Yesterday I had a big whine (once again) about the lack of a diesel option for the US.
We’ve been told repeatedly that the current TiD engine won’t meet future US emissions standards. But given the Opelisation of the Saturn brand there (as well as possible applications for other brands), I believe that there should be sufficient economies of scale to warrant the investment required to make the current 1.9 TiD and future TTiD engines compliant with the required Tier II Bin 5 emissions regulations.
Here’s a video from Popular Mechanics in the US pertaining to what will be a 50-state complying clean diesel Jetta that will be released in 2008. It should have plenty of torque and will get 50+ mileage (hwy) whilst retaining cleanliness similar to, or even exceeding, a gasoline engine.
The US might have had bad experiences with diesel in the past, but that’s nothing that can’t be overcome by spending 10 minutes in a modern diesel. The automotive press will lead the way and I’m pretty sure that the people will follow.
I’m sounding like a broken record here, I know. But the first companies that bring these to market will enjoy a real greenfield opportunity and it’s just a real shame that Saab can’t be amongst it, or that perhaps GM won’t let them because it’s scared of making a strong move with a small player.
I am very confident that the TTiD would find a market in the US, and if they went one step further an secured compliance for Hirsch products that that market would be even greater. The kudos that comes with it is one of those intangibles that comes in handy, too.