‘Porsche ditching diesel is bad news for the car industry’

Car manufacturers are facing an uphill battle to convince customers that diesel has a future, says Graham Hope

“There is no truth. There is only perception.” A famous quote from the acclaimed French novelist Gustave Flaubert, and one I was reminded of again last week, when Porsche confirmed it would no longer sell diesel cars in its current line-up.

The German brand, part of the wider VW Group empire implicated in the Dieselgate scandal, has already launched its new Cayenne SUV with no diesel engine. There will be no more oil-burning Panameras, either, and the final Macan S diesel has now rolled off the production line.

Porsche Cayenne review

It would appear that removing the latter from the line-up is linked to an “ongoing consultation with the authorities in relation to another software update”. This suggests that Porsche has opted to axe the model rather than re-engineer it for assessment under new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) emissions rules.

Does this all matter? Porsche issued an official statement that seemed to try hard to convince us that this is not a big deal. “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,” we were told.

The brand then subsequently clarified its position by telling us that a diesel Cayenne would be offered in future, although tellingly it declined to say when. For Porsche in isolation, this probably all makes sense given the tightening restrictions on diesel and declining demand. That’s the truth of the situation.

But for the wider car industry, I think it’s bad news. As companies battle to try to convince customers diesel has a role to play, it’s another negative headline to add to the fuel’s ongoing toxification. And shifting that perception in the eyes of the public will be very hard indeed.

Now read about the UK’s plan to ban petrol and diesel engines from 2040…

Recommended

Porsche unveils next-generation PCM infotainment system with Android Auto 
Porsche Communication Management 6.0 911
Porsche

Porsche unveils next-generation PCM infotainment system with Android Auto 

Porsche’s sixth-generation touchscreen will be rolled out across the firm’s line-up, adding new connectivity features and natural voice control
17 Jun 2021
Classic Porsche 914 reborn with Cayman running gear
Porsche 914 reimagined - front
Porsche

Classic Porsche 914 reborn with Cayman running gear

The reimagined Porsche 914 features a host of chassis upgrades and the same 3.4-litre flat-six engine as the Mk2 Cayman
14 Jan 2021
Classic Porsche 914 reborn with Cayman running gear
Porsche 914 reimagined - front
Porsche

Classic Porsche 914 reborn with Cayman running gear

The reimagined Porsche 914 features a host of chassis upgrades and the same 3.4-litre flat-six engine as the Mk2 Cayman
14 Dec 2020
Secret Porsche concept cars uncovered for the first time
News

Secret Porsche concept cars uncovered for the first time

Porsche has offered us a glimpse at some of the concepts that never made it off the drawing board
12 Nov 2020

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Illegal car modification hotspots revealed
Volkswagen Polo exhaust
News

Illegal car modification hotspots revealed

Gloucestershire has the highest proportion of illegal car modifications, with altered number plates the most common breach
14 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power
Vauxhall Astra render
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power

The new Vauxhall Astra will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a more premium image - here’s how it could look
17 Jun 2021
Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services
Tesla Model 3 police car - front
News

Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services

Tesla hopes to offer UK police forces a new zero-emission emergency responder option with the Model 3 police car
17 Jun 2021
New Renault Arkana 2021 review
Renault Arkana - front
Renault Arkana

New Renault Arkana 2021 review

Does an eye-catching coupe-SUV body give the new Renault Arkana the edge over other mid-size SUVs? We find out...
16 Jun 2021
New Vauxhall Astra prototype review
Vauxhall Astra prototype - front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra prototype review

A new Vauxhall Astra is on the way and we've driven a prototype ahead of its official arrival
14 Jun 2021
New Porsche 911 GT3 Touring tones down the styling
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring - front
Porsche 911

New Porsche 911 GT3 Touring tones down the styling

The optional Touring package aims to bring a few creature comforts to the track-focused Porsche 911 GT3
15 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021
'I was cynical about Hyundai's aim to be the world's 2nd biggest carmaker, not now'
Opinion Genesis Hyundai Ioniq
Opinion

'I was cynical about Hyundai's aim to be the world's 2nd biggest carmaker, not now'

Steve Fowler is impressed by Hyundai's electric cars, its N division and now its luxury Genesis brand
16 Jun 2021
New SsangYong Korando e-Motion breaks cover with electric power
SsangYong Korando EV
Electric cars

New SsangYong Korando e-Motion breaks cover with electric power

The new SsangYong Korando compact electric SUV will be on sale later in 2021, says the financially stricken South Korean manufacturer
15 Jun 2021
Dacia unveils new badge design
Dacia badge
Dacia

Dacia unveils new badge design

The new Dacia branding will feature on the company’s cars from 2022, with the Bigster being the first candidate
17 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021