All things considered, we're a little surprised it took this long. In an interview with Reuters, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said the German carmaker is debating whether to abandon diesel engines by the end of the decade—a notion sources inside the carmaker confirmed.
"Of course we are looking into this issue," Blume told Reuters. "We have not made a decision on it."
The next decade-plus of new Porsches will be motivated by a wide variety of powertrains, Blume reminded the world, including fully-electric vehicles like the upcoming Mission E, plug-in hybrids like the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, and gas-powered cars like, well, y'know.
Diesel has remained something of an albatross around many carmakers in the greater VW Group ever since the Dieselgate scandal of 2015–2016. While most of the affected models caught up in the affair belonged to brands like Volkswagen and Audi, thousands of examples of Porsche's Cayenne were also discovered to be powered by dirty turbodiesel engines.
In addition, diesel is facing an environmental backlash in many parts of the world, especially in Europe. A recent study declared that diesel vehicles were responsible for 38,000 premature deaths in 2015 alone; British drivers could face a $25 toll to enter cities in the future, while Munich is considering banning diesel-powered vehicles altogether.
But cutting the oil-burning powertrains from the lineup would still be a big change for the carmaker, as around 15 percent of the vehicles it currently sell are diesel-powered. Indeed, Blume said that when the third-generation Cayenne debuts this September (presumably at the Frankfurt Motor Show), it'll still offer a diesel option. Should Porsche decided to dump diesel, though, the new crossover could well be the last new car from Zuffenhausen to run Herr Rudolph's long-serving engine.