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Porsche officially axes diesel

Combusted: Porsche introduced its first diesel powertrain to Australia with the Cayenne large SUV in 2009, but has since dropped all oil-burning offerings from its portfolio.

Low demand prompts the end of Porsche diesel models, VW emissions scandal a factor

Porsche logo24 Sep 2018

PORSCHE Cars has officially confirmed that it will no longer offer diesel-powered vehicles moving forward, as customer demand continues to sink, and its alternative powertrain program ramps up.

 

In a recent statement, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said that interest in its diesel vehicles was declining, and the fuel was never intended to be at the forefront of the sportscar-maker’s projected future.

 

“Porsche is not demonising diesel,” he said. “It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology.

 

“We as a sportscar manufacturer, however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free.”

 

The trend that has seen consumers gradually move away from diesel powertrains in passenger cars and some SUVs has been partially a result of the dieselgate emissions-cheating scandal that plagued the image of Porsche's parent company Volkswagen AG.

 

In a German publication Bild Am Sonntag, Mr Blume said that Porsche’s image too suffered as a result of dieselgate, with approximately 13,500 examples of its Cayenne diesel caught up in the scandal.

 

“The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, Porsche Cars Australia head of public relations Chris Jordan said the company was confident that the move would have little impact on its customers, confirming that its diesel variants made up just a small percentage of overall sales.

 

Diesel vehicles accounted for just 12 per cent of the brand’s sales globally and were less than 20 per cent of its volume in Australia, with the Cayenne large SUV making up the majority of that figure.

 

Oil-burning engines were also available in the Macan small SUV and the Panamera four-door coupe, but were dropped from the range in February.

 

Stock has dried up for both the Cayenne and the Panamera diesels, however Mr Jordan said that a "small number" of Macan diesel units are still floating around.

 

The announcement comes as Porsche has committed to a $A10 billion investment into its e-mobility electrification program, which will first materialise with the Taycan EV set to launch globally next year.

 

Porsche, like many European car-makers, is pushing towards an electrified future, predicting that by 2025 every second vehicle could be hybrid or purely electric.

 

“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.” said Mr Blume.

 

The brand is also aware of the importance that traditional internal combustion holds to its customer base, saying that “emotional and powerful sportscars (will) continue to play an important role in the Porsche product portfolio”.

 

As previously reported, Porsche sales in Australia are down 18.7 per cent so far this year compared with the same period in 2017.

 

The dip was largely caused by limited supply of its popular Cayenne large SUV, which was down 43.7 per cent as it transitioned to the third-generation model in June.

 

In 2009, Porsche introduced its first diesel engine locally in the Cayenne, borrowing a 3.0-litre V6 donk from its Audi Q7 cousin, and later getting more powerful 193kW 3.0-litre V6 and 4.2-litre twin-turbo V8 oil burners.

 

Porsche now offers the new Cayenne with three petrol engines and a plug-in hybrid setup, despite the fact that the diesel grade was the best-selling version of the previous model.


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