Coming less than a month after the auto industry's biggest exhibition in Detroit, the recent Chicago Auto Show had a distinct flavor all its own. Instead of hybrids and electric cars, Chicago's get-together featured diesels and turbochargers.
Chevrolet stole the show with the rollout of its new, diesel-powered Cruze, while Volkswagen took a cue from the past by introducing a peppier version of its classic Beetle GSR. Not to be outdone, Nissan rolled out two cars derived from its Motorsports division and Toyota unveiled a redesigned version of its well-known Tundra truck.
From turbocharged powertrains to infotainment systems to diesel engines, following are some of the most promising innovations from the Windy City.
Click on the image below to start the slideshow.
GM's 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine produces 148 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque -- a hundred lb-ft more than the Chevy Cruze's gasoline-burning counterpart. (Source: Chevrolet)
Auto shows are notoriously difficult to get a lot of good tech info, William K, because many companies don't bring their engineers. GM did bring its engineers for the diesel intro, however. And, yes, you are absolutely correct about the cost of diesel engines as a result of dealing with the higher operating pressures. See the diesel article here:
The slideshow certainly shows a collection of pretty vehicles. They certainly are pretty, no doubt about that.
I was hoping for a bit more technical display, but I realize that would take lots of effort, since it is not possible to see much detail just "looking under the hood" these days. It is certainly true that the diesel performance has improved a whole lot, due to quite a few great innovations. One thing on that subject, which is that the diesel engine is not cheaper than the gas engine, since the compression ratio has to be higher, which means stronger bottom end parts and tighter head tolerances, and in addition there are much higher pressures in that injection system since it is still a compression ignition system. The big item that is missing is the ignition sparking system, but in its place is a glow-plug system, not quite as complex, but those glow plugs sell for a lot more than what spark plugs sell for. So really, the diesel engine is more complex.
What amazed me in China was seeing a lot of vehicles built with a "diesel mule" for power. The mule is a two-wheeled thing with a one cylinder diesel engine that steers like an old garden tiller, with the two handles. The mules were coupled to a two wheeled cart and usually had a whole family and goods traveling along. Steering was done by pointing the front part, the mule, using the tiller handles. The pivot point was midway between the front wheels and the rear wheels. Imagine driving one of those i our rushhour traffic.
Okay folks, the thread is going off into left field. Original article was about new diesel offerings in our country not European govts and US politics. I was only trying to let you all know of other diesels availble in the near term. The one guy made a good point about the volume of diesel used by truckers and trains.
zlatko & BB_cuda: Thanks for sharing for experiences in Europe and the US. It brings good info to the discussion.
I disagree that the US needs to "copy" Germany. We can observe and take their best practices but the two countries are much too different to just copy. Demographics, car culture, size and mass are just a few of the things that make copying impossible.
Been there done that. I used to live and work in Germany. Now for last 20 years I am in the USA and can compare. It is not only Diesel fuel that is gouged. Take health care, prescription drugs (you can by German car but not German pill because our senators/congresmans are concerned for you safety, yeah right, or they received money from pharmaceutical companies to prevent import, competition and lower prices). There is so many ways this great country USA can be improved just copying better systems that already exist and are being used.
Take foe example housing: If only our houses were made right way from concrete, bricks and steel that evil Sandy would cause much less damage.
If you ever have chance take that high speed train from London to Paris and you will understan what we are missing here and how it can be improved. It is faster than AA crowded dirty airplane.
Euro VW Golf Diesel makes 75+ mpg, people from CAR magazine made 101 mph between Jacksonville and LA. Good example are hybrid cars, with internal combustion engine, heavy bateries, electrical engine, generator, versus car with smaller Diesel engine, no way to comapre but this is so called free market initiative. By the way I am working for major oil company.
Thanks zlatko. I don't work in the refining industry so i will defer to others on refinery principles. I know Europe's diesel quality is considerably better than US's from a cetane perspective. We are only guaranteed 40 cetane here but i read the requirement in Europe is 51. The higher cetane rating causes a quicker compression detonation. I'm told this improves fuel mileage but only repeating what I have read.
US overproduces diesel and exports it internationally and claim that the International market "buoys up" the cost. In Europe, diesel is cheaper than regular unleaded due to tax advantages. The opposite is true here but only about 6 cents per gallon difference in my state (Texas). What I believe is the case is taking into account currency exchange rates, we get diesel cheaper here than Europe does. Not trying to argue your earlier point, just saying what the situation is. I agree with you that we are being gouged since diesel is a byproduct of refining gasoline.
Thanks for your reply. You completelly missed the target. My point is that Diesel fuel is cheaper to make and in free economy should be cheaper like everywhere else. Due to big oil monopoly it is not cheaper and you are losing full advantage of more efficient Disel engine powered cars. That is the reason Diesel powered cars are strugling in the USA market and triving in the rest of the world. Just copy Germany.
Part of the popularity of diesel in Europe is due to the fact that VW and Mercedes-Benz put so much money into Diesel engine R&D. The new lower emissions, output, fuel economy and lifespan of these engines is superior to thier gasoline counterparts. Additionally Europe has aodpted Sundiesel fuel which is produced from wood and is less expensive than petroleum based diesel with a comparable energy density and clean burn.
The VW diesel-electric hybrid coupe may be out in late 2013, it reportedly gets 240MGP! The VW d-e hybrid crossover may be out in 2014 and gets 115 MPG! I am very stoked!
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