It’s been confirmed that Porsche are to build a diesel version of the Panamera. The Porsche Panamera Diesel will arrive in the second half of 2011.
It’s not the most shocking news of the week – the Porsche Panamera Diesel is definitely going in to production – but it is the first time that Porsche has actually made the unequivocal assertion.
We will have the Porsche groupies complaining – once more – that a diesel has no place in a Porsche lineup. But that Luddite mentality would probably signal the end for Porsche. It’s the diesel versions of the Cayenne – Porsche’s best ever cash-cow – that make the sales numbers, and it will be the same with the Panamera.
But there’s a second important reason beyond sales for Porsche to make diesel a big part of their turnover. Car makers are being set targets – with big penalties for failure to comply – on fuel economy and CO2 emissions by Governments in almost all world markets. And even though Porsche has some of the most efficient supercars on the planet they still need help from the fuel of satan to keep their numbers workable.
But how awful will a Panamera diesel be? The truth is that this 21st century Porsche saloon – with its 3.0 TDI V6 taken from the Cayenne and probably tweaked to yield a few more horses – will deliver performance similar to the Jaguar XJ 3.0 Diesel.
That would mean a 0-60 mph of around 6 seconds and economy – real world – of 35mpg. In terms of performance that would give the Porsche Panamera diesel similar performance the the V8 Porsche 928 S4, a car very few Porsche groupies would consider a sloth. True, there won’t be the same linearity of performance from the diesel, but by way of compensation it will use half the fuel of its 2+2 ancestor.
We’re running the Jaguar XJ 3.0 Diesel as a long-term test car at the moment. It has all the performance you could need for 95% of the time; it handles brilliantly; it’s comfortable and quiet. If it were our own money we were spending on a new XJ (and I can’t belive I’m saying this) we would buy the XJ 3.0 litre diesel.
And it’ll be the same with the Porsche Panamera Diesel when it arrives in the second half of 2011.