It has taken five years, but Porsche AG has decided to reverse its stance against offering a diesel engine in its Cayenne cross/utility vehicle.

Beginning February, Porsche will offer a 3L V-6 turbodiesel in the Cayenne, mated to a 6-speed Tiptronic transmission.

Supplied by Audi AG, the turbodiesel will generate 240 hp, while delivering fuel economy of (9.3 L/100 km) in the Cayenne.

The engine initially will be sold only in Europe, and Porsche says there are no plans to bring the diesel to the U.S.

At the 2003 Geneva auto show, Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking said a diesel option for the Cayenne was not in the cards.

“We know that diesels are currently attractive in Europe, but they have no relevance in the markets of U.S., Canada and Japan,” he said. “Offering a diesel only would make sense if we would sell more Cayennes because of it.”

Now, Porsche does think a diesel would boost Cayenne prospects, saying in a statement that its “executive board is confident that adding the low-consumption V-6 turbodiesel will contribute to long-term market success of the Cayenne series.”

The auto maker says a record 45,478 Cayennes were sold worldwide in the last fiscal year.

Porsche says the decision to finally add a diesel option was triggered by changes in tax incentives for diesel engines in key European markets.