and the driver’s wish for acceleration, choosing the appropriate starting procedure— either a “comfort start” of the combustion engine or, if the driver wishes to enjoy more power, a particularly spontaneous “power start.”

Additional savings potential by ‘sailing’

Using the decoupling clutch, the Cayenne S Hybrid also has the potential to further enhance fuel economy at higher speeds. Christened by the Weissach engineers as ‘sailing’ – or coasting – mode, when the Cayenne S Hybrid does not need drive power and the driver lifts off the accelerator at cruising or highway speeds the gasoline engine can be completely switched off and disengaged from the drivetrain, enabling the vehicle to move along without combustion or electric power.

This means a significant reduction of fuel consumption at steady highway speeds, with engine drag forces and their braking effect being eliminated to reduce driving resistance. As soon as the driver presses the accelerator in the sailing mode, to pass another vehicle for example, the gasoline engine smoothly starts within a fraction of a second and engine rpms are increased to match the current vehicle speed. Thanks to the Hybrid Manager, the Cayenne S Hybrid is able to accelerate dynamically in gears at higher speeds much like a conventional Cayenne.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S HybridPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

Maximum Power

The Cayenne S Hybrid delivers its maximum output in the boost mode, adding the drive power of the combustion engine and the electric motor to one another as a big advantage of the parallel full hybrid concept: While the combustion engine develops its maximum torque of 324 lb-ft in the range between 3,000 and 5,250 rpm, the electric motor is able to use its full torque of 221lb-ft from a standstill.

Maximum output of the two drive units of 380 hp comes at 5,500 rpm, while combined torque of 428 lb-ft at just 1,000 rpm for truly muscular acceleration at all times.

With the maximum torque of the two drive units being developed in different speed ranges, it is not possible to simply add up the maximum torque figures. Since the torque delivered by the electric motor drops again at higher speeds, the combustion engine continuing to benefit from the electric motor ensures an ongoing, consistent and efficient torque curve also at high engine revs, the two drive units supplementing each other perfectly and allowing the driver to use all the superior power of the system throughout the entire range of engine speed.

The Cayenne S Hybrid thus benefits from the intelligent interaction of both power units through it particularly sporting acceleration from a standstill and superior driving dynamics also at high speeds, for example during hard acceleration.

With the Sports Button in the off position or normal mode, the electric boost effect is available immediately through the kick-down function. With the Sports Button activated, the boost range is shifted forward and the two drive units interact with one another as soon as the driver presses down the gas pedal with maximum force by 80 percent.

E-Power Button extends driving range under electric power

Activating the E-Power Button in the center console, the driver is able to extend the availability of the all-electric driving mode. Activation of the button is displayed by an LED on the button itself and be the word “E-Power” coming in blue in the instrument cluster.

Availability of E-Power depends on parameters such as the battery charge status and battery temperature. The E-power mode modifies the gas pedal control map, allowing the system to follow the driver’s wish for acceleration much more smoothly and preventing the combustion engine from cutting in automatically at a too early a point whenever the driver wishes to use more power.

High-Tech Advancements Permeate the Entire 2011 Cayenne Lineup

Superior power with better efficiency: the V8s in the Cayenne S and Turbo

The fully upgraded family of V8 power units is made up of the even more powerful 4.8 liter naturally aspirated engine now delivering 400 hp and 369 lb-ft maximum torque in the new Cayenne S and a twin turbocharged 500 hp together with 516 lb-ft in the new Cayenne Turbo.

With the two power units designed and upgraded together, the natural-aspiration and the turbocharged engine share a particularly large number of common parts. And once again it almost goes without saying that the new V8 engines featured in the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo come with all the new technologies to reduce fuel consumption, such as thermal management, on-board network recuperation, variable overrun control, and the Auto Start Stop function.

The proven light-alloy block of the V8 power units is further enhanced by the even more comprehensive use of aluminum and magnesium, saving approximately 15 lbs in weight on the valve timing cover, the cover itself, the camshaft adjuster, various bolts, and the crank. As an example, the new generation of the V8 power units comes with a new lightweight camshaft adjuster for adjusting valve timing through VarioCam Plus made completely of aluminum, This alone reduces engine weight by approximately 3.8 lbs, minimizing the rotating masses in the process, improving the speed of adjustment, and giving the engine an even more agile response.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S HybridPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

Both power units now feature pressure-controlled measurement of air mass instead of a hot-film air mass meter, with the advantage of lower intake air resistance and an even better air flow.

On the naturally aspirated power unit in the Cayenne S a newly developed, lighter crankshaft and lighter connecting rods reduce the movement of masses and weight within the engine. In all, the crank on the V8 is 5.1 lbs lighter than before.

