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Electronic News & Comment

American Diesel Cars, Past & Present

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Gorski
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Platinum
American diesel cars
Gorski   8/27/2014 2:11:24 PM
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The GM introduction of the disel in the 80's was a joke. They took a gasoline engine, which is not strong enough, and made it run like a diesel. The engines could not take teh additional stress and failed. This left a bad taste in the mouths of consumers. The taste may be gone by now and diesels should be a part of America's fuel economy kick.

patb2009
User Rank
Gold
Re: American diesel cars
patb2009   8/27/2014 4:25:15 PM
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Yeah my dad, in one of his epic moments bought a Olds Diesel in 80

 

It was truly awful.

 

however, at this point in time, I think ICE engines

are dying,  the rise of the electric, means that there

is less reason to want a diesel.  

 

Personally i think a small rankine engine will drive out

all ICE engines.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: American diesel cars
Charles Murray   8/27/2014 4:45:39 PM
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Definitely true, Gorski. GM's excursion into diesels in the '80s gave the technology a black eye.

far911
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Silver
Re: American diesel cars
far911   8/28/2014 12:33:02 AM
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Diesel engines have come a long way. The load they bear is for more than electric or petrol engines. Beside during launch severel problems can be faced by any company for any product and GM is no exception.

tekochip
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Platinum
Re: American diesel cars
tekochip   8/28/2014 8:34:35 AM
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I wasn't even aware of the reliability issues when I looked at diesels in 80s, I just couldn't get past the poor performance.  The diesel vehicle I had looked at seriously was a VW and it had the performance of a golf cart.  At the time I had a Ford Fiesta, so I was used to sub-compacts, and Ford had done an excellent job with the Fiesta powerplant.  The VW diesel was just terrible.

J_Turner
User Rank
Iron
Re: American diesel cars
J_Turner   8/28/2014 9:04:37 AM
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That's not a North American '86 Chevy Chevette in your slideshow.  That's a Brazillian model.  The US Chevette was a hatchback.

PeteG
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Iron
Re: American diesel cars
PeteG   8/28/2014 9:23:13 AM
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You guys across the pond might like to know there's been a lot of discussion here in the UK (& the rest of Europe, I believe) about the wisdom of the enthusiastic adoption of diesel vehicles. Concerns centre on the fine particulate emitted from the exhausts. Turns out these are quite damaging and may be affecting the lungs, particularly children and those with existing lung condition (asthmatics, etc.). The feeling over here is we may have made a mistake and should stick to either petrol (gasoline), petrol-electric/electric vehicles. It may be in the near future, steps are taken to discourage diesel ownership. Usually, the States leads on things like this but, then again, diesel usage in the States has never been great - for passenger vehicles anyway.

Martin1932
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Iron
Re: American diesel cars
Martin1932   8/28/2014 9:35:15 AM
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The VW diesel was an excellent engine for its era. From 1987 to 1993 I commuted biweekly between COS and ABQ, about a 6 hour, 390 mile drive even today. Fuel economy was over 40 mpg for the diesel while my gas VW Rabbit got ~32 mpg. Remember cars of that era (1980) were designed for the national speed limit of 55 mph. The main problem was cold weather starting. The car still sets on our Nebraska farm since we couldn't start it after a cold (-20°F) December morning after our mother's funeral in 1989.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: American diesel cars
tekochip   8/28/2014 10:00:40 AM
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Thanks PeteG, it's good to have perspective from a different angle.

g-whiz
User Rank
Gold
Re: American diesel cars
g-whiz   8/28/2014 10:19:07 AM
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About 10 years ago, I rented a Diesel powered Ford Focus in France for 3 weeks. I loved that car and would buy one here in the states if I could get one in a heartbeat. It sipped fuel, had plenty of pep, and the only time you knew it was a Diesel was at idle. Fantastic car.

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