Report: Porsche Killing Combustion Models Sooner Than Anticipated


report porsche killing combustion models sooner than anticipated

With loads of automakers walking back past promises of electrification, Porsche seems committed to staying the course. Reports out of Germany are claiming that the brand has been forced to discontinue several combustion models for being out of regulatory compliance and now plans on accelerating its timeline to field more electric vehicles globally, rather than allowing the EU-banned combustion models to linger on markets less prone toward regulation.

Porsche executive board member Albrecht Reimold has confirmed with Germany’s Automobilwoche that the combustion version of the Macan SUV would not be produced beyond 2026. The 718 Boxster and Cayman were likewise said to leave the global market in 2025. They’ll both be replaced by electric alternatives and are assumed to see a price bump.

report porsche killing combustion models sooner than anticipated

The 718 has already been discontinued in Europe after it failed to adhere to “cybersecurity regulations” stipulated by the European Union’s WP.29 UNECE World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. It was missing the now-mandatory array of “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems” and permanent connectivity to the internet mandated by the EU — including active driver monitoring.

It was a similar story for the Macan, leading to rampant speculation that Porsche would keep selling banned (but popular) models to markets located outside of Europe. While that did end up being the case, any hope of the brand extending the timeline as EV sales slow down appear to be dashed. Porsche seems committed toward pivoting toward all-electric vehicles and isn’t interested in having competing products targeting different markets.

report porsche killing combustion models sooner than anticipated

While Porsche could have revamped those models to adhere to the present regulations without electrification, development cycles are pretty long and prohibitively expensive. It’s difficult and costly to change course midstream. Emissions requirements are also becoming so stringent that it’s bordering on impossible to meet them with combustion models and many European countries actually have dates that will ban gas or diesel-powered automobiles.

However, Reimold seemed to see the brand’s electrification agenda as more than just adhering to government requirements. He called it a “form of wellness” and claimed it was basically inevitable as the industry desires to see more digital cars. While this can be done with combustion models, it’s supposedly easier with all-electric platforms.

report porsche killing combustion models sooner than anticipated

Reimold stated that, if anything, he expected Porsche to have placed even more EVs on the market than it already has. The issue allegedly cost Porsche some serious dough. But he noted that supply chains needed to be reevaluated and that the automotive sector lost a lot of solid employees after 2020.

There were reasons to assume the industry might pivot away from EVs, however. Sales have been slowing and there’s a meaningful portion of consumers that have no interest in purchasing them. American brands are having trouble moving them on the domestic market and Japanese brands appear to be leaning toward hybridization to meet regulations, while trying to offer pure combustion vehicles whenever possible.

report porsche killing combustion models sooner than anticipated

Months of polling data likewise suggested that Western European countries were about to elect right-leaning leadership and, since electric vehicles have been stupidly been shoehorned into politics, it was assumed that this would result in nations walking back their electrification goals. Regulations penned in Brussels would have been snubbed or undone as the European Commission became more conservative.

However, French elections resulted in an alliance between the New Popular Front and President Macron’s Ensemble. With no single party achieving a majority, the left retained control of the country despite right-wing National Rally gaining a staggering amount of ground. The United Kingdom likewise just saw Conservatives lose to the hard-left Labour Party. Although, the latter might not have mattered due to the fact that the British Conservative Party would be considered left-leaning by American standards. One of the main reasons they lost has been attributed to the fact that voters hadn’t seen leadership making the kinds of changes they asked for.

report porsche killing combustion models sooner than anticipated

With the above in mind, Porsche may be trying to stay ahead of the curve. Industry development cycles are long and expensive, discouraging automakers from making sweeping changes. That is, unless regulations stipulate those changes need to be made. At present, the EU wants the automotive sector to pivot toward electric vehicles. Without a surging opposition movement (again crazy that EVs have been made political) that’s likely to remain the case.

Porsche intends on building 80,000 electrified Macans per year, which will use batteries supplied by China’s CATL. When asked if that was still to be the case, Reimold was evasive about production volumes without being negative.

“I don’t attribute success to a single number, even though the orders are fortunately already in the five-figure range,” he said in German before praising the “sustainability” of EVs.

report porsche killing combustion models sooner than anticipated

But he likewise touted the success of the combustion Macan, noting that it was still a big seller for the brand. Based on what was said in the interview, we’d guess Porsche will try to build as many as it can before the model is put to bed. However, Reimold reiterated that “volume alone is not a benchmark for us as a luxury manufacturer.”

The 718 is supposed to see its global discontinuation in the middle of 2025, its all-electric replacement “predestined.” Interestingly, Porsche seems committed to trying to keep the 911 as a combustion model or hybrid for as long as possible. This leaves one to wonder if the electrification of the brand’s more affordable models simply a matter of compliance, especially considering how often Reimold dismissed the importance of sales volume.

[Images: Porsche]

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