Japan's Diesel Phoenix?

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan
japans diesel phoenix

The market for diesel technology just got a little more interesting. Nissan has announced they’ve become the first Japanese car maker to launch a diesel vehicle in Japan for six years. Nissan and Renault co-developed the X-Trail 20GT SUV’s oil-burning engine to create the world’s first Japanese emissions-pleasing “clean” diesel. The only other diesel car that meets the world’s toughest particulate regs: the Mercedes-Benz E320 CDI sedan. The Merc costs 8 million yen ($73,510); the X-Trail 20GT just 3 million yen ($27,710). Other car makers aren’t far behind. Volkswagen, Honda, Mitsubishi and Subaru are all planning to offer diesels in Japan. Meanwhile, Toyota’s pulled all diesels from their Japanese line-up (the last being the Land Cruiser Prado) and continue to push hybrids. With the Japanese government planning on placing consumer incentives on diesels meeting the new standards, and Toyota and Honda’s hybrids set to fall in price, it looks like Japanese enthusiasts will have a genuine diesel vs. hybrid debates. Lucky them.

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Sep 04, 2008
    Nobody is ever going to consider CNG? Not until they solve the storage issue, no. I like CNG and LPG, especially in urban environments where smog is an issue. If I ever buy an obnoxious sports car, I'm converting it to CNG... ...but it's not convenient to store or transport. The whole "high pressure, low energy" thing is problematic. Gasoline and diesel are easy to cope with; CNG faces much of the same operational challenges that hydrogen does.

  • Stingray Stingray on Sep 04, 2008

    Agreed, but ummm it's kinda like hybrids... it allows to develop the technology to handle hydrogen ahead. In BS hybrid case... it's battery technology. Which is the only useful application I see for such complex machinery. Cammy, do you know if Japanese diesel emissions standards are similar to Euro 5 or tougher?

  • Arapaima Arapaima on Sep 04, 2008

    I for one would be leery of having compressed gas tanks in my automobile. If it's anything like SCUBA tanks, you would really have to pay attention to the tanks,same goes with hydrogen, except hydrogen spontaneously combusts in air (with an invisible flame too!). I'll go for diesel until we come up with solutions to some of the lingering issues.

  • Cammy Corrigan Cammy Corrigan on Sep 04, 2008

    Stingray, The EU are concentrating on lowering CO2, which is where diesel will excel over petrol (but still be beaten by hybrids). But I don't trust our laws. Remember the Germans lobby HARD to make emission laws favourable, after all, the don't want to restrict their auto industry, too much, do they....?