There was little surprise at the recent news that Porsche had axed its last remaining diesel vehicles in Europe, with the diesel versions of the Macan and Panamera being withdrawn from sale. It was a move in keeping with the tide of history; the Dieselgate scandal has affected sales of compression-ignition engines on both sides of the Atlantic, and Porsche’s adoption of the technology came more from market pressure than from any great enthusiasm for it.
Yet, it seems, those reports were wrong—or at least premature. Porsche in Great Britain, the source of the original report, has released a clarifying statement that it is still planning a diesel version of the new Cayenne.
“Currently, the demand for diesel models is falling, whereas interest in [gasoline] and hybrid models is increasing significantly,” the company’s statement said. “In light of these facts, Porsche has adapted its product planning. 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 is not yet clear.”
Which is good news for Europe’s lovers of frugal luxury SUVs but of little direct bearing to those of us on the other side of the Atlantic. The Volkswagen Group has already said it won’t be bringing any of its diesel engines back to the States, and Porsche exclusively uses VW-sourced diesel powerplants.