NUERBURGRING, Germany -- Porsche will decide at the end of the decade whether its latest generation of diesel engines will be its last, CEO Oliver Blume told Reuters, the first time a German carmaker has said in public it could discontinue diesel.
Volkswagen's widespread diesel emissions violations have cast a shadow over its Porsche division and the sports car brand, which first introduced diesel in its Cayenne SUV in 2009, is considering its options.
"Of course we are looking into this issue," CEO Blume said in an interview at the Nuerburgring motorsports complex in western Germany. "We have not made a decision on it."
Blume said Porsche would offer a mix of combustion engines, plug-in hybrid vehicles and purely battery-powered cars over the next 10-15 years and would decide at the end of the decade whether diesel had a future at Porsche.
German prosecutors last month started investigating Porsche staff to see whether they were involved in designing illicit engine-control software and regulators are examining whether the Cayenne was fitted with such a device.
A redesign of the Cayenne will be launched in September and it will still offer a diesel version, Blume said, just like the Panamera saloon that hit dealerships last November.
"For the generations that will follow there are different scenarios," Blume said. One scenario has Porsche backing out of diesel altogether, sources at the carmaker said.
Porsche still relies on diesels, which account for about 15 percent of its global sales, to help it bring down emissions of carbon dioxide as they are more fuel-efficient than gasoline engines.
At rival BMW, diesel cars make up 35 percent of new registrations while Audi's European diesel sales alone account for two-thirds of deliveries.