European buyers are so lucky – they always get the best variants. This week's forbidden fruit? Porsche's new Cayenne S diesel, which is powered by a twin-turbo-diesel V-8.
Underhood is a 4.2-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 that's rated at 381 hp and a massive 627 lb-ft of torque – the most torque offered in any Cayenne variant. The manufacturer quotes a 0-62 mph time of just 5.7 seconds, just a tenth of a second slower than the gas-powered Cayenne S and a full 1.5 seconds faster than the standard Cayenne Diesel, which makes due with a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6
Despite the plentiful power, Porsche expects the V-8-powered Cayenne S Diesel to achieve the equivalent of 28 mpg on the European combined test cycle. In the U.S., the V-6 Cayenne diesel is rated at 29 mpg on the highway, while the gas-V-8 Cayenne S is rated at 22 mpg on the highway. Thanks to a 26.4-gallon tank, Porsche estimates that the Cayenne S Diesel can go 745 miles between fill-ups. Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, which boasts an automatic engine start/stop function.
Sadly, it isn’t heading here. Porsche Cars North America confirmed it won’t import the Cayenne S Diesel to the States. The new diesel eight-cylinder doesn't confirm to U.S. emissions regulations, and the carmaker has no plans to federalize it for us. Diesel-loving Porschephiles won't have to worry though – sales of the 2012 Porsche Cayenne Diesel with a 240-hp, 406-lb-ft turbodiesel V-6 have begun this month.
When it goes on sale, the Cayenne S Diesel will do battle with BMW's X5 M50d and the Audi Q7 4.2 TDI. The former produces 381 hp and 553 lb-ft; the latter is rated at 335 hp and 590 lb-ft.
Sales begin in January – for European customers only – with prices starting at £58,243 ($93,806).