Germany has been at the forefront of diesel engine technological advances for years. The design and application of the diesel engine takes a different mindset and also a different customer base. GM virtually singlehandedly destroyed the desirability of passenger car diesels when they "dieselized" the 350 small-block. Cummins helped bring it back with the 'B' series developed with UPS and others for small and medium size trucks but that is much too large and heavy for a passenger car. Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW have outstanding diesel engines which operate exactly the same as a gasoline burning engines to the point that your typical driver will not notice the difference until they go to a filling station. I am confident American manufacturers can adopt European engines for installation into American cars. I am much less confident American manufacturers will be able to design and manufacture a diesel engine from 'scratch' and would be extremely reluctant to buy one. Engine design seems to be somewhat intuitive and achieveing the 'optimum' design is an iterative process which needs a good starting point and years for improvement.
In Latin America, it's common to see diesel Toyota Camrys and Corollas, among other small Japanese passenger cars. Any idea why the diesel models of these cars aren't sold in the US? Is there a regulatory reason, or do they just not sell well in the US?
It may be that it's just a little to techie in the US. Here you need to use a DEF additive to reduce NOx emissions. This may be a put off.
VW TDIs are fairly common though. Currently the Cruze ECO gas engine is a better deal economically since it gets 42MPG on regular Gas. Diesel is more $ so 42 MPG would not be competitive. I don't find 55 MPG HWY too hard to get with the Cruze ECO but I do need to be careful.
BUT, the torque could be a game changer. I think the target is the VW TDI here. Not the broad market so much.
All this from THE Company that single handedly soured the American public opinion for Diesel powered Autos with the ill conceived Olds Deisel onversion of the late 70's.
There has not been any legislation against Diesel autos in this country, just a long held prejudice against them stemming from that ill fated excusion that lingers to this day.
Two things are the death of diesel engines, both related to poor filtration, and that engine sufered from both and was doomed from the start. Inadequate oil filtration and inadequate fuel/water separation.
Both of these things are amply covered in all true heavy equipment, truck and marine applications and have helped to make diesel use in those fields the mainstay of those industries.
Is GM to be trusted a second time, only time will tell. One can only hope they learned from thier earlier fiasco.
You took the words right out of my mouth. The 350D is the design single handedly responsible for America saying yuck to diesel powered cars for the last 30 years. The diesel has gained much ground back in the truck market, but with the EPA choke hold on anything holy, the diesel is a more complicated mess of ill fitted emissions controls than any underpowered dog of the 1970's...
If I could have a diesel without the garbage, I'd take it. People have a hard enough time maintaining cars with gasoline engines in them, imagine the mainstream disaster this will bring. Truck owners tend to be more mechanically inclined, and apt to pick up on things if they are going wrong. Can you picture a 19 year old tiny bopper going to college, who can barely drive, let alone figure out where the oil goes and forget what grade you're supposed to use with one of these?
Second disaster in the making. Hope I'm wrong, but generally speaking, GM hasn't had the best of luck in breaking new ground... Chevy volt bring back any memories?
California and Mass essentially banned diesel cycle, so car companies don't want to put a product on the road that can't enter the largest market in the country. The EU has lower standards for NOX. The car companies have now developed CATs that can lower the NOX and have particulate traps to reduce those emmisions so they can be sold in CA.
Diesel more expensive than gasoline to produce? Never heard that song sung before. I'd always assumed that the reason ships (even giant container ships), locomotives, commercial vehicles, buses, military armoured vehicles, standby generators, stationary power generators etc all use diesel engines is because the fuel is cheaper and the engine more efficient.
In my country, diesel is more heavily taxed than gasoline, the reasoning being that the goverment will claim the same tax figure even if your engine is more fuel efficient. Commercial users get a tax rebate.
If you want fuel efficency, diesel is the way to go.
But I don't think Germany tries to reach the same low emission levels required here in the US. We'd be far better off with more, clean, diesels on the road. We could probably shave 1-3% of our total liquid fuels consumption.
Diesel is very well suited to US market. The only weak point of diesels is lower power @ same engine volume due to lower max RPMs. But from driving experience it only matters when passing somebody @ 120 MPH - impossible on US roads. Always rent diesels when in Europe; all of them are 2.0L (Europe tax larger engines heavily), turbos for larger power. GM (Opel) are the worst of all (VW, BMW, FIAT, RENAULT): very narrow turbo RPM range (3000-4000) so turbo is practically useless.
Tesla Motorsí $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the worldís vehicles will be plug-ins.
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