A Porsche with a diesel engine? It is about to finally happen but no, we're not talking about a diesel unit crowbarred into a 911. From February next year, Porsche will offer a Cayenne with a diesel engine in Europe.

Porsche says the decision was taken in response to changed legal regulations especially in European markets, resulting in tax incentives for vehicles with diesel engines. And of course, as Porsche acknowledges, the Porsche stake in Volkswagen Group has 'opened up new opportunities to utilise sporty compression-ignition technology'.

Porsche will equip the Cayenne with a 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine with 240 bhp (176 kW) supplied by Audi AG, a subsidiary of the VW Group. The average consumption of the Cayenne Diesel is 30.4mpg Combined (9.3 litres/100 km) with emissions of 244 g/km CO2.

In response to customer demand, the new Cayenne model will initially be offered in Europe. Preparations for market introduction in other countries are underway.

Porsche is also working on another Cayenne variant with hybrid drive that will exceed 31 mpg, and which will be launched onto the market at the end of the decade.

The new Cayenne with diesel drive will be arriving at Porsche Centres from February 2009. Equipped with the proven Tiptronic-S automatic gearbox as standard, it costs from GBP40,250.