When we first drove the Porsche Cayenne S Diesel we were stunned by its in-gear performance on the Autobahn. Now we’ve had the chance to see how Porsche’s performance diesel SUV fares in the UK.
The 4.2-litre V8 is borrowed from Audi, but Porsche engineers have fitted unique valves and pistons, plus a sports exhaust, to produce 376bhp and a huge 850Nm of torque – 41bhp and 50Nm more than the Audi Q7.
Floor the throttle and this two-tonne diesel SUV pins you firmly in your seat as it covers 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds – faster than most hot hatches.
Clever Porsche Traction Management software and four-wheel-drive grip make it equally impressive through tight corners. There’s noticeable body roll with optional air-suspension, but sheer mechanical grip and a responsive steering rack help this Cayenne feel genuinely sporty.
However, unlike more extrovert high-performance petrol versions of the car, the S Diesel keeps a low profile. Subtle Cayenne S badges across the bootlid and unique 18-inch wheels are the only hints as to the impressive level of performance on offer.
An eight-speed gearbox boosts economy, with 30mpg achievable on motorways, but it’s a full auto and doesn’t feel as lightning fast as a modern dual-clutch set-up.