By on September 24, 2018

2018 F-150 Power Stroke Diesel, Image: Ford

This weekend, Matt brought us news that Porsche is dumping diesel power in wake of the debacle at Volkswagen. Once widely used in Europe (and sometimes widely coveted in the States), diesel fell on hard times after the emissions fiasco.

“Porsche is not demonizing diesel. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology,” said Porsche Chief Executive Oliver Blume.

Think he’s accurate? Or do you think other manufacturers will ditch diesel?

For what it’s worth, this author thinks there will be a gradual shift back to the days when diesel engines were largely reserved for machines requiring low-down grunt: heavy duty pickups and other workhorses, for example. They make good sense here, given their prodigious levels of twist and an uncanny ability to haul more than their own weight.

But as for family machines such as sedans and crossovers? I’m not so sure. A host of other fuel saving technologies are either in use now or coming down the pipeline. Goodness knows what’s being developed in the engineering campuses of America, Europe, and Japan.

Cities in Germany are considering banning or have already restricted the use of certain diesel vehicles (mostly older ones) from their downtown cores.

A number of manufacturers are rocking on down to electric avenue, chasing power and range while trying to solve the quick-recharging puzzle. The raft of luxury crossovers on the horizon from the likes of Audi and Mercedes, plus the ones already here from companies such as Jag, probably won’t steal many customers from Tesla; after all, many of those warm bodies are fans of the brand or Musk himself and bought their rides for that reason just as much as any other concern. But sell they will, putting electric motoring into the hands of more drivers than ever before.

Then there’s the continued innovation on the good ol’ internal combustion engine, a mill that was scheduled to be swept into the dustbin of history decades ago. Mazda’s SkyActiv-X and Chevy’s “firing fractions” in their 5.3 and 6.2-liter V8s are but two examples of ways OEMs are squeezing every last drop from a tank of gasoline.

Is diesel’s day done? Who, if anyone, do you think will be the next to drop it from their powertrain options?

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89 Comments on “QOTD: Diesel’s Death?...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    “For what it’s worth, this author thinks there will be a gradual shift back to the days when diesel engines were largely reserved for machines requiring low-down grunt:”

    unfortunately for the oil burners, GTDI engines have more or less achieved the same “low down grunt” that diesels are capable of. Even the CNG-powered, spark ignition Cummins engines FCA uses for its transport fleet give up no low end torque compared to the compression-ignition version.

    the key to low-end power is turbocharging.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      I agree fully. Currently, for anything that isn’t heavy duty towing, modern turbo engines do everything diesels used to do, without the reliability and cost issues of a modern US-market emissions-saddled turbodiesel has. I got upgraded to a new XC90 T6 for a one way rental from Enterprise on Friday, that little 2.0T had 316hp and was absolutely amazing in terms of how it pulled hills and accelerated without downshifting. Conversely, it also had some 4 cyl shake and gruffness at idle and low speeds, but even then not as bad as a diesel would have.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The engine in the T6 is actually turbocharged AND supercharged.

        Not sure how I feel about that from the standpoint of long term reliability…but I’ve heard there’s plenty of power to be had.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Yeah I just realized that after reading C&D’s review. No wonder they were able to get 316hp out of that little 2 liter. It sure had plenty of go, astoundingly so. A very nice car to drive 500 miles into the night (left Indy at 3:15, got to my bro’s a bit before midnight due to traffic). Handled (relatively) high speeds on a rainy and twisty I76/I80 securely, and the “Pilot assist” auto-lane keeping feature coupled with adaptive cruise made my McD nugget dipping as safe as possible. The biggest downside is the ride, which makes high speed highway driving and twisty roads very secure and borderline fun, makes for a very crashy ride around town. Very unrefined in that regard for the price of this thing. The other biggest criticism is the Swedish minimalism on the center stack which makes basic adjustments a highly distracting affair. Adusting the bass on the stereo: swipe up to expose the settings button. Press settings. Press sound settings. Press tone. Adjust a digital bar with your finger.

          On the old A4 I drove back: depress bass knob on the stereo. It pops out and you turn it in the required direction and pop it back in. Done.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Sometimes the old school is the best school.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I had a blast running the old girl back to my place yesterday, gobbled up the 500 miles with ease. I think it’s a nice balance of being old enough that it feels very mechanical and direct, but modern/German enough to be very comfortable and solid/secure feeling. That 2.8L is a gem, with the 5spd it’s actually geared surprisingly short, 3k rpm at 70mph which puts it right in the meat of the torque curve. It’ll shoot from 70 to 80mph in what feels like an instant in 5th, not bad for 190hp! Super satisfying shifter, very well sorted suspension for the highway, surprisingly compliant on small/medium imperfections but certainly taut and on the harsher side on my brother’s gravel driveway for example. It was perfect too in a “welcome to old Audi ownership” way, the CEL popped off within 5 miles of leaving my brother’s house, a known issue with a hole in the flex pipe triggering the downstream O2. that flexpipe leak also makes for some genuinely nice growly sounds and even some minor popping/backfire on downshifts. I’m quite smitten with it at the moment if you can’t tell haha.

