Porsche unveils 1st Cayenne Hybrid

LOS ANGELES /*Porsche*/ is rolling out its first hybrid: the /*Cayenne Hybrid S*/. Porsche says many of their customers would like a greener choice.

"We got really good feedback from our customers. They're waiting for this car, especially in the United States, where there's a little hybrid hype, especially in the West Coast," said Michael Leiters, a spokesman for Porsche.

It may seem like a strange concept, like an oxymoron in the car world. But many buyers now want cars of all types that use less fuel and are kinder to the environment.

"Not all environmentalists disavow performance. There's no reason why a care for the environment and a love of cars need be mutually exclusive," said Ron Cogan, editor of Green Car Journal.

For the hybrid version of the Cayenne, which will be available in 2010, Porsche is employing a unique hybrid system that includes a way to let the engine disconnect from the electric motor allowing more flexibility for low speed and high speed driving.

When Porsche set out to build a hybrid, they knew that it would have to not only have hybrid attributes, but Porsche attributes like strong acceleration, crisp handling, and Porsche braking.

The company says the new hybrid will be able to handily outperform any other luxury hybrid on the market. And although it hasn't gone through the official U.S. mileage test, the company estimates that the new Cayenne will achieve 24 to 27 miles per gallon.

No prices have been announced, but current Cayenne models run $50,000 and up. For many upscale buyers with aspirations of being green, price won't really be an issue. They'll gladly pay for the satisfaction of knowing that they're driving a Porsche and a hybrid at the same time.

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