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Old 03-07-2006, 09:30 PM   #1
KahunaB14
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Diesels in America

I know this is off the topic of focus's but anyway...anyone wonder why there arent more diesels in this country. Especially mid/small trucks or SUV's with a diesel engine. With gas prices the way they are these days I personally want a diesel.

Benefits: You get V8 torque and 4 cyl gas mileage

They last for twice as long as gasoline engines


With the new technology these days I dont see the drawbacks...feel free to chime in!


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Old 03-07-2006, 09:41 PM   #2
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At least here in Washington state, they tax the hell out of diesel fuel because they think it is evil. Government is the biggest drawback for diesel. I personally would love to see lots more diesel sold.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:52 PM   #3
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There's still a public perception of diesels as noisy, slow, smoky junkers that take 2 minutes to get to 60 mph... of course that's not necessarily true anymore, but that was true during the last "hurrah" of diesel here, in the late '70s and early '80s. That's going to be a difficult hurdle to surmount. Also, around here anyway, diesel is considerably more expensive per gallon than gasoline. I suspect fuel costs would have to get quite high before people would begin to re-examine the diesel and its higher miles per gallon. As it is, with gas cheaper and more readily available, I don't see too many people interested in diesel except the enviro-friendly hippies and the hardcore commuters.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:21 PM   #4
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Also, some states don't permit diesels to be sold. New York, for example, is one place that you can't buy a new diesel. As for performance, economy, and such, I'd say that they do well. My boss has an 02 Golf TDI. I've had the pleasure of driving it a few times. Drives nicely, gets insane fuel economy, and is light years ahead of the focus in terms of perceived quality. (tactile things, materials, etc.) My boss has two offices, one in Philly, and the other Pittsburgh. He says that he spends more money on tolls than he does on gas. He claims to get a full round trip from Philly to Pittsburgh out of one tank. (approx. 700 miles) Though, it's also been said to avoid mexican built vw's. Avoid any with a VIN starting with 3VW (hecho en Mexico, like my ZX3) , and insist one with a VIN starting with WVW (made in Germany).
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:48 AM   #5
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The biggest reason more diesel technology is here right now, aside from aformentioned public opinion bias based on crappy engines decades ago, is that we get high-sulfur diesel from South America. In Europe, where diesels are the majority and there's a ton of great diesel technology (great Ford diesels too), the diesel fuel is much cleaner and our fuel would clog and kill those engines in short order. Too tough to re-engineer for America.

However, there are new Diesel regulations coming in 2007 that will hopefully allow that technology to come here to the states. Yipee!
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:16 AM   #6
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I have to say I HATE being around deisel vehicles in stop-and-go traffic because of the smell!! I am a windows down kinda guy and that smell is nauseating. Perhaps it is due to the high sulfur content of the fuel and perhaps with cleaner fuel it wouldn't be so bad. I have to say I think it is amazing that a deisel engine can run on cooking oil!!
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by azdamay
There's still a public perception of diesels as noisy, slow, smoky junkers that take 2 minutes to get to 60 mph... of course that's not necessarily true anymore, but that was true during the last "hurrah" of diesel here, in the late '70s and early '80s. That's going to be a difficult hurdle to surmount. Also, around here anyway, diesel is considerably more expensive per gallon than gasoline. I suspect fuel costs would have to get quite high before people would begin to re-examine the diesel and its higher miles per gallon. As it is, with gas cheaper and more readily available, I don't see too many people interested in diesel except the enviro-friendly hippies and the hardcore commuters.
I don't think this is much of a problem anymore. Look how well VW is selling them.
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:40 AM   #8
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Maine is one of those states where you can't buy a new diesel also. I dont think we'll see much change until sometime after we get the euro-spec fuel, I guess the Green states' deal is the emissions.

If there was a marketing push for it, I could see deisel starting to come back into favor a little, maybe. In our arena though, diesel fuel cost would be a big pill to swallow; better efficiency makes that close to a wash with regular burning petrol engines. I read an article some time ago about diesel use across europe, in most places the ratio of diesel-to-petrol cars roughly mirrors the cost ratio between the fuels. In the UK where diesel is only slightly cheaper, diesel cars are similarly only slightly more prevelant than petrol burners.

The engineering student in me likes diesel just fine; the car enthusiast likes it only after its faster, cheaper and gets better mileage. Oh, and it has to start when its -10*F.
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:48 AM   #9
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Europe has a diesel version of the Opel Speedster. And the new Audi R10 is a diesel.
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:56 AM   #10
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EVO magazine, my favorite auto publication and one that is only concerned with fun cars, often picks diesel versions over petrol versions. For instance, they say that the BMW 330D is a better choice, even for the enthusiast, than a petrol 330I

60% of Executive style cars (S class, 7 series, etc.) sold new over there are diesel. The huge torque suits their driving style and needs quite well.

From my math, the diesel price difference and effeciency still comes out quite in favor of the diesel. Not to mention a big rise in the number of diesel vehicles on the road could bring diesel prices down...
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