          • 0 avatar
            la834

            I have the same tone-control setup in my VW. I don’t even bother pushing the tone control or balance/fader knobs in. So to adjust the bass, I just turn the bass knob. Couldn’t be easier.

        • 0 avatar
          Maxb49

          There is no reason to worry about the long term reliability just because it is a twin charged engine. The crankshaft, rods, and bearings are designed to hold up to the power.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Proof will be in the pudding. In the mean time, I’d be much more worried about all the subsystems on that thing making it past the warranty period alive. The entire dash is a display, all HVAC and audio, etc routed through the big screen on the dash. Will make for interesting BHPH fodder methinks.

          • 0 avatar
            CoastieLenn

            @gtem- that’s the way the market is going. Volvo is in no way shape or form the ONLY manufacturer doing this. Heck, even lowly Kia’s have touch screen radios.

            I’d be willing to bet that no vehicle will be using actual dials anymore in 10 years.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      Totally agree with JimZ. I am as diesel-oriented as they come. I am nearly 50 and have been in love with diesel engines since I was 3. I’ve owned plenty of diesels in my life and they are still my preferred powerplant. I have the pedigree and the real world experience to back it up.

      However, but my experience with turbo gassers over the last five years have caused me to draw a line in the sand…and my writing instrument tends to be a trailer drawbar. While a bit of embelishment in order to paint a visual picture, it isn’t far from the truth. Diesels are the choice for real work.

      I will continue to spec a diesel for anything doing real work for the sake of strength and long-term durability. I also love the sounds and smells of a diesel. Other than that, a forced induction gasser is perfectly fine by me.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    Diesel’s dead. Fine particulates are going to be the next pollutant that gets put in the crosshairs. And not only Diesels will be scrutinized for those – gasoline engines will too.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      They’ve already started. I think GDI particulate features are part of the next or even current EU emissions regs.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      They already are, at least in some locales. Audi’s dual-injection engines, e.g., would seem to be direct response to Euro 6 particulate guidelines, since they don’t sell them in the US. Legislation aside, I welcome that change, as dual injection engines seem to be less of an ownership hassle than DI-only (hurray for port injectors’ keeping intake valves clean).

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      Diesel particulate is a known carcinogen.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        And other fine particulates, as in those emitted by GDI engines under certain loads, as of yet unknown ones… They just haven’t been around long enough in great enough numbers to enter the “known” ranks yet.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      I dont think Diesel is dead at all. While I dont see diesel being viable in sedans and CUVs for much longer, I do see more diesel applications being developed in the light and heavy duty truck segments.

      The reviews on the new F150 3L diesel are stellar, and real world testing is showing 33mpg on the highway and 800 miles per tank of diesel.

      Fine particulates are not just a diesel problem. GTDI and high compression produce fine particulates and NOx as well.

  • avatar

    News of diesel’s death are premature. The simple fact is diesel engines are more efficient than spark-ignition engines. That means more miles per gallon, the holy grail of auto/truck technology. Tomorrow it may be a 2 cylinder, turbocharged ceramic diesel running an electric generator in a hybrid car/truck, but diesels will never, ever “go away.”

    Personally I’m in the process of buying a re-furbed VW Golf TDI. 40mpg without even trying, my friend’s son Alex claims. 50 mpg if you work it. Yet plenty of power and acceleration. VW simply “cheaped out” on installing $300 worth of DEF injection the first time around; their diesel platforms still provide an alternative to a much higher priced Prius or hybrid while offering power, mpgs, and Farfegnugen.

    Alex owned a Golf TDI that got purchased back by VW, and 2 years later bought one that had been refurbed. He claims he can’t tell the difference in power, mpgs, driveability. That was good enough for me.

    Everything comes around again.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The specific efficiency of diesel is about the same as gasoline.

      The gallon-for-gallon comparison is a little ofd, because a gallon of diesel contains more joules of heat-energy than a gallon of gasoline.

      // Former TDI owner, former Prius owner, current EV enthusiast.

      • 0 avatar

        As an engineer I don’t even know where to begin with your non-factual claims.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          diesel and gasoline have about the same energy content by mass. diesel is higher density so it contains more energy by *volume.*

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          “As an engineer I don’t even know where to begin with your non-factual claims.”

          Engineer to engineer, the reason you don’t know where to begin is because you didn’t understand your claim, or what I said about your claim.

          Here’s a link which provides a little more context. Look on the “Gasoline  Gallon  Equivalent  [4]” line, and ye will be enlightened:
          https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/fuel_comparison_chart.pdf

          You claimed that diesel engines are more efficient, with no ifs ands or buts. The truth is that some of that efficiency comes because there is more energy in diesel fuel. That isn’t real efficiency, even if it does increase the MPG. The point is that gasoline MPG != Diesel MPG.

          It’s close. And I didn’t care about this very much back when I owned a diesel car, but I understood the difference. But, if you’re going to make claims, you’d best understand them. Speaking engineer to engineer, of course.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            a big part of the better fuel economy of diesels is their lack of a throttle. that gets rid of huge pumping losses at part load; gas engines expend a significant amount of energy just sucking air past that barely-cracked-open throttle plate. diesels don’t have that problem.

            for the most part, that is. modern ones do have throttle bodies in the intake, but not for governing engine output. they’re there to provide some manifold vacuum to increase EGR draw through the restrictive EGR coolers.

          • 0 avatar
            Jagboi

            It’s basic thermodynamics, the efficiency of the engine is almost directly proportional to the compression ratio. Diesel has a higher compression ratio that gasoline can have, thus it is more efficient, even before we consider heat content of the fuels.

            That being said, the diesel cycle is slightly less efficient than the Otto cycle, at a given compression ratio, but since diesel has a higher compression ratio, and nearly all diesels are turbo that increases the efficiency of the cycle further.

            Some gasoline engines are turbo too, but the bulk are still normally aspirated, so on balance the diesel fleet as it runs now is more efficient than gasoline.

          • 0 avatar
            Maxb49

            “You claimed that diesel engines are more efficient, with no ifs ands or buts. The truth is that some of that efficiency comes because there is more energy in diesel fuel. That isn’t real efficiency, even if it does increase the MPG. The point is that gasoline MPG != Diesel MPG.”

            He is referring to the diesel’s superior thermal efficiency which cannot be matched by a spark ignition engine. In terms of total power output, diesel is always at a disadvantage because it is RPM limited by diesel fuel’s relatively slow burn rate.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            The greater energy content of diesel is by no means the whole story.

            But it does show why blanket claims about diesel superiority are ignorant of a much more nuanced picture.

            I really enjoyed the performance and efficiency of my Jetta TDI, when it ran (it was a Volkswagen and so I left parts in nearly every state I drove it to).

            My now-wife’s Prius outperformed the Jetta TDI in every way, except for “driving fun”. The Prius won a 12-year bakeoff hands down. It was just a better car, with a more resilient drivetrain (the Toyota HSD is astoundingly better than the ZF 01M). When a Miller Cycle engine beats a Diesel, you can be assured that what’s happening in the combustion chamber is just a small part of much bigger picture.

            Diesels are fine engines, but there are a lot tradeoffs and asterisks. I loved the torque and the efficiency of my TDI, but the claim that diesel engines are inherently better ignores the emissions (and the compromises required to emit responsibly), as well as the technological progress made by all of the competing technologies. The only area where diesel is unquestionably better is the ability to make your own biodiesel — but, for that, you really want an old Mercedes 300D.

            As much as I wish removing the spark plugs, increasing the compression ratio, adding a turbo, and building the engine stronger made for a superior engine, it’s just not going to be the long-term answer for personal transportation. EV powertrains will gradually become the default method of propulsion, while diesel and gasoline cars will be used in those niches where their specific advantages come into play (vehicles which are in constant motion, or vehicles which need to be parked in places where electric service is not available). Battery prices have been the main obstacle, and they’ve come down significantly. Yes, EVs are heavy and expensive — but, if you go drive one, you’ll discover that they’re cheap and simple to drive, have fantastic NVH, and you never have to go to a gas station (you charge at home while you sleep and start every day with a full battery). As the prices for the batteries come down, this will feel like a trifecta to most commuters — and a lot of other people, too.

