Cayenne Hybrid Coming in 2011:
Alas, No Diesel Version Yet
It's official-Porsche (of all makes) is Going Green in the U.S. market starting next year when a gas-hybrid version of the Cayenne SUV hits our shores. The hybrid system, a so-called "parallel" design (i.e., it can run in tandem with the gas motor at a variety of speeds, not only sequentially at slower speeds) utilizes a 38kW electric motor and 288-volt battery, which can power the Cayenne on electric power alone at speeds up to 32 mph, and can also work at "sailing" speeds (when coasting, for example) at speeds up to 86 mph. Claimed mileage for the Cayenne diesel is 27 combined mpg-not too shabby for a vehicle weighing close to 6,500 pounds.
What's really got us excited, though, is the TDI diesel version of the Cayenne that's currently available in Europe and Australia. The Cayenne's 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 engine is rated at 240 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, and can give the Cayenne a 600-mile cruising range between fill-ups. We had the chance to take a Cayenne with the new diesel out for a test drive recently, and it struck us as arguably the quietest and most vibration-free engine of its type that we'd ever tested in an SUV. (When the parking valet pulled it up to the carport and left it in idle, our initial question was, "So this is the hybrid, right?") Sadly for us, Porsche has no plans to introduce the Cayenne diesel to the U.S. market at present for reasons having to do with its current "business model," i.e., Porsche doesn't think they'd sell enough of them in the States to make it worth their while to export them here. We suspect they're probably right, though we hope that U.S. consumers will keep an open mind in the future about investing in one of the latest generation of clean-diesel SUV engines-the folks at Porsche are certainly hoping they do. -Douglas McColloch
Mahindra Global Vehicles U.S.A., the U.S. distributor for India's Mahindra & Mahindra, has released final power figures for the new 2010 TR20 regular cab and TR40 crew cab midsize diesel pickups. The TR Series' four-cylinder 2.2-liter mHawk turbodiesel engine will crank out 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.
Ford has announced that the 6.2L version of the Raptor will be rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful 1/2-ton on the market.
2010 Ram HD pricing is in. The new Ram HD's will start at $28,165. Power Wagons will start at $45,780.
Land Use Notes
California Includes Diesels in 2010 Smog-Check Program
Beginning January 1, 2010, the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) will include light- and medium-duty, on-road diesel vehicles in its smog-check program. Under the program, manufacturers of performance and specialty aftermarket parts for diesel applications will need to meet certain requirements. Specifically, the test will include a visual inspection for uncertified/non-OEM parts, an OBD II readiness check, and a snap-idle tail-pipe test for particulate matter (PM). BAR has developed a list of non-OEM replacement parts that will be identified during the visual portion of the smog-check process. Any such parts not qualified as a replacement part (and thereby exempt from certification) will require compliance coverage with a CARB Executive Order (E.O.). Identification of any uncertified parts will cause a vehicle to fail the visual portion of the test. A similar program is being proposed in the state of Nevada.