Forget Amerindian prognostications of the apocalypse occurring in 2012 – the sight of an oil-burning Porsche SUV is enough for some to consider it the end of the world.
The announcement of a diesel powered Porsche Cayenne was buried deep within a press release for the Porsche 911 Cabriolet’s debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. According to the release, the spring launch of the previously revealed Panamera GTS “…will subsequently be followed by the Cayenne Diesel as Porsche’s first compression-ignition car in the USA.”
A bit of digging on the Porsche UK site shows that the Cayenne Diesel puts up some decent numbers. 245 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque with the sprint to 60 mph coming up in 7.6 seconds. A V6 powered Cayenne with the Tiptronic gearbox is only .2 seconds quicker. The Diesel has the clear edge in fuel economy – returning 8.4L/100km in the city and 6.5L/100km – according to our conversions thats 27 mpg around town and 36 mpg on the freeway. The Cayenne V6 returns a meager 16/23 mpg by comparison.
Pricing and positioning for the Cayenne Diesel hasn’t been announced, but we can look to both the existing Cayenne lineup as well as its competitors for clues. The current Cayenne lineup has the Cayenne V6 at $48,200, while the V8-powered Cayenne S retails for $65,000. The Hybrid model (with a supercharged V6 and hybrid drivetrain is $69,000. The diesel will have to bridge the substantial gulf between the two cars, and given Porsche’s propensity to charge exorbitant sums for trivial widgets like colored wheel crests, look for the Cayenne Diesel to err towards the higher side of the pricing spread.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz offer their own range of diesel engines on certain SUVs (the X5, M-Class and GL-Class. The R-Class is questionable as an SUV), but their pricing strategy differs as widely as their respective marketing narratives. BMW positions the X5 diesel as a much more expensive option – costing some $9200 more than a base X5 35i with the 3.0L twin-turbo I6, while the Mercedes ML350 BlueTEC carries a premium of $1590. The GL350 BlueTEC on the other hand costs $1000 less than the base gasoline GL450.