            That said, I won’t hesitate to own another diesel the moment it happens to be the right tool for the job. If I start a business where I have to tow a trailer, you can bet a diesel pickup truck is something that will be given full consideration. I’ve been a full member of the cult of diesel, and I still like diesel engines — but I don’t drink thr sooty kool-aid anymore. The tradeoffs are real.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Birkenstock wearing, man-bun pajama bois don’t care for diesel. They think the power for their electro weenie pods comes from the ether. Electro weenie pods are toxic, don’t kid yourselves. GTDI fanbois often find themselves on the side of the road after stalls or fires. You don’t want to be towing anything when they suddenly lose power either. But they know everything. Diesel isn’t going anywhere, not commercially anyway. I’m sure Bill Nye is preparing a treatise on particulates that will fire up the Captain Planet types and blunt personal diesel sales though.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      If you look at the emissions analysis, the power grid charging an EV produces less emissions than a gasoline car.

      An EV in a coal-heavy regio like Houston is about equivelent to driving a Prius, except with lots of NIMBY benefits.

      In a hydro-heavy like the PNW, EVs win by a large margin.

      As for your stereotypes about people who care about this stuff, you have a great deal to learn. Perhaps I’ll humor you by growing a a man-bun if my male pattern baldness goes away.

    • 0 avatar
      e30gator

      Do you know what a “straw man” argument is? Probably not.

      But seriously, why all the hostility against people who have different tastes in cars than you? Somebody having a case of the Mondays? Poor little fella…

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        he’s just one of those guys who takes pride in being an a******.

        • 0 avatar
          CoastieLenn

          In his defense, Bill Nye has had his pockets lined lately with anything his puppetmasters task him with finding issues with.

          I used to have a lot of respect for him. He was a smarter Mr. Rogers. Now? Just a political toy.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yep, the old “he says things I don’t agree with so Soros must be paying him off” BS.

          • 0 avatar
            CoastieLenn

            Me? Nah. I am a realist. I wait to make judgements on what CNN and FOX agree on, and realize that *that’s* where the story is. On at least one occasion that I can recall, maybe two (and I don’t keep up with politics much- too much headache and in the end, nobody’s opinion amounts to squat), both outlets have called his “testimony” into question. That’s when I saw the falling of a once icon.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “. I wait to make judgements on what CNN and FOX agree on, and realize that *that’s* where the story is”

            and *that* is why you fail.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Sub-600 is succeeding in his endeavor, while being misinformed.

          I care much more about green cars and alternative energy than Sub-600’s contrived stereotype. I’m a balding 40ish dad with three kids and a minivan. I was also raised in rural America, and I can blend in pretty well when I want to, just so long as I avoid discussing certain topics.

          I know some of the people who resemble Sub-600’s man-bun stereotype. What he doesn’t understand is that dressing like a dumb*ss is a personal freedom thing in liberal culture, even though “freedom” is usually pronounced “self-expression” here. Those guys are just teenagers trying to impress girls with their exercise of self-expression. Like truck nuts, really, and with roughly the same results. It doesn’t work, obviously, but most of us have tried something equally ridiculous at some point.

          So, yeah, Sub-600 appears to be so ignorant that he’s arguing with his strawman, rather than with guys like me. It looks pretty silly from here.

      • 0 avatar
        MoparRocker74

        “But seriously, why all the hostility against people who have different tastes in cars than you?”

        Seriously? As in guys who like big trucks or muscle cars have small units or are mullet wearing 80s throwbacks who DESERVE to be forced to drive ugly wimpy looking hybrids and econo blobs? You mean THAT kind of hostility?

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      But…but…the pajama bois know SO much more than the rest of us! You forgot to drink your Kool Aid this morning or youd willingly listen to these nimrods with no life experience and who bring nothing of any hard value to the table! If YOU had a degree in post modern feminist basket weaving, you’d be enlightened too!

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        MOPAR rocked its way into being given away. Buy a Ram with a Cummins diesel? The money goes to Turin. Buy a Hemi Charger? The money goes to Turin. Said it before and I’ll say it again; used to work with a retired Airborne Ranger Master Sergeant who drives a Prius and another guy who used to kick down doors and deal with the bad guys inside. He drives a Tesla. It’ll outrun any, I repeat any MOPAR ever made. OK, he might have to go to ludicrous mode. I just get tired of the Breitbartians and the “over 21 but wearing my letter-man jacket to the bar crowd, cause chicks dig me” dudes deciding it’s time to pile on each time an article concerning the environment is posted

  • avatar
    arach

    I agree with the OP. Diesels not dead, but it may be dying in the sedan. It doesn’t make a lot of sense on the sedan, but on the big trucks, it still makes a lot of sense and its a cultural icon.

