Petrol, plug-in hybrid and fully electric engines to underpin Porsche’s powertrain strategy

Porsche has stopped production of its Macan S diesel signalling the end of the diesel engines being offered by the Stuttgart based company. The decision was made following a drop in diesel sales across Europe. 

In a statement to evo, a Porsche spokesman said: ‘Diesel engines traditionally play a subordinate role at Porsche. Porsche 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.

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In light of these facts, as well as the ongoing consultation with the authorities in relation to another software update, Porsche has made changes to its production planning and ended production of the Macan S Diesel on 15 February 2018. This decision means that all orders for the vehicle type Macan S Diesel have already been taken out of the production program.’

In 2017 diesel models accounted for just 12 percent of all Porsche road car sales and while the Cayenne was Porsche’s biggest selling diesel model, no decision has been made as to when, or if the new Cayenne will be offered with either a V6 or V8 diesel engine, or both. The Macan S Diesel accounted for a fifth of all Macan sales.

Talking to evo at the Geneva Motor Show, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said “diesel isn’t important to the future of Porsche, we have a three-pillar (powertrain) strategy: petrol, plug-in hybrid and fully electric.”

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Should Porsche wish to reverse its decision of not offering the Macan with a diesel engine, Dr. Michael Steiner, Head of Porsche R&D said it would take at least six months to prepare, homologate and reintroduce a new engine.

Porsche introduced its first diesel-engined road car in 2010 with the facelift of its first-generation Cayenne, this after then CEO Wendelin Wiedeking said there would never be a diesel-engined Porsche. With Macan S diesel production having ended, that is the case once more. With the new Panamera or the Cayenne not offered with diesel engines since their respective launches, despite previous generations of the cars enjoying great success with both V6 and V8 turbo-diesel engines, Porsche’s entry in the diesel market is over.

While Porsche has seen a decline in demand for diesel engined models, in 2017 it saw an unexpected 60 percent increase in plug-in hybrid sales. Currently the Panamera is the only Porsche hybrid model available, with details of the forthcoming plug-in hybrid Cayenne yet to be confirmed. There are no plans to offer a petrol plug-in hybrid version of the Macan, Steiner suggesting that if the company was to offer its smallest SUV with any form of electrified powertrain it would be as a fully-electric vehicle only.

Porsche’s full range of electrified vehicles, headlined by the Mission E sports-saloon, is scheduled for launch in 2019 with the Cross Turismo concept revealed at the Geneva Motor Show scheduled for production in 2020 to rival Jaguar’s I Pace.