Even luxury car makers such as Porsche are affected by the demand for fuel-efficient cars. To get with the times, Porsche is thinking about offering diesel versions of its Cayenne SUV and the Panamera sedan in the U.S., its biggest single market.
It’s also possible that Porsche will introduce Panamera variants with a diesel engine and a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain at the Geneva Auto Show in March.
Bernhard Maier, the brand's sales and marketing chief, told Automotive News Europe that there are discussions within the company about the prospect of presenting the Cayenne diesel in the U.S. this year.
Another option that is being considered is a Panamera diesel. Maier said Porsche has realized that U.S. consumers are increasingly opting for diesel cars. Currently, diesels have a very small market share in the U.S. Maier said that Porsche will make a decision “soon.”
Porsche’s offering of a Cayenne diesel in Europe has been around since early 2009. And last year, Porsche introduced a Cayenne gasoline-electric hybrid in Europe and the U.S. Maier said the diesel and hybrid versions make up 30% of Cayenne sales. He added that the company expects the diesel and hybrid share “to grow further in 2011."
Maier clarified also that because of poor fuel quality in China, Porsche will not sell diesel cars in this country.
According to company sources, the diesel and gasoline-electric hybrid versions of the Panamera are likely to be introduced before summer in Europe and its variants may have their world debut at the Geneva show. [via autonews - sub. required]