Porsche ditches diesel engines
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Porsche has confirmed it has axed all diesel engine options from its range of cars, but it has left open the possibility of a future diesel model.
The German carmaker said the decision was made due to a “cultural shift” by the brand’s customers which means that “demand for diesel models is falling”.
It means Porsche customers will no longer have the option of a new diesel-powered Macan, Panamera or Cayenne as the German manufacturer switches full attention to petrol and hybrid models.
However it did not mean a total diesel exit at Porsche, with a new Cayenne likely to be available with a diesel powertrain in the future.
Porsche is the first manufacturer to pull all diesels from its range since the Dieselgate scandal and the introduction of stricter type-approval fuel economy tests that were enforced from September.
The two latest oil-burning examples it offered, the Macan S Diesel and Panamera S Diesel — which was only released in November 2016 — are now no longer available to new-car buyers.
Diesel has been an option for Porsche customers only in recent years when the brand started offering the fuel type nine years ago.
In fact, without the arrival of high-performance SUVs to dovetail the sale of its more traditional sports cars, Porsche may never have offered diesel engines.
The decision comes just months after the Stuttgart-based manufacturer confirmed that there would be no diesel variant of the new-for-2018 third-generation Cayenne from launch in August — though it could still get a cleaner diesel, it said.
And fanning the flames of a complete move away from the under-fire fuel, Porsche confirmed that the Macan S Diesel had been “taken out of the production programme” too, meaning it will sell only petrol-powered 4x4s for the foreseeable future.
According to Auto Express, the diesel Macan had been stricken from the range because a new software update was required for the car to conform with the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) standards that have been compulsory for all new cars since the end of 2017.
With the Macan due to be updated in April and subject to the updated test measures, Porsche has removed the S Diesel model ahead of the refresh.
It claimed that the diesel variant made up only a fraction of the model’s 97,000 global sales last year.
The Panamera 4S Diesel has also been stripped from order forms for the same reason, with diesel examples making up 15 per cent of all models sold in 2017 — of which 50 per cent were the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid.
Explaining the decision, Porsche said: “Diesel engines traditionally play a subordinate role at Porsche. Porsche does not develop or build diesel engines itself.
“Currently, the demand for diesel models is falling, whereas interest in hybrid and petrol models is increasing significantly.”
However, the statement from Porsche suggested the carmaker isn’t done with diesel for good.
“As announced, the new Cayenne is set to feature a diesel powertrain. The exact time of the market launch is not yet clear.”
This might suggest that Porsche is playing the waiting game to understand what the state of play is with diesel after sales of the fuel type fell in Britain and across Europe on the back of additional taxation.
Government backlash against diesel has been rife since Porsche’s parent group — VW — was found to have fitted some of its vehicles with emissions cheating device.
Like almost every other mass-producing car maker, Porsche is already looking to step up its electrification efforts, which will be spearheaded by the launch of the new pure-electric Mission E supercar due in 2019. There is also talk of a hybrid next-generation 911 in the pipeline.