By on September 23, 2018

Porsche will quit offering diesel powertrains for its cars and light trucks, effectively adding another nail to the fuel’s coffin. Following Volkswagen Group’s emission’s fiasco in the United States, which included Porsche, Europe has become increasingly critical of diesel-engined vehicles. Citywide bans have have been proposed throughout the region and, as of February, Porsche suspended diesel sales due to an ongoing German probe into VW Group’s diesel engines.

That investigation found that the Cayenne EU5 model’s 8-cylinder diesel was in violation of the established rules, affecting 13,500 units, according to Bild am Sonntag. Porsche then recalled nearly 60,000 Cayenne and Macan diesels in May as it launched its own investigation.

“Porsche is not demonizing diesel. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology,” Porsche Chief Executive Oliver Blume said in a statement. “We as a sports car 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 brand has said that its hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, accounting for roughly 63 percent of new buyers for the four-door Panamera coupe in Europe. Meanwhile the Taycan model is due for launch next year, which is Porsche’s first fully-electric sports car based on the Mission E concept.

Porsche is putting more than 6 billion euros ($7.1 billion) into “electric mobility” by 2022 to keep itself on the cutting edge as demand for diesel continues to plummet globally. The automaker claimed that only 12 percent of its global sales could be attributed to diesels last year.

“We have never developed and produced diesel engines ourselves. Still, Porsche’s image has suffered. The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” Blume said in an interview with Bild.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer have scheduled a meeting with the German auto industry’s top brass in Berlin for Sunday. Its goal revolves around deciding how the region can best meet air quality standards in cities. Recent court rulings in Germany have suggested that older diesel cars should be banned from densely populated areas to minimize pollution. However, outright diesel prohibition has also been proposed — resulting in apprehension for both car buyer and builder, alike.

[Image: Porsche]

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26 Comments on “Porsche is Officially Ditching Diesel...”


  • avatar
    Garak

    Good for them, diesel’s best left to tractors – like the ones Porsche built in the 1950s. They’re even air cooled!

    Seriously though, I’m glad to see diesel go on the decline. I hate breathing those cancer fumes.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yep, its a good thing only diesel cars pollute. Enjoy your solar powered utopiamobile.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I noticed today that you were hanging out posting on TTAC between the hours of 1 am and 2 am on a Saturday night (again), based on date/time stamps.

        This is ongoing situation (you posting on weekends, and Friday and Saturday nights) that has me worried about your social life, John.

        You should be out on the weekends, for the most part, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

        If you find yourself anywhere near the northern Oakland County/Macomb County, or even anywhere in the metro Detroit area, generally, and want to experience some socialization, I’ll invite you to join a gang of good-natured people (both genders, about a group of a dozen regulars, from a variety of professional, technical and blue collar backgrounds) for drinks, eats and shop talk.

        You need to be aware of the obsession with social media’s the cancer that it is!

        Get out, make friends, and live life in the real world, John!

        • 0 avatar
          Hydromatic

          This is probably the most coherent post I’ve seen you make in eons, DeadWeight. But poor form on assuming someone doesn’t have a social life based on what times they prefer posting (and besides, who else keeps track of that stuff?).

      • 0 avatar
        Garak

        There’s this magic thing called gasoline, some might have even heard about it.

        In my diesel-loving country every day is spent enjoying the disgusting exhaust stench and breathing in billowing white smoke clouds from DPF regeneration. Sometimes you see vehicles pushing out visible black soot. Gasoline-powered cars are pretty much non-polluting utopiamobiles compared to diesels.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    So when does the shoe drop on GDI engines? My GTI had a sooty tailpipe from the day I bought it new. High compression GDI engines also suffer from sooty exhaust and many do not have particulate filters on their exhaust systems.

    All high compression turbo charged engines seem to have this problem and it is only a matter of time until the regulators go after GDI engines.

    The future for automotive propulsion seems to be low-compression gasoline hybrids and full electric. I suspect nothing else will meet environmental regs.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Who needs diesel or GDI? High speed rail powered by solar or wind is the solution to all our transportation needs – Jerry Brown says so.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      @zerofoo: I asked myself the same question just last week, as I walked out to my GTI and looked at the tailpipes.

      But:

      “The future for automotive propulsion seems to be low-compression gasoline hybrids and full electric. I suspect nothing else will meet environmental regs.”

      You mean, this year.

      Eventually, regulators will start asking inconvenient questions about how batteries are made and recycled. And the auto industry, which by that time will have dived DEEP into the battery end of the pool, will do everything they can to hem and haw and hide the nastiness from the ignorant regulators.

      And some VW-like entity will lie about it all and get caught, and here we go again.

      We as a society need to step up and admit that our transportation requirements have a downside, and will always have some sort of downside. You can stop the burning of gasoline, but that won’t stop the release into the environment of some other form of previously stored energy in order to feed our habit–and the last time I checked, there’s no out clause on the laws of thermodynamics.

      Diesel today is the white male of fuels. “Are you now, or have you ever been, something we can attack as a means to support and expand our power base?” The battery comes under attack tomorrow.

      Some people will never be happy unless they’re attacking something. Society needs to shut those people up, until and unless they come up with an actual solution to the problem.

      And “don’t use the release of stored energy to transport people and stuff” is not an actual solution to the problem.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        I’m no expert on thermodynamics, but I doubt every form of energy has equivalent impacts. Fossil fuel engines have impacts when manufactured and their fuel requires continuous replenishment with attendant impacts.

        Solar, on the other hand, merely delays or interrupts free sunlight from heating the earth. Solar panels shade the ground from solar heating, but that heat is later released when the energy performs work. Similar dynamics apply to wind, tidal, hydro etc.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          @brandloyalty: I’m with you on this. And in fact, wind, tidal, hydro are all…drum roll, please…solar energy at the source.

          But my point was, political power base seeking entities will seek to control or destroy the batteries that allow us to store that power, regardless of its source.

          And we’re not putting nearly enough effort into making sunlight-based power usable for our daily needs, including transportation.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      It’s not high compression nor turbocharging, per se, that causes soot. But rather direct injection, which even with gasoline can lead to burning fuel before it is fully atomized and homogeneously distributed, leading to locally burning of rich mixture. This doesn’t have to happen with DI, but avoiding it requires an awful lot more sophistication than when fuel is injected and atomized way upstream, as is the case with traditional port injection. Per luddite me, this is just another confirmation that cars really were effectively perfected by the early 90s, and that whatever has come since, it’s just needless complication for complication’s own sake :)

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    VW Group is just playing the regulation game as always. At least in Europe they have easily the most politicians and civil servants in their pockets, and this is their main M.O.: they formulate a scheme, do the product development and get their product line ready to maximise all benefits from certain new legislation, then they have their politicians put in the new legislation and they roll their products out..

    Competitors are at least half a model cycle, usually a whole model cycle late every time. Plus sometimes they need additional R&D time plus alignment of the whole product palette first, before they can fully develop the next model lineup which will be in tune with the ‘VW regulations’.

    This is what they did with diesel (back in the day when they were a major force in increasing diesel’s share in car sales). This is what they did with downsized gasoline turbo engines.

