Porschephiles look away now – Porsche has just confirmed it will build its first diesel. The Cayenne SUV gains derv power in 2009 and will put Porsche in the unique position of having hybrid, petrol and diesel models in the same 4x4 range.
The Cayenne diesel will use a VW sourced engine. And, no, it's not the Touareg’s 5.0-litre V10. Instead, the Cayenne will be powered by the rather more humble 3.0-lite V6 turbodiesel, making it comfortably the smallest capacity Cayenne.
That's enough to guarantee the lowest CO2 emissions of the range, although it's still no eco-saviour at a stodgy 244g/km. At least it's a fifth cleaner than the 3.6-litre petrol.
Will the Cayenne diesel be the slowest Porsche ever?
Perhaps. Power is just 240bhp and, although the weight hasn't been confirmed, it must tip in above the 2170kg 3.6 petrol. Understandably, Porsche hasn't issued any performance figures yet.
The diesel Cayenne will, however, average 30mpg – a big improvement over the base Cayenne’s 21.9mpg combined figure. UK prices for the diesel Cayenne will start at £40,250 when it goes on sale in February 2009.
Are Cayenne sales struggling because of emissions taxes then?
Surprisingly, no. Porsche claims the Cayenne has enjoyed its best-ever sales in the 2007/08 financial year, with more than 45,000 sold. It's collapsing sales of sports cars that are hitting its margins right now.
Porsche isn't being complacent, however. This new derv Cayenne proves it knows what customers want – and there will be a hybrid petrol-electric Cayenne on sale by late 2009, powered by a V6 petrol twinned with battery power. It can hit 75mph on electric mode; sounds like our kind of hybrid...