Porsche has dumped diesel powertrains from its line-up following growing pressure from consumers, with the sportscar-maker admitting the Volkswagen diesel cheating crisis and fears relating to the fuel had impacted its image.
The company said in a statement that it was not “demonising” diesel and considered it “an important propulsion technology” but added that new models would not feature the engine type. Porsche first introduced a diesel to its passenger vehicles in 2009 with the Cayenne.
Porsche Cars Australia head of public relations Chris Jordan said the effect would be small for local consumers.
He said the biggest diesel demand locally was for the Cayenne SUV before it was launched in third-generation guise in June with no diesel option.
Diesel engines were also available for the Macan SUV and Panamera four-door coupe however they were discontinued in February this year, with only a small number of Macan units still in stock.
The end of diesel coincides with Porsche announcing it will have spent $A10 billion on its e-mobility program that paved the way for electrification of its vehicles, including the 2019 Mission-E coupe now known as Taycan.
In a statement, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said consumer interest in diesels was declining.
Diesel vehicles make up only 12 per cent of Porsche’s global sales and, in Australia, the figure was less than 20 per cent with the Cayenne being the most popular model with the fuel.
In Europe, 63 per cent of Panamera versions are hybrids while in Australia that figure is about 25 per cent.
“As a sportscar-maker where diesel has traditionally played an inferior role, we have come to the conviction that we’ll continue without diesel,” Mr Blume said in a statement.
Much of the backlash is happening in showrooms with buyers turning away from the fuel in reaction to the much-publicised emissions-cheating scandal that centred on Porsche parent company Volkswagen AG.
It has also led to some European cities beginning to ban older diesel models from their roads to meet emissions reductions targets and to announce future new diesel-fuelled car bans.
Mr Blume was quoted in German weekly publication Bild am Sonntag saying that Porsche’s image had suffered because of the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal.
“The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” he said.
Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the US over diesel emissions for its vehicles following revelations in September 2015 when it admitted that 11 million diesel vehicles had software that could bypass emission tests. This included about 13,500 Cayenne diesels.
Porsche continues to put this behind it, announcing that by 2025, every second new Porsche vehicle is expected to have some degree of electrification.
“Our aim is to occupy the technological vanguard – we are intensifying our focus on the core of our brand while consistently aligning our company with the mobility of the future,” Mr Blume said.
Porsche is not alone in ending its association with diesel. Volvo said all its vehicles from 2019 would be hybrid or electric and Toyota is also pulling its diesel passenger cars from the European market.
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