Porsche Offers First Diesel Model in Its History

November 21, 2008
It's official: Porsche will be going diesel for 2009, with a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel in its Cayenne SUV. The engine is sourced from corporate partner Audi and is the same unit found in the Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg SUVs, which share a platform with the Porsche Cayenne.

People cried foul when Porsche entered the SUV realm, fearful of what a big, slobbering SUV would do to Porsche's thoroughbred performance image. But the automaker has managed it well, keeping its sportscars separate and distinctive, yet maintaining viability and great cash flow with all the profits made from its sybaritic SUV. And despite its heft, they've made the Cayenne relatively fun to drive, with insane twin-turbo versions, a six-speed manual in the S model, and decent handling to boot.

The diesel should address the dismal fuel economy in the Cayenne, making it less of a burden to fuel up. And with 240 hp underhood, it promises to be far fleeter than the base gasoline V-6 that debuted in the very first Cayenne. Porsche promises 30 mpg in the combined European cycle with the diesel, well beyond what the gasoline models (even the V-6) are capable of. This will be a boon to European markets, where significant tax incentives make diesel the more affordable fuel by far. For European service, the Cayenne diesel will be available with a manual or Porsche's tiptronic automatic. No word on if or when we'll see this Cayenne in the U.S.--Colin Mathews

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