Porsche axe all diesel engines from current line-up

Due to a ‘cultural shift’ by customers, Porsche has stripped diesel from the entire showroom range. But does it mean the death of diesel Porsches in the future?

Porsche has confirmed that all diesel engines from the current range of showroom vehicles have been axed with immediate effect. You can no longer purchase a brand new Porsche with diesel power – even if only previously available in the Macan, Panamera and Cayenne.

The German sportscar manufacturer blamed a ‘cultural shift’ and the ‘resulting demand for diesel engines’ as sole cause of this abrupt change.

Despite the Panamera S Diesel only being released in November 2016 and diesel engines only made available within the last decade, Porsche will now focus on petrol and hybrid power only for the foreseeable future, with one notable exception.

‘Traditionally, diesel engines have played a subordinate role at Porsche - the company does not develop or build diesel engines itself,' said a Porsche statement.

‘Currently, the demand for diesel models is falling, whereas interest in hybrid and petrol models is increasing significantly. For example, the ratio for hybrid versions of the new Panamera in Europe is around 60 percent.

‘This decision means that Porsche currently does not offer any vehicles with diesel engines. However, it does not mean a diesel exit at Porsche. As announced, the new Cayenne is set to feature a diesel powertrain. The exact time of the market launch it not yet clear.’

Porsche were effectively forced to venture into diesel power from the start, as the marque struggled to meet CO2 emissions targets due to its sports car range. The first diesel in Porsche's model line-up was borrowed from the Volkswagen Touareg in 2009, a V6 TDI fitted to the first-generation Cayenne.

The first major manufacturer to terminate their diesel range in the wide-ranging wake of so-called ‘diesel gate’, the introduction of stricter type-approval fuel economy tests in September 2017 may also have had an effect on the high ranking decision.

According to sources, the diesel Macan – which ended production only one week ago – has been wrapped up due to a required software update for the car to conform with the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), something that has already threatened the kit car industry.

A refreshed range of Macan vehicles is expected next year. Porsche claim that the diesel variant was only responsible for 15% of overall SUV sales.

However, their decision to press ahead with a diesel unit in the new Cayenne does mean fans of Porsches powered by the devil’s fuel can stop grieving. There remains a glimmer of hope for oil-burners in the immediate future, despite their prioritisation of electric and hybrid cars in the long-term.

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