Porsche is letting its diesel past die, killing it even

The German manufacturer is saying goodbye to its oil-burners and hello to electrons.

Cayenne Diesel

Porsche never really went whole-hog on diesel technology. Mostly it just took hand-me-downs from its corporate siblings at Volkswagen and Audi, but we never got the impression that it was all that into it, which is cool because now Porsche's diesels are dead, for the most part.

Don't get us wrong, the US-market Cayenne diesel was a nice car to drive, the torque was pleasant, blah blah, but diesel never really fit with Porsche's sporting personality. Now thanks to the missteps by VW (and everyone else, it seems), nobody wants to buy a diesel Porsche anymore, so it can get back to shoehorning super powerful gasoline engines into things, as Herr Porsche intended.

To clarify, Porsche offered three diesel vehicles in total, for the whole world. We only got the Cayenne here in the US, but folks elsewhere had access to a diesel Macan and a diesel Panamera. Porsche has committed to continuing production of a diesel Cayenne (though not for the US), but the other two are slated to be kaput.

In terms of global sales, diesels accounted for just 15 percent of Porsche's total for last year, most of which came from Europe. Of the 11,000 Panameras sold globally, only 15 percent of those were diesel, 35 percent were gasoline-powered and a full 50 percent were the plug-in hybrid.

It's like old Bob says, "The times they are a-changin'."

Porsche has invested heavily in gasoline-electric hybrid and fully electric vehicles of late, after moving almost entirely away from naturally aspirated gasoline engines, so the writing is definitely on the wall even at one of the world's most stalwart manufacturers of driver's cars.