Buried at the bottom of a recent press release, Porsche announced that the Cayenne SUV will have diesel power in 2013. This is big news. Diesels have long borne a stigma to Americans, despite millions of red-blooded Americans logging hundreds of millions of miles transporting our produce and feed and cheaply-made imports via rail and our highways everyday for several decades. Never mind questioning this hypocrisy, let’s focus on now. Or, next year for that matter.
In addition, Porsche has confirmed that it will be bringing its smaller crossover to the U.S. market for the first time. Dubbed the Cajun, it will slot beneath the bigger Cayenne, both in size and price. It will also, one assumes, boast better fuel economy as well.
Porsche sold just more than 29,000 vehicles in the United States last year. Next year, they want to top 30,000 for the first time. As federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandates require automakers to improve fuel efficiency, more brands are choosing to downsize their vehicles, or their engines. With expansion comes creativity and risk, and for Porsche, risks such as the Cayenne and premium sedan, Panamera, have paid off. While other brands are moving toward electrification (Porsche also has a hybrid Cayenne and Panamera), and some brands have refused to bring over their diesel technology, this bold move could begin the flood for an untapped market.
For now, we’ll just have to wait.