Despite the best efforts of Volkswagen to kill the appeal of compression ignition engines in America once and for all, Dr. Diesel’s combustion cycle still holds some significant appeal as a means of improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The latest automaker to jump in with diesel engines is Jaguar Land Rover with the 2016 Range Rover Td6. While relatively few Americans will ever have the opportunity to drive this high-dollar luxury SUV, it’s actually surprisingly relevant as a probable preview of the 2018 Ford F-150.
Mercedes-Benz is a brand that has been associated with firsts throughout its long history which of course began with the very first car, Karl Benz’s 1886 Patent Motorwagen. Along the way, Mercedes has launched gasoline direct-fuel injection, anti-lock brakes and many other technologies including the compression ignition cycle developed by Dr. Rudolph Diesel. As we approach the 80th anniversary of the 1936 260D, Mercedes-Benz currently offers diesel engines in several of its current U.S.-market models including the midsize E-class sedan. I recently spent a week with the diesel-powered E250 BlueTec AWD just before the news broke about the big Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal.