German manufacturer drops diesel versions of Macan and Panamera, citing a "cultural shift" among customers
Sam Sheehan
20 February 2018

Porsche has officially ended production of all current diesel vehicles in the face of changing consumer demand and upcoming stricter emissions tests.

In a move that a Porsche spokesman said mirrors the “cultural shift” of the brand's customers, the German manufacturer has discontinued its only two current diesel models, the Macan S Diesel and Panamera 4S Diesel (pictured below), just nine years after its first oil-burner hit the market.

Opinion: why Porsche's diesel hiatus was well-timed

The original Cayenne was the first Porsche to offer diesel power back in 2009. Porsche was originally reported to be launching the new Cayenne with only petrol and petrol-electric hybrid powertrains, but has now announced that a diesel variant is on the way.

In an official statement, Porsche said that the Macan S Diesel, the only such version of the brand’s Range Rover Velar rival, has been “taken out of the production programme” as buyer demand moves towards petrol and hybrid versions.

The brand revealed that the diesel’s removal was also linked to “another software update” that has been subject to an “ongoing consultation with the authorities”. While not directly confirming it, this suggests that like with BMW and its F80 M3, Porsche has decided against re-engineering the Macan S Diesel to conform to the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) standards.

Such a move highlights the shrinking demand for the model, which a Porsche UK spokesman said represented a small portion of the SUV’s 97,000 global sales from 2017. The Macan is also due to be facelifted in April.

The same justification was given for the demise of the Panamera 4S Diesel, which was removed from Porsche’s ranks during the luxury car's range update at the start of the year.

Porsche said the change was linked to falling demand for the variant, which accounted for 15% of the Panamera’s 11,000 global sales in 2017. Petrol versions accounted for 35%, while the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid accounted for 50%.

An inside source told Autocar that the current lack of diesel cars in its range doesn't "mean Porsche has decided to stop all diesel models" forever. But Porsche boss Oliver Blume revealed to Autocar last year that “diesel is not so important for Porsche”, adding that diesel sales made up just 15% of Porsche’s total worldwide sales, mostly in Europe.

Porsche revealed the following statement on its diesel plans: "Traditionally, diesel engines have played a subordinate role at Porsche – the company does not develop or build diesel engines itself. Currently, the demand for diesel models is falling, whereas interest in hybrid and petrol models is increasing significantly. For example, the ratio for hybrid versions of the new Panamera in Europe is around 60 percent."

"In light of these facts Porsche has adapted its production 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."

Unlike its petrol engines, Porsche never developed its own diesel powerplants, instead sourcing them from elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group. Porsche halted investment in diesel last year, shifting much of its R&D focus to electrification.

The results of this electric focus will produce the Mission E next year, while a hybrid version of the 992-generation 911 is also due in 2019.

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Our Verdict

Porsche Macan

Porsche's 'junior Cayenne' promises and delivers on its dynamic and performance prowess to be be the most sporting SUV of its size. However, the market has changed with the newrivals threatening to challenge the Macan's crown, so does it have the stomach for a fight?

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Comments
61

20 February 2018

Things can change very fast.

Rewind 18 months and this is unimaginable.

David W

21 February 2018

Other reports have suggested that there's a lot more to this story than "demand has fallen so we've stopped offering diesels".

Supposedly the German regulators are still refusing to accept Audi's "fix" for the cheating diesel engines used in the Macan, and already rejected the latest Cayenne diesel engine. If Porsche can't get regulator approval to sell its cars, they don't really have any choice.

And it's still possible Porsche may have to buy back every Macan diesel ever sold in Europe, which is why the engine has been withdrawn before the end of the model cycle and new testing protocols. Fewer cars built = fewer to have to buy back again...

20 February 2018

Where is the Autocar opinion piece slating Porsche for being ‘misguided’ and misinformed by government and the mainstream media? And will a diesel Cayenne become a collector’s item?!

20 February 2018

There SHOULD be an Autocar article berating Porsche for its "if we cant cheat emissions tests we wont play at all" attitude.

XXXX just went POP.

20 February 2018

Spot on.. too funny!

20 February 2018

One can but hope.....

Steam cars are due a revival.

20 February 2018

Not really reflected on the used market - I've been trying to sell a 2012 Cayenne Turbo in the trade and when I've been speaking to specialist dealers the answer I get is that buyers are all looking for the diesel versions due to better fuel economy, and the petrols take ages to sell...

20 February 2018

I cannot find a reason why anyone would buy a £90+ saloon with a diesel engine. It defies any logic.

289

20 February 2018

....quite agree Andrew, the filthy oil burners should never have been installed in a Porsche in the first place.

Ferdinand Porsche must have been gyrating in his grave. Diesels belong in tractors not luxury sports vehicles. As he knew well.

At last the Marque has come to its senses.....just need Jaguar, Maserati, Bentley etc. to make the right decision too.

20 February 2018
289 wrote:

....quite agree Andrew, the filthy oil burners should never have been installed in a Porsche in the first place.

Ferdinand Porsche must have been gyrating in his grave. Diesels belong in tractors not luxury sports vehicles. As he knew well.

At last the Marque has come to its senses.....just need Jaguar, Maserati, Bentley etc. to make the right decision too.

didnt Porsche make diesel tractors and tanks before cars?? 

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