Porsche Cayenne Diesel to arrive by March 2009

It has been officially confirmed that the new fuel-sipping Porsche Cayenne Diesel crossover SUV powered by an oil-burning engine will reach European showrooms by March 2009.

Okay, Porsche is not the first major car manufacturing brand that comes to mind when you begin making a short list of fuel-efficient, yet sporty crossovers. Still, the mighty Cayenne is often bought not only for its ability to negotiate winding roads at impressive speed without breaking a sweat, but also for its off-road prowess and a diesel engine will probably make plugging the mud even more entertaining. Also, there is a growing pressure on the German company both from the local environmentalist lobby and European governments (the former are probably concerned about environment and the latter are not particularly happy about their energy bills) to reduce average CO2 emissions from their fleet.

Porsche Cayenne Diesel to arrive by March 2009
Porsche Cayenne

It is still not clear how significant will be gain in fuel economy, but, if Cayenne’s sibling VW Touareg is of any indication, the increase in MPG may be up to 7 percent in a combined cycle.

The car will possibly be powered by a slightly reworked version of the V6 turbo-diesel currently motivating not only the aforementioned Volkswagen Touareg, but also the Audi Q7 zeppelin on wheels.

The engine will reportedly produce about 240hp of power so it well may be the same 3.0-liter 550 Nm (405 lb-ft) TDi motor currently installed into the Audi Q7 crossover SUV

Audis 3.0-liter 550 Nm (405 lb-ft) TDi motor

It will be safe to assume that with this kind of motivator the Cayenne will feature zero to 100 km/h acceleration time of about 8 – 8.5 seconds and will consume about 10 liters per 100 km (which is less than 24 mpg) of diesel fuel.

Starting at a price of €55,000, the diesel-powered Cayenne will be manufactured at a rate of 15,000 units per year.

With the oil-burning model, the German company has a good chance to put a smashing blow on foreheads of such competitors as the Mercedes-Benz ML 320, BMW X5 xDrive35d, Range Rover Sport TDV8 and it will surely devastate the anemic Volvo XC90 D5 AWD with the latter’s 11.5 seconds of 0-100km/h acceleration time.

UPDATE: Okay, now we have some press photos of the upcoming vehicle. It looks like there will be no noticeable visual difference between the entry level gas-powered Cayenne and its oil-burning sibling. Enjoy.

2008 Porsche Cayenne Diesel (front view)

2008 Porsche Cayenne Diesel (rear view)

2008 Porsche Cayenne Diesel (brown leather interior)

2008 Porsche Cayenne Diesel (interior, LCD mileage indicator)

Photos: Porsche, Audi

See also: 2009 Porsche Cayenne Hofele GT 500 / 600 body kit