Porsche Cars North America Inc. could meet pending U.S. fuel-efficiency requirements more easily if it hid behind its mother's skirt.

But the storied sports car maker has more pride than that.

“We will achieve this target, if we can, on our own,” PCNA President and CEO Detlev von Platen tells Ward's at the recent Los Angeles auto show. “We do not want our customers in the future to hide behind a mass producer in order to be able to buy a Porsche.”

By virtue of its high-performance lineup, and less-forgiving corporate average fuel economy regulations, Porsche has one of the toughest hills to climb of any auto maker doing business in the U.S. Its fleet must reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 40 grams per mile by 2016, according to government estimates.

Competitors such as BMW of North America LLC and Tata Motors Ltd., owner of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, also face shortfalls, but theirs are in the range of 5-6 gpm.

The problem arises because compliance levels are determined by vehicle footprint.

“Our cars are small and powerful,” von Platen says. “We will be compared with small cars. Not small and powerful cars.”

But instead of leveraging the performance of controlling stakeholder Volkswagen AG's highly fuel-efficient fleet, Porsche will find its own way. Some help arrived in November in the form of the Cayenne Hybrid cross/utility vehicle.

PCNA uses the auto show to take the wraps off the '12 Cayman R, which goes on sale in the U.S. this month.