Porsche has stated in the past it would not fit any diesel powerplants to its cars but with toughening fuel economy and emissions regulations looming in both the U.S. and Europe the sports carmaker has been left with no choice. Sales of the Cayenne Diesel have now started in Europe, and according to the company’s director of SUV operations more diesel-powered Porsches could follow.

Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Porsche’s Klaus Gerhard Wolpert said the company has not excluded adding a diesel option to some of its other models. Wolpert explained that the Cayenne Diesel will be used to test the car buying public’s opinion on a diesel-powered Porsches, and if it proves successful the upcoming Panamera would likely be next. Management also plans to examine whether a diesel option will be more popular than hybrid option, however, a petrol-electric Porsche is still at least a year away from sale.

As for the Cayenne Diesel, its new engine develops a peak output of 240hp (179kW), and Porsche is expected to produce up to 15,000 units annually. The company says its new diesel Cayenne achieves a fuel consumption rating of 25.3mpg (9.3L/100km) and CO2 emissions of 244g/km, both of which should help improve its carbon footprint and allow the SUV to be registered in lower tax brackets in countries where registration taxes are based on emissions.

The base price for the new diesel-powered Cayenne in Europe is €47,250 without taxes. Base-level models will be equipped with the Tiptronic S automatic transmission as standard equipment, since its reliability in handling the engine's substantial 406lb-ft (550Nm) of torque is unquestioned.