March 18th is apparently Rudolph Diesel’s birthday. Imagine inventing something so successfully that your name is used around the world and becomes the defining term for an entire genre of goods. It’s not just an engine, it’s a ‘diesel’ engine.
I’m not sure what sort of product I’d like named after me. Perhaps a particularly comfy leather lounge suite. "No, it’s not suede, it’s Swade."
Anyway, happy birthday Rudolph.
Autoblog are also reporting today on a new range of GM diesels being developed to meet not only European emissions standards, but US ones as well. An un-named member of GM’s European management has been caught mentioning a 2.9l V6 and a 4.5l V8 as possibilities for release in the US in 2008.
2008 – right when the new 9-5 with AWD should be released.
Diesel should become a more viable fuel in the US in 2007, when new low-sulphur regulations come into effect. What I’d like to know is whether or not the 1.9l common-rail diesel currently selling so well in Europe is compatible with emissions regulations in the US, either now or as they’ll stand next year.
Saab have a fantastic diesel engine already. If the US is an open market for diesels in 2007 and Saab are able to enter but are late to the party, then GM will have shot themselves in the foot – again – and big time.
I guess one year isn’t a long time to wait in the automotive world, but it just seems like too good a leadership opportunity to miss.