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FrontRunners: S Stands for Shush

The highway fuel consumption of the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid (www.porsche.com) rates just two mpg better than that of the 2011 Cayenne S—not a big splash for the automaker’s first-ever production hybrid vehicle. Porsche made more notable advances across the 2011 Cayenne lineup: a redesigned exterior with a longer wheelbase, increased cargo space, and more room for rear-seat passengers. But the $69,000 S Hybrid, priced about $4,000 more than the non-hybrid S model, stands out as the quietest vehicle in the group. It is equipped with a Hybrid Manager that, when you lift your foot from the accelerator, automatically disengages the gas-powered supercharged V-6 engine and starts the SUV’s other, 288-volt-battery-powered motor. The hybrid SUV has a top speed of 150 mph, just 10 mph slower than that of the Cayenne S.

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