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Ever thought about how nice it would be to be cruising around at 70mpg?! Are you aware that over 50% of vehicles in Europe are diesels, many of which can reach 70 or 80 miles per gallon?
tdi2l The 70’s proved hard times for the diesel passenger vehicle in America – they were smelly, loud, and made a fair amount of smoke so they carried a sort of fringe undertone that nobody really wanted to be a part of. However in the mid- 90’s Volkswagen vowed to change American’s perception of diesel vehicles for the everyday commuter and sought to tap into the starved market – people desperate to get better bang for their buck at the pump. What resulted was a series of diesel sedans and wagons that were able to achieve nearly 50 miles per gallon all while passing the US stringent standards for emissions, a major hurdle for diesel cars in America. There are other reasons Europeans love their diesels besides simply MPG..

Diesel engines are built with stronger parts- due to the high compression of how diesels operate, a steel block is usually used combined with beefed up parts to handle the high amount of energy being produced.

The rpm’s naturally lie considerably lower than gasoline engines – because of the higher volatility of diesel, the engine is able to produce a high amount of torque at very low rpm’s. So where most sedans of any reasonable quality have a redline somehere near 7,000, Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI redline will be around 4500 and most cruising speeds below 2000.

Because of the beefed up components of a diesel, lower rpm’s, and less moving parts they tend to last considerably longer than gasoline engines before needing a rebuild. Diesels top 300,000 miles with ease and reports even topping a million miles on an original diesel engine have been reported. The Silverado reported in the link is only one of many mercedes, vw’s, and large trucks breaking this milestone.

So you say, “Well why aren’t we already on this diesel bandwagon if everyone’s complaining about gas prices?” – What we can say is that there are many factors. Certainly the mainlining of small, clean-diesel engines into the consumer market would cut oil companies profits considerably, there is also animosity from the 70’s permeating into the minds of Americans which creates a risky environment for automakers to decide on investing in such a bold move from the norm. However, as more and more companies reveal concept vehicles, the buzz of diesel becomes louder among the automaker community until a tipping point is reached. This tipping point can be spurred by either a revolution in diesel technology or soaring gas prices in which people are forced to purchase less fuel guzzling vehicles. Both of these scenarios seem to be playing off each other simultaneously as we move into 2010.
As far as 2010 diesel cars in the USA, there are 3 automakers really taking on the challenge

Volkswagen- Among the 50mpg Jetta and Golf, a diesel hybrid is sure to come soon- can you say 82mpg?? http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/02/vw-unveiling-an/

The hybrid slated for the US market can achieve 70mpg. Among this is a series of other diesel vehicles set for 2010 in the American market-

Mercedes- Sedans and Suv’s

BMW- Sports Sedan’s and Suv’s

Our next postings will be outlining each companies lineup of 2010 diesel vehicles as well as going over diesel technology for passenger cars in detail

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