A reader tip pointed us to an issue with Mazda’s recent Skyactiv-D diesel engines in Australia. Apparently, the vehicle’s particulate filter may be the source of some engine oiling issues.
Alas, no wagons among them, but Audi is launching four new diesel powered models for 2013, marking one of the biggest pushes for diesel in the North American market.
In a devastating blow to fans of contrived displays of ecological sensitivity and ostentatious displays of consumption, Range Rover will apparently not sell their diesel-powered Range Rover Hybrid from the American market.
We decided to take a family vacation this summer in Italy, starting in Florence and driving into rural Tuscany to spend a mellow week in a rental villa near some friends. I reserved a “Ford Focus or equivalent” with Hertz and, after a thoroughly unpleasant hour in the queue (“not exactly” indeed), they handed me the keys to an Alfa Romeo Giulietta with a manual transmission, two liter turbo diesel. Forza Italia! I now had one week with the sort of car that American TTAC readers often like to grouse about their inability to buy at home.
The 335d may not have done so well in the United States, but BMW seems undeterred, and is set to launch yet another oil-burning 3er shortly.
Last December, Toyota and BMW announced “a long-term technological partnership.” Ostensibly, it was about developing batteries together, and about BMW supplying diesel engines, in that order. Four months later, the priorities seem to have changed a little. Read More >
There was ample hand-wringing when Volvo announced the death of their iconic station wagon in North America. While enthusiasts mourned the death of a cult classic, Volvo also announced a plug-in hybrid version of their V60 wagon, powered by a diesel engine and a hybrid drivetrain. Naturally, this vehicle was not destined for sale in North America.
The non-available V60 plug-in constituted the ultimate slap in the face for the Volvo faithful. Here was the newest generation of Volvo wagon (as opposed to the warmed over XC70 offered recently) with an environmental bent and the Euro-cachet of a diesel engine – but where was it? As Jamie Kitman of Automobile magazine rightfully pointed out, their core buyer is “green” but refusing to import such a vehicle may not be “lunacy”, because the Swedes have something more suited for American tastes – the same hybrid goodness, packaged as a gasoline-powered crossover.
Forget Amerindian prognostications of the apocalypse occurring in 2012 – the sight of an oil-burning Porsche SUV is enough for some to consider it the end of the world.
The announcement of a diesel powered Porsche Cayenne was buried deep within a press release for the Porsche 911 Cabriolet’s debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. According to the release, the spring launch of the previously revealed Panamera GTS “…will subsequently be followed by the Cayenne Diesel as Porsche’s first compression-ignition car in the USA.”
Another day, another disappointment for American fans of the Indian automaker Mahindra’s rugged, diesel-powered trucks. Earlier rumors that Mahindra might build its trucks with Navistar in Alabama turn out to be false, as a press release published at MahindraPlanet notes
MUMBAI, India, December 17, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — “There have been reports in certain quarters of media and online space stating that Navistar USA will produce Mahindra’s T20 and T40 pick ups in Alabama, USA in 2012, which are completely baseless & incorrect. If & when there are any material developments, Mahindra & Mahindra Limited will communicate them directly and transparently.”
If you haven’t given up on the Mahindra dream, now might be a good time to consider it…
German-Nipponese alliances are not going out of style, the Volkswagen/Suzuki soap notwithstanding. Toyota and BMW cut a diesel deal – if The Nikkei [sub] is correctly informed. They ran the story very early in the Japanese Saturday morning; hence no comment from Toyota is available. We’ll ask on Sunday, when we’ll see that mysterious RWD sports car.
According to The Nikkei, BMW will supply diesel engines for Toyota’s passenger vehicles sold in Europe. When and how many is unclear. Read More >
Volkswagen had painted a bulls-eye on Toyota and wanted to beat the Japanese by 2018. At least in terms of production numbers, Volkswagen will have Toyota beat this year. Instead, VW has to contend with GM.
The long-term new energy strategy of Volkswagen and Toyota on the other hand could have been devised in a joint planning session. Volkswagen believes that near-term, the plug-in-hybrid has a great future, whereas Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn won’t live long enough to witness the boom of the pure electric car.
The German newspaper Handelsblatt has an interview today with Winterkorn. It echoes in large parts the interview which I had ten days ago with Toyota’s Chief Engineer Satoshi Ogiso. The two sound amazingly similar: Bullish on plug-in hybrids. Cautious on EVs. Read More >
Based on Chevy’s new Global Colorado, this Trailblazer is an old-school, body-on-frame, SUV… which won’t be sold in this, the erstwhile capital of body-on-frame SUVs. Even though the Colorado will be produced in the US, which would make the Trailblazer an easy addition to the US lineup, Chevy seems determined to keep it out of the US. Because, as GM’s midsized truck VLE (vehicle line engineer) Brad Merkel puts it
The growing markets of the world want flexibility. That means power and capability combined with comfort and efficiency. TrailBlazer does it all. You can tow anything, go anywhere, comfortably seat seven people, and do so with the fuel efficiency associated with a smaller, less capable vehicle. It’s the complete package
But Americans don’t want any of that. Americans want a nice, car-based Equinox or Traverse. And that’s just what they’ll continue to get…
As the automaker that’s least-prepared for upcoming increases in federal fuel economy standards, it was more than a little surprising to find that Fiat’s five year plan for Chrysler did not involve any significant plans for hybrid drivetrain development. But more recently, CEO Sergio Marchionne has said a hybrid Chrysler 300 would be offered in 2013, and the firm hooked up with the feds to work on a hydraulic hybrid drivetrain. And though new CAFE regulations offer generous credits for hybrid pickups, a policy choice that rescues Chrysler’s investment in “Two Mode” hybrid technology, more will have to be done. For, in the words of Marchionne [via Automotive News [sub]],
I have no other way of getting to 2025 numbers than by going to hybrids
But Chrysler won’t rely fully on hybrids in order to make the significant fuel economy improvements it needs. In fact, it will be relying as much on diesels and compressed natural gas (CNG) drivetrains as anything else.