The words 'Porsche' and 'diesel' rarely appear in the same sentence (unless that sentence is, "Get your stinking diesel out of the way of my Porsche," or, "Avert your gaze from my Porsche Cayenne diesel 4x4, peasant"), but we may have to start getting used to the combination thanks to the Porsche Panamera Diesel.

The car, which provides long-distance, high-economy thrills for up to four passengers, trades the standard petrol engine for a 3-litre diesel unit that promises 44.8mpg on the combined cycle, emissions of 172g/km and -- thanks to an 80-litre fuel tank -- a whopping total range of 745 miles on a single tank (which would cost you about £115 to fill up).

Performance isn't too badly affected by the fact the engine runs on diesel and not petrol. The engine churns out 250hp and 550Nm of torque (available from 1,750rpm so you won't have to rev its knackers off) does 0-62mph in a respectable 6.8 seconds and keeps going until it hits 150mph.

That, rather surprisingly, compares very well to the standard entry-level petrol Panamera, which returns a mere 25mpg, spits 265g/km of CO2 and has the same 0-60mph time. 

That said, the Diesel model is spanked quite brutally by the Panamera S Hybrid, whose engine and electric motor combine to provide 380hp. That facilitates a 0-62mph time of 6 seconds, a top speed of 167mph and exhaust emissions of 159g/km -- but get this, just 41.5mpg, or 8 per cent less than the diesel.

The Panamera Diesel will set you back £62,134 when it goes on sale in August. That's £2,388 more than the entry-level petrol car, but it's some £24,342 cheaper than the hybrid model. We've done the maths, carried the 1 and -- despite our reluctance to like anything powered by oil -- the Panamera Diesel looks a very attractive proposition.

Have a look through our photo gallery above to see it in more detail.

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