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Front Runners: Deutschland Diesel

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The Porsche Cayenne is shrinking, and its sibling, the Volkswagen Touareg, is growing. Porsche will release a downsized, V-6 version of its SUV before year’s end, a move sure to further distress Porsche purists still bemoaning what they perceive as the carmaker’s 8-cylinder concession to soccer moms. Meanwhile, Volkswagen (www.vw.com), which teamed with Porsche to produce the Touareg and the Cayenne, will launch a V-10 diesel-powered version of its popular SUV in the United States. Volkswagen says that the $57,800 Touareg will hit showrooms later this year.

The Touareg’s 310 hp, 5-liter block produces 553 ft lbs of torque, plenty of power to propel the SUV, although its 7,716-pound towing capacity is the same as its V-6 and V-8 counterparts. Thanks to its hill descent feature, the Touareg can conquer a 45-degree grade without complaint.

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