    They even do the same in motorsports: they find a motor racing series that is at its least competitive, grease the regulations to favour them (racing series on the verge of cancellation/bankruptcy are often more than happy to accommodate a corporation asking to ‘work together with them’ so they can bring in bags of money, PR, everything to the sport) beforehand, then commit multiple times everyone else’s budget in order to blitzkrieg the series. They pummel all the small budget teams, especially since they’ve prepared usually at least a season before entering to completely surprise everyone, and then there’s the new rules which suit the new VW entrant… Simultaneously since they come in and dominate at least within one year, and they have a massive budget, that creates a barrier to entry for all other manufacturer team competition since they would have to come in unprepared and VW has at least a year (plus preparation before their entry) of super valuable experience. So new competitors would definitely have to be embarrassed for a whole season before having a chance to realistically be competitive and able to challenge VW. And then VW can just go all-in with an even more massive budget to make sure there’s a second year of embarrassment to the new entrant. Especially since we have seen the record-level returns they get from the sport, as the absolutely dominant team. They can risk investing hugely in PR and advertising since they know they’re going to win, and therefore get massive returns for it back. That’s why for example Le Mans was basically a circus run by VW. All of the above is true and easily verifiable. For example it is a fact that they set up regulations and diesel engine rules for Le Mans before hand with ACO, and ACO didn’t find it to be a problem to implement what VW wanted so they could get VW money into the sport to save their series.

    Same with rally: empty race series, all manufacturers cut back to using unofficial non-factory teams, and therefore VW sees an opportunity and prepares for a major blitz.

    With MotoGP I’m not that familiar with what VW Group’s strategy has been to get Ducati to start to already be a dominant bike, do they also have effective espionage? Well, Yamaha was already down to an unthreatening team and maybe Honda too had gotten complacent in their off-season R&D? In any case you can see that VW has poured in massive amounts of money to Ducati to _make sure_ it becomes the dominant team.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      That’s a spot-on analysis of VW Auto Group Lockstops. That’s exactly their M.O. They are like the girl who worked the streets for 15 years and now pushing for new Puritan movement after she was busted by the police.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “We have never developed and produced diesel engines ourselves”

    Wow, what a way to throw their family cousin Volkswagen under the bus. I thought the “G” in VAG stood for “Group”, but now Porsche finds it quite inconvenient to be part of it. Ha!

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Sadly, I am not surprised.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    “We as a sports car manufacturer”

    So Porsche thinks of itself as a sports car manufacturer? That’s amusing for what is mainly a light truck company…

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Yup, and in addition to that it’s mostly a kit-car type light truck company since it mainly uses platforms that an A-to-B basic vehicle company has developed. The majority of gasoline engines they use also comes from the econobox-company. Same with infotainment. Safety tech too. Porsche basically just orders slightly different suspension components from outside supplier companies, it’s mostly just a marketing branch of VW.

      (BTW even Volkswagen doesn’t develop almost any engine tech, it buys that tech from others. DI tech came from the engine geniuses of Fiat, who sold it to Bosch from whom VW bought that tech.)

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    Diesel is/was popular in Europe because of the MPG, 60+ MPG isn’t unknown, and is a bonus when fuel is $8 a gallon.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      The popularity of diesel in Europe was probably mostly due to manipulation of the market by government. Look it up.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        You are absolutely correct. Diesel is popular because European governments tax $2 per gallon gasoline so that it becomes $8 per gallon gasoline, while in most countries the tax on diesel is less than gasoline making diesel relatively more attractive. Similarly, purchase and annual licensing taxes have often been based on CO2 emissions, which give advantages to lower fuel consuming diesel.

        • 0 avatar
          la834

          Of course the opposite has been (and still is) true in the U.S., where diesel prices are artificially high because it’s taxed higher than gasoline. The rationale has been that heavy trucks and buses use it, and they damage the roads more, so let’s tax them higher.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Plant more trees.
    Ban Beef consumption.
    More Diesels!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Its time for diesel to go away. It is going to be forced out by the European standards and many do not properly maintain their diesels. Nothing like breathing in the fumes from a diesel engine that puffs out clouds of black smoke to make you want to see them banded. Add to that the coal rollers who do not help the cause of diesels. I realize that most who own and drive diesels for work are not the culprits but coal rollers make the rest of us anti-diesel and wish for their demise. There is also the link to cancer that being exposed to diesel causes.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    A diesel in a Porsche is like tits on a male distance runner, like, uhm Bruce Jenner. Pointless.

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

    > Its time for diesel to go away.

    All of these save the planet measures will eventually be defeated by the overriding force called human nature. This planet is living on borrowed time. Not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.


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