Porsche executive: We’re not exiting diesel

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They’re out, they’re back in. Following a report a week ago that Porsche was planning to discontinue production of all its diesel vehicles, the brand’s head of sales and marketing tells Automotive News that Porsche expects to launch a diesel version of the Cayenne in 2018 and maybe even the Macan crossover.

“We’re not saying that we are (),” Detlev von Platen told the publication’s European arm.
“For the SUV models, it makes sense where customers want range and torque.”

Autoblog has asked for clarification from officials in Germany. The brand stopped selling diesel models in the U.S. in 2015, and it is offering the 2019 Cayenne with a gasoline engine and plug-in hybrid version, but “will no longer be offering diesel models in North America,” Porsche spokesman Luke Vandezande says.

The apparent turnaround comes as a federal court in Germany approved bans of older, more polluting diesel vehicles in the cities of Duesseldorf and Stuttgart, Porsche’s home base. The German government had opposed the bans, fearing they would hurt automakers and diesel car values. The bans don’t apply to new less-polluting diesel cars, but they add momentum to diesel’s broader decline and tarnished image among consumers. Porsche’s CEO, Oliver Blume, also suggested last summer that the automaker could scrap diesels in favor of hybrids and electric vehicles.

Porsche introduced its third-generation Cayenne last fall at the Frankfurt auto show, but not with a diesel powertrain, and the smaller Macan is due for a facelift this year at the halfway point of its product life cycle. The Macan is also expected to be offered in hybrid and battery-electric versions when the next generation arrives as early as 2021. Porsche has been working on developing the Mission E, its all-wheel drive electric car which may be offered in three variants.

Porsche on Tuesday published an FAQ about its recall last year of nearly 30,000 Cayennes equipped with 3.0-liter V6 diesel engines after it told German regulators it found potentially illegal emissions-cheating software. It is providing a software update free of charge to owners, and it offered a premium for owners who traded in their older-model Porsches fitted with outdated diesel engines.

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