Porsche attempts to answer to its environment critics with the release of the Porsche Cayenne Diesel. Although cleaner than other Cayennes, this one is certainly not clean. But at least Porsche is making an effort.

Right on schedule, production has begun for the 2009 Porsche Cayenne Diesel. The vehicle's three-litre turbodiesel V6 comes from the Volkswagen group, and is produced by Audi.

The 240 horsepower (176 kW) engine makes this the most environmentally friendly of all Cayennes, but it is still pretty dirty. Spewing out 244 grams of CO2 per 100km, the Cayenne Diesel is about as dirty as the Land Rover LC4 with a 3.0 liter diesel, and the Mercedes Benz M-Class ML 280 and 320. Burning 9.3 liters per 100km (25 mpg), it is significantly cleaner than the Porsche Cayenne's 3.6 liter petrol engine.

Even cleaner will be the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, expected to spend less than 9 liters per 100km, getting more than 26 mpg.

Although a bit weak in terms of horses, the seventh Porsche Cayenne model produces 406 ft-lb of torque (550 Nm). Hopefully, this will make up for any sluggishness. Regardless, this will likely be the slowest Cayenne currently available. Tiptronic S automatic transmission is standard.

Being built in Leipzig, the 2009 Porsche Cayenne Diesel will be available beginning this February with a €47,250 sticker price, excluding tax.

Gallery: Porsche Cayenne Diesel Production Begins