diesel


2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel – The Answer For VW TDI Refugees?

With the Volkswagen diesel buyback now in full-force here in the United States, up to half a million drivers will be looking for new cars in the coming months. A significant chunk of that group has declared that they want to keep their cars despite the emissions cheating while others including at least one friend of mine are lining up to buy the leftover unsold 2015 models now that a fix has been approved by the EPA. There is clearly still some demand for affordable diesel cars in America and Chevrolet wants a piece of it with the new 2017 Cruze diesel.

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2016 Titan XD – Is Good Enough, Good Enough?

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Up until the early-1970s the Detroit-based automakers absolutely dominated the American market. However, ever since then they have progressively lost share to brands from Asia and Europe in virtually every segment of the market, save one. Somehow Detroit has managed to maintain a near stranglehold on the full-size pickup truck. After what can only described as a swing and whiff with its original Titan pickup, Nissan is back to try again and this time they have really stepped up their game. But is it enough?

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2016 Range Rover HSE Td6 – The Diesel Isn’t Dead Yet

2016 Range Rover HSE Td6

2016 Range Rover HSE Td6

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.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec 4Matic –

2015 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec AWD - 2 of 28

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.

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Saving Fuel and CO2 vs NOx Emissions With a Volkswagen Diesel

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We bought our 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI wagon in November 2009 in large part based on the potential money we’d save at the pump. In the wake of the current diesel emissions fiasco and the fact that until recently, diesel has consistently been more expensive than gasoline, last night Julie? asked if we’ve even managed to save any money with this car.

I went to the Energy Information Administration website (an outstanding resource for historical data on fuel prices and supply) and downloaded the monthly average price data for the midwest which is available in a handy excel spreadsheet. You can also get national and regional data for annual and weekly averages. Based on the total mileage accumulated over 70 months and the EPA combined fuel economy estimates of 34 mpg for the diesel and 25 mpg for the 2.5-liter five-cylinder that was also available at the time I worked out the average monthly fuel consumption over the time we’ve owned the car. We have used approximately 23.1 gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel per month and would have used about 31.4 gallons of regular gas with the five cylinder.

Putting that up against the average monthly price of regular gas and diesel we would have spent approximately $7,274 on gasoline. By comparison, despite the higher pump prices most of the time, I estimate that we’ve spent roughly $5,732 on diesel fuel, a savings about $1,540 dollars. The diesel emitted approximately 16.3 tonnes of CO2 over the past six years while the gasoline-fueled version would have output almost 19.4 tonnes, so we’ve saved roughly three tonnes of CO2 as well.

Does that justify all the extra NOx we’ve emitted? I have no idea. That’s one of those trade-offs that you simply can’t measure directly. Having paid a roughly $2,000 premium up front to buy the diesel engine, the economics are still an open question right now. A week ago, the $3,500 in extra resale value of a diesel compared to a gas engine would have more than covered the $500 difference we’re at right now in fuel savings and we would have been way ahead financially. A few weeks from now when this all sinks in, who knows what this car will be worth.

I don’t have answers yet, just some random data points. Stay tuned.


2016 Chevrolet Cruze – Coming with a Diesel!

IMG_1441At the Fillmore Theater in Detroit this evening, Chevrolet finally took the wraps off the North American version of the second-generation Cruze compact and it looks like a big step forward from the current model. When the Cruze debuted here five years ago, it was something of  a watershed for General Motors, the first compact car from the Detroit automaker that was truly competitive with the import brands. It wasn’t perfect, being a bit tight inside and somewhat porky at the scales. Nonetheless, it was so much better than anything GM had built to date that it sold like gangbusters with more than 3 million sales globally since 2008. This time around, Chevrolet has sought to address all the complaints we had about the original and raise the bar in the segment.

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2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn EcoDiesel – You Can Have Power and Efficiency

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn EcoDiesel - 1 of 31

Even in our increasingly globalized automotive landscape, one segment has remained most uniquely American – the full-size pickup truck. For decades, the big pickup remained hidebound, devoid of technical or design innovation. In the absence of notable competition, Ford’s F-series led the way in sales, followed by GM with Dodge in a far distant third. But then 20 years ago, tired of being the third-wheel to its cross-town rivals, Chrysler under the leadership of one Bob Lutz, decided to shake things up and the truck market has never been the same. Trucks like the 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn EcoDiesel are a prime example of the goodness that can come from real competitive pressure.

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Back in 2007 and 2008, most major automakers were planning or seriously considering…

Back in 2007 and 2008, most major automakers were planning or seriously considering diesel-powered vehicles for the US market. Among those where Korean brands +Hyundai Worldwide and +Kia Motors. I spoke to John Juriga who was then director of powertrain engineering at the Hyundai America Technical Center at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show.
http://web.archive.org/web/20080122050602/http://dieselforecast.com/ArticleDetails.php?articleID=428
Kia had a large display featuring a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that was intended for the Boreggo SUV and possibly also for the Hyundai Genesis.

However in the spring of 2008 as fuel prices spiked and diesel in particular went well beyond even premium gasoline, most of those plans were shelved except for the big German automakers, +Volkswagen USA, +BMW USA and +Mercedes-Benz USA Since then with at least a modicum of recovery in the industry and need to improve efficiency, many of these plans are being revived. +Chevrolet is introducing a diesel Cruze next year and +cadillac is apparently considering reviving the diesel V6 it had developed for the CTS. With the Boreggo long gone, Kia is even rumored to be looking at a four cylinder diesel for the Optima midsize sedan to compete with VW's successful Jetta and Passat. Who else will jump into the diesel car game?
#diesel.

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Kia considering Optima diesel for U.S.?
Rumors about global-market diesel engines hopping over one pond or another to the United States are a dime a dozen, but a recent question posed by Kia Motor America's public relations department on Fa…

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Diesels continue to expand their reach in America 3

#Ford #diesel

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Ford Transit to Get Diesel for U.S.
Ford just announced it will offer a new (for North America) diesel engine in the coming 2013 Transit. This news comes on the heels of Ford's earlier announcement that the full-size van will get the popular 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.
Exact power outputs for the EcoBoost in the Transit have not been released, but Ford says the new van will offer at least 25 percent better fuel economy (in all configurations) than the E-Series van it replaces, weighing as much as 300 pounds less as well.
The tur…

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