What is it? Porsche will be offering its first diesel-powered vehicle in the United States with the Cayenne SUV. Power comes from a 240-hp, 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that cranks out a whopping 406-lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to an efficiency aiding 8-speed automatic transmission, but it lacks the start-stop feature of other Cayenne variants. Porsche claims a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 135 mph. In addition, the company estimates the Cayenne Diesel will get 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway for a combined 23 mpg overall. That should give it a range of about 740 miles on a full tank.
At $56,725, the Cayenne diesel costs about $7,000 more than the basic Cayenne V6, but about $15,000 less than the Cayenne S Hybrid.
What is new or notable? To help avoid accidental tank contamination, a new mechanical system blocks refueling with anything other than diesel. Also, the diesel powertrain meets the strictest emissions standards.
CR’s take: While Porsche didn’t release the Cayenne diesel’s towing capacity, for Porsche buyers this Cayenne may not be about fuel economy or even range, it’s about being able to tow a big boat or track car in style. The Volkswagen Touareg, which uses this powertrain, has a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds.
When will it be available? September 2012.