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, 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.
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
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.
Photos: Porsche, Audi