Porsche is about to give a diesel version of its upcoming Panamera four-door hatch the production green light. CAR’s sources claim that Stuttgart is readying a 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel V6 for the Cayenne, and if sales of the diesel off-roader are strong – almost a given under the current economic conditions – then the engine will be prepped for use in the Panamera.
What? A Porsche Panamera diesel?
Yes. And if the thought of a four-seater turbodiesel Porsche doesn’t have die-hards reaching for a stiff drink, the news that the engine will be a V6 rather than a flat-six, – ‘borrowed’ from the Volkswagen group – certainly will. Tweaked and fettled by Porsche, the bi-turbo common-rail unit should develop 300bhp and 450lb ft of torque, running through the newly introduced PDK double-clutch transmission.
The move dovetails neatly with Porsche’s current green attitude – the ‘new’ 911 features direct injection and nudges 30mpg, and a hybrid version of the Panamera is also on the cards. But put the coronary on hold – it’s likely to be 2011 before any formal decision is taken on the diesel Panamera…
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What about the Panamera’s look?
As our spy shots show, the real shape of the Panamera is slowly becoming clearer. The production front bumper is finally visible in our spy photos, with 911 Turbo-esque LED indicators.
We’ve also been told that the Panamera will not have an interior that’s in anyway similar to its current model line-up. Driver and front passenger will be separated by a high and broad centre console with styling heavily inspired by cutting edge mobile phones – batteries of buttons and controls symmetrically laid out around the gearlever, and topped by a touch-screen sat-nav screen. The functional console and multi-function steering wheel will result in a straightforward five-dial instrument binnacle.
Remind me of the timing of the Panamera please
Of course. The Panamera arrives late next year, powered by naturally aspirated and turbo-blown 4.8-litre versions of the Cayenne’s V8 petrol powerplant, complete with manual or PDK twin-clutch transmissions. In 2010, the powertrain range will be extended by a 3.8-litre V6 and a year after that a 30mpg-plus hybrid version will debut, along with that the proposed diesel variant. Expect the cheapest V6 petrol model to start at around £55,000.
What do you think of the Porsche Panamera? Has Porsche let development drag on too long? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and have your say.
Click on the video player below to see the Porsche Panamera in action