Diesel update

A story that’s hopefully an unrequired heads-up for Saab USA and a feel-good story for Fred.  Both sourced from Autoblog.

Firstly, news that Audi are preparing a diesel-powered Q7 for release in the US by 2008.  Audi are also doing the motorsport prep-work, having recently won the Sebring 12 hour race in a diesel powered R10.  Gaining acceptance for diesel engines in the US is going to be a long, rather slow process, but to the winner will be the spoils.

What’s the potential?  Well, that’s the story of another Autoblog piece this weekend.  They’ve got a post there highlighting five vehicles, all diesel powered, that manage better real-world mileage than the Toyota Prius.  Latest figures that I’ve read mention that the darling of the Treehugger set stays on dealer lots for only 8 days.  If companies can do the hard yards on selling diesels effectively in the US, the spoils could be considerable.

I’ve been exhorting Saab USA via this site to have a diesel in the pipeline for around a year now.  The new low-sulfur fuel regulations come into play in 2007.  Here’s hoping they do the right thing, so Fred’s diesel 9-3 isn’t the only one in the country.

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  1. I don’t understand the faith of many people with Diesels…..

    Here in Europe in some markets there are a reduction of diesel powered cars. And many governments would like to introduce more taxes to powered diesel engines because is demonstrated that the diesel engines are quite more polluted and less enviroment friendly than other engines. Also many users are tired of the higher costs of maintanence, lower reliability than gasoline engines.

    In the next 5-8 years we will see a decrease of the diesel cars. The gasoline engines are becoming more powerful, have better consumption and lower polluted with lower cost and less sophistication than diesel engines. Many brands are introducing, diret injection, turbo, valve timing, when the diesel cars are quite difficult to improve its performance and efficiency.

    The R10 diesel car….. I must say the Touareg with V10TDI it has a lot of serious problems. The higher wheight of the engine, lower space and ventilation, higher complexity makes that the Touareg with that engine has many transmision, overhating, turbo and other expensive problems.

    The advantage of the R10 is the lower consumption, all the other are disadvantages. They must redesign all the chassis, aerodinamics to adapt the new engine(bigger and with more weight) and the most problematic, the lower ventilation and overheating problems, and also the transmission problems related to the excess of torque. All the time and resources that they spend making the R10 competitive it would make the gasolinen engine more competitive, and the most importante, with the same rules as the other cars. The R10 is playing with race rules different from the other players with higher concessions.

    The diesel engines are very good for drivers that makes a lot of miles per year, and in the USA that’s quite common, but its quite ilogical to spend many dollars in something that only will be competitive in a market for few years and when the fuel distribution its so low.

  2. At this moment the biodiesel is more expensive than Diesel. Also the problems is not only the pollution, also the consumption, complexity/costs of production and others. In the next 3-4 years the gasoline and derivate engines, as ethanol will have better consumption or the same as diesel, and also lower emisions, with lower cost of build, lower complexity and better performance. The diesel engines have lower capabilities to increase its consumption,performance and emission without increasing the complexity and costs. Take a look at the new Mercedes Diesel bluetec. You need a diesel with low sulfur, and also about 10000 miles you must replenished periodically(it seems about every 10000 miles).

    Also the taxes for the diesel cars, it doesn’t matter if they use diesel or biodiesel, are going to be higher. In Switzerland they reduced drastically the speed limit, because the pollution at the cities where so high, in part thanks to diesel cars.

    For this reason the diesel cars in near future will be less competitive.

  3. Thanx for the shout Swade! I’ll pass on the feel-good though…just need to buzz the loafers at 110 in the L lane. Obselete 93TiD has been a joy. Over 58K, gets 34-42. And it aint one of those punycars. The confusion and m/disinformation on some articles/blogs is probably diesels greatest challenge.

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