Porsche Quits Making Diesel Vehicles

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In an interview with a German magazine, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said that the company best known for its gasoline-powered sports cars will no longer produce vehicles with diesel engines. The company sold diesel-powered versions of the Cayenne and Macan SUVs.

The luxury Macan SUV was available in a diesel engine version of the vehicle with a starting price of $95,300. The high-end Cayenne diesel has a starting price of $109,200. Porsche stopped taking orders for its diesel versions in February of this year, about 10 years after the introduction of the diesel-powered Cayenne.

Porsche has never built its own diesel engine but the carmaker was caught up in the diesel emissions cheating scandal that hit parent company Volkswagen AG in 2015. The diesel engines that Porsche used in these vehicles were made by Audi, which like Porsche, is another division of VW.

CEO Blume said:

We have never developed and produced diesel engines ourselves. Nevertheless, Porsche’s image has suffered. The diesel crisis caused us a lot of trouble.

He’s right about that. The company allegedly knew the diesel engines were rigged with software that reported lower emissions levels when being tested than were actually created in normal driving.

Blume also noted that while diesel engines have their advantages, they don’t fit in with the Porsche image:

It is important for us that engines can be driven in a sporty way. Petrol engines are well suited for sporty driving. In the future, Porsche will be more Porsche than it was in the past, catering to greater performance and efficiency. The diesel engine is aimed at a different driving experience.

Blume didn’t mention the firm’s hybrid and all-electric cars that fit into that “sporty” Porsche image, but that’s where the company is going to focus more attention in the future. The company’s first all-electric sports car, the newly christened Taycan, is set up to compete with the Tesla Roadster and the sedan version of the car with the Model S.

While Porsche’s diesel-powered cars didn’t make much of splash in the United States, 32% of sales in Germany and 14% of global sales were down to diesel vehicles.