Diesel Panamera Confirmed

Porsche confirmed that a diesel version of the Panamera sports sedan will be launched in late 2011. CEO Matthias Muller made the announcement during an interview with Germany’s Westfalen-Blatt newspaper, saying that the success of the Cayenne diesel is one of the key reasons for considering a diesel variant of the grand tourer.

The Porsche executive refused to discuss what particular engine would be used, but it is likely that the powerplant will be a 3.0 liter V6 TDI with 176 kW (240 PS / 236 hp) and 550 Nm (406 lb-ft) of torque. The engine will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, allowing the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just over seven seconds.

Apart from the diesel-powered Panamera, Mr. Muller spoke of the compact SUV the company is planning to make, saying that they have grown fond of the name Cajun and are now exploring its legal availability.

Porsche hopes that by focusing on the SUV class, it could better compete against existing rivals in the segment. Although there is still much time left until the smaller Porsche SUV enters the market (the German media talks about a market entrance for the model sometime in 2014 or even 2015), the model is an essential part of Porsche's lineup.

Volkswagen's merger with Porsche means that it needs to start paying out, if the Group wants its recently set target of being world leader by 2018 to become reality. The only way to do that is by diversifying its offering with an expanded lineup. Until Volkswagen accomplishes its long-term dreams, we can only sit and watch as Porsche turns into a mainstream manufacturer.
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