A further feature on the V8 is the oil flow housing made of magnesium, again reducing engine weight by approximately 4.4 lbs. The intake camshafts, to mention yet another example, have been optimized for a very smooth flow of power and torque. Together with the new intake system boasting a larger throttle butterfly and optimized electronic engine management, the 4.8 liter naturally aspirated V8 now delivers maximum output of 400 hp at 6,500 rpm.

An Improved V6

The new 2011 Cayenne, based on the same all-new underpinnings used for the Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo, offers a powerful 300-hp V6 engine, fulfilling the needs of consumers who desire the agility, comfort and safety of the this new model in an even more economical package.

Like its predecessor, the new Cayenne features a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine, but it has been upgraded to deliver more performance and better efficiency. Again, this is in line with Porsche’s Intelligent Performance philosophy.

In addition to refining the engine, Porsche also equipped the Cayenne with a new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission that helps the car accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.4 second. The same car fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox can reach 60 in 7.1 seconds, and both versions have a top test track speed of 142 mph. The Cayenne with the optional Tiptronic S gets 16 city/23 highway. The same car with the standard six-speed manual gearbox gets 15 city/22 highway.
A sophisticated start stop system

All 2011 Cayenne models equipped with the eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission come with an Auto Start Stop function. Auto Start Stop switches off the combustion engine under defined conditions as long as the vehicle is at a standstill, reducing fuel consumption and emissions in the process and thus preventing the engine from idling unnecessarily, for example when stopping at traffic lights.

As soon as the vehicle comes to a stop with the driver pressing the brake pedal, the Auto Start Stop function will switch off the engine, informing the driver accordingly through the green Auto Start Stop symbol in the instrument cluster.

In the process the driver may leave the selector lever in position D or M, and the engine will remain inactive also when shifting to P and N. Once the driver lets go of the brake pedal, the engine will start again and the driver can set off without a delay. For reasons of safety, however, this is not possible if the driver’s door or the engine compartment lid are open or if the driver is not wearing his seat belt.

Under certain conditions the engine is intentionally not switched off when coming to a halt, for example when the driver has activated the Sports Mode, when towing a trailer, when on an incline, or when the vehicle is in a parking or maneuvering process. In such cases the driver is informed by a yellow Auto Start Stop symbol in the instrument cluster that the system has not switched off the engine.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne TurboPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

New active all-wheel drive with electronically controlled multiple-plate clutch

Porsche has developed an active all-wheel-drive system for the new Cayenne driving the rear wheels and transmitting power to the front wheels as needed through an electronically controlled, map-based multiple-plate clutch.

Porsche selected this technology to reduce weight and make the new Cayenne even more agile on the road. But at the same time the Cayenne offers all the off-road or foul-weather capabilities a driver needs under normal conditions, and its reduced weight actually enhances its off-road dynamics.

For the first time this active all-wheel drive system can be paired with Porsche’s new Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) Plus option. PTV Plus uses variable torque distribution on the rear wheels as well as an electronically controlled rear axle differential lock, thus helping to increase both driving dynamics and stability in curves.

A new Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system together with the new eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission eliminates the need for a reduction gearbox, which saves 73 lbs. When developing PTM, Porsche engineers wanted to optimize the driving dynamics while retaining the Cayenne’s outstanding off-road qualities. The result is two different PTM systems designed for specific new-model characteristics. In the Cayenne S Hybrid, PTM comes with permanent all-wheel drive complete with a self-locking center differential. In the Cayenne, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo, PTM features active all-wheel drive with an electronically controlled, map-guided multiple-plate clutch.

Superior suspension with various options for enhanced driving characteristics

Porsche’s engineers have succeeded in making the Cayenne’s outstanding driving abilities significantly better. The name of the game again is lightweight engineering. For instance, the Cayenne chassis is now 145 lbs lighter thanks in part to the use of aluminum.

All Cayenne models except the Cayenne Turbo come with steel suspension as standard equipment, but for the first time it can be combined with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as an option. PASM is a highly sophisticated system providing active, infinite damper control on the front and rear axle. It offers the choice of the three settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport.

The Cayenne Turbo comes with a new air suspension system with PASM as standard equipment (available as an option on the other models). A Cayenne, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo with air suspension and PASM may be further enhanced with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), an optional system that actively stabilizes the vehicle through dynamic distribution of roll forces.

