TTAC called it over a year ago: diesel market share in Europe was destined to drop because of the narrowing gap in fuel consumption with the new “downsized” turbo-charged gasoline engines. And so it has come to pass. According to Auto Motor und Sport [print], oil burners’ share of the 2008 German new car market’s down to 30.6 percent, year-to-date. The fact that diesel now costs about the same as gas in Germany, due to lower taxes for diesel, also plays into the arithmetic. But the consumption numbers (ECE combined) for these two almost identically powered Golf IV versions really tell the tale: 140hp TDI – 5.4L/100km (43.56mpg); 160hp TSI – 6.0L/100km (39.2mpg). The TDI’s consumption advantage is down to a mere 10 percent. But the diesel engine costs considerably more. The 1.4 liter TSI engine, which combines a very diesel-like torque curve with smoothness and rev-ability, would make a terrific budget GTI in the new Rabbit.
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