Again, PTV Plus is a new option on the Cayenne, Cayenne S, and Cayenne Turbo. PTV Plus varies distribution of drive power on the rear wheels via an electronically controlled rear differential to help enhance both driving dynamics and stability. Depending on the steering angle and steering speed, the position of the gas pedal, the yaw rate and road speed, PTV Plus helps improve the vehicle’s steering behavior and precision by activating the brakes as required on one of the rear wheels. In a curve the inner rear wheel is slowed slightly when the driver turns the steering wheel. This in turn directs more power to the outer rear wheel to help enhance the handling and stability. The system interacts with PTM and PSM to help provide enhanced driving stability on various road surfaces, in wet weather and on snow. And in offroad driving it helps prevent rear wheel spin.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne SPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S

Exterior and interior design: elegance in a new dimension

The completely new Cayenne design leaves no doubt that it is part of the Porsche family. Its sporting character is evident from all angles, and its Porsche shape and design highlights are more distinct than ever before.

It is 1.9 inches longer than its predecessor, and an added 1.6 inches in wheelbase ensures extra space and greater versatility. But despite larger exterior dimensions, the new Cayenne looks far more compact and dynamic.

The new headlights resemble those on other Porsches, with the high-beam lamps positioned closer to the centerline of the car and the low-beams toward the outer edge. The Porsche family resemblance continues at the rear with quarter panels flowing to the back and accentuating the Cayenne’s broad shoulders.

Inside, the luxurious interior features a high center console that like the original Carrera GT and now the Panamera rises up at an incline to meet the dashboard center stack with high-quality fittings and a touch-screen infotainment interface to provide a cockpit-like environment up front. The center console grab handles that were present in the original Cayenne are still there, yet with a new design that is carried over to all four doors.

Rear-seat comfort is much improved, as well, thanks to the extended wheelbase. The bench seat now slides fore-and-aft by 6.3 inches, and the backrest can be adjusted to three different angles, or up to 6 degrees.

Porsche’s traditional set of five round instruments in the drivers gauge cluster includes a high-resolution circular 4.8-inch TFT screen to the right of the tachometer. It can be used to change radio stations, vehicle settings, or access the navigation system or view the map. The Cayenne S Hybrid instrument cluster differs as the instruments provide the driver with all information he or she needs to monitor car’s innovative hybrid system and maximize its efficiencies.

The new Cayenne comes with the latest generation of audio and communication systems found in the new Panamera, with Bose® Surround Sound System and the Burmester® High-End Surround Sound System.
New comfort and safety systems, some even featured as standard

For the U.S. market, all Cayenne models include Bluetooth telephone connectivity and the universal audio interface to connect an external audio source such as an iPod or a USB stick with the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system as standard equipment. Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering and a moonroof are standard on the Cayenne S, Cayenne S Hybrid and Cayenne Turbo.

Porsche also offers a range of systems for the new Cayenne to help the driver, including Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS). PDLS is a further development of the existing Bi-Xenon® light system and offers not only dynamic and static cornering lights, but also for the first time in the Cayenne speed-sensitive headlight control with separate modes for roads and interstates. The system is standard on the Cayenne Turbo and an option on the other models.

Another new option is the Lane Change Assistant (LCA). This driver aid monitors the adjacent lanes up to a distance of 230 feet behind the vehicle, including the driver’s blind spots. As soon as another vehicle enters the blind spots or approaches rapidly from behind within a range of 180 feet, an LED warning light illuminates on the inside of the corresponding exterior mirror. If the driver uses the turn signal, the flashing light appears to alert the driver of the approaching vehicle.

Cruise control is standard equipment on all Cayenne models. Customers can also opt for the optional Adaptive Cruise Control system. This driver aid uses a radar sensor to monitor the space between the Cayenne and the vehicle ahead and maintains your preset distance. It does this by restricting the throttle or gently applying the brakes to maintain the preset distance. If the vehicle in front continues to decelerate, Adaptive Cruise Control will reduce cruising speed – even down to a stop. To set off again after coming to a halt, all the driver has to do is briefly press the control lever or the gas pedal.

Photo: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S HybridPhoto: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

Adaptive Cruise Control operates at speeds from 20 to 100 mph, and the required braking power, as calculated by the system, is provided by Porsche Stability Management (PSM) actively building up brake pressure. This provides active safety benefits to the driver. If the distance between the Cayenne and the vehicle ahead becomes too small, the system alerts the brake standby function to shorten the stopping distance required. It also pre-fills the brake system for quicker response and gives the driver both a visual and an acoustic warning and an additional brake pulse as an added driver warning in risky or possibly dangerous situations.

Check out more 2011 Porsche Cayenne (S, S Hybrid, Turbo) pictures in our 2011 Porsche Cayenne (S, S Hybrid, Turbo) photo gallery:

2011 Porsche Cayenne (S, S Hybrid, Turbo) specifications, review, photos and imagery courtesy of Porsche.

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