    I can barely find an F250 or F350 with a gas motor anymore…. and the first question anyone asks when you buy a big truck is if its a diesel. Its not going anywhere.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Diesel does have its advantages but rapid acceleration (when tuned legally) is not one of them.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    The news of the ‘death of diesel’ [in Europe] are strongly exaggerated and simply untrue. Sales have taken a hit, this is true, but diesel-powered vehicles, in particular large SUVs and luxury cars, are still popular. Diesel cars on the used market have taken a price hit, but modern EURO 6d diesels are as clean as can be in regards to emissions, with newer filters and larger AdBlue tanks taking care of eliminating over 93% of NOx particulates and are thus accordingly priced.

    I predict that in Leftist-Green Europe, the next target will be gasoline-powered vehicles – anything to promote the highly pollutive and impractical electric car agenda. After all modern direct-injection gasoline cars blow out huge amounts of fine dust particulates and their CO2 emissions are high. Someone should inform these dreamers that ALL CARS produce deadly fine dust particulates through their brake pads and tires. Our current forms of mass mobility have negative effects on the environment, and electric cars won’t change this.

    From my point of view electric cars are not the solution. Their entire production process is incredibly pollutive and they currently lack the range and comfortable [quick] charging times which would guarantee their acceptance and breakthrough with most consumers. Then there’s the question nobody is asking, namely what to do with old batteries? To me the hype around electric cars is misleading.

    For now and the coming decades I see the internal combustion engine as necessary until we truly develop replacements which are both cleaner and conventient (acceptable range and quick refueling times). Diesels are the best choice for spirited long-distance driving, particularly on the German Autobahn where I can punish my diesel and still squeeze out impressive range and fuel economy.

    That being said, my Skoda Octavia vRS Combi TDI (DIESEL) should be arriving in late December of this year.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      Thank you for your first-hand knowledge on the subject, Thomas. Unfortunately, here in the states, we get “news” that’s targeted to and filtered for special interests. Good point about brake pads and tires too, some people think they go to a magic place when they wear. Electric cars are just as toxic as any others. If these environmental wack-jobs wanted “truth” we’d go back to horse and carriages, but then they’d complain about the methane. You can’t win when dealing with fanatics, they’re often wrong but never in doubt.

      • 0 avatar
        e30gator

        “You can’t win when dealing with fanatics, they’re often wrong but never in doubt.”

        Your hypocrisy is breathtaking.

        First of all, this is the QOTD on an auto enthusiast website, not a political message board on Breitbart.

        Secondly, there are few people (even bleeding-heart “libtards”) who pay any attention to the industry who really believe that diesels will die. Nor are there many who want to see them die altogether. There will always be SOME market for them just as there is still a market for roadsters, station wagons, and big American sedans.

        EVs are getting better all the time and there is a growing market for them. Right now, the carbon footprint of an EV is about the same (not worse) as a conventional car. That’s only because we continue to use fossil fuels for electricity in most places. But that too is changing, like it or not, regardless of what our president says about the coal industry (which is STILL dying out BTW).

        So relax and take a breath of fresh air (if you’re not around a diesel that is). You’ll be able to roll coal for years to come.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          closer to accurate is “diesel is dead for light duty vehicles.”

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            It’s dead, or at least dying, for vehicles with a big difference between peak and average power output.

            If people were happy running passenger cars with only slightly more power than what was needed for average operation, diesels’ efficiency would shine pretty brightly. But due to rpm ceilings restricting intermittent power output, most newer passenger car diesels, are waaay oversized for their average use. Kind of like 60s era Detroit V8s.

            In heavy trucks, where engines are specifically chosen to maximize efficiency/economy at average load, diesels walk all over gassers. Enough so that even the drag of NOx and particulate cleanup doesn’t fully erode their advantage.

            But properly loaded, those trucks run 0-60 in 30 seconds. Which is not something the type-As BMW is marketing “Green” 335Ds to, fancy bragging to their fellow stockbrokers about.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The numbers don’t reflect this.

          https://www.businessinsider.com/why-morgan-stanley-wrong-about-electric-cars-2017-5

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @28-Cars: The problem with your year-old article is that it’s already out of date; BEVs have more than doubled their market share to over 3% in just one year, suggesting the demand is far higher than the author of that article wanted to believe.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            1.13% and we’re not through 2018 yet to judge.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car_use_by_country

            This site claims PEV up to 2% as an estimate.

            http://www.ev-volumes.com/country/usa/

            I’ll wait for more figures before I draw any conclusion. I’d also be interested in data on EVs leaving the used market/being junked and when it is occurring.

            I wonder how much of this will be commonplace:

            https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/28/tesla-owner-frustrated-so-fixes-his-own-model-s-easy-as-legos.html

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        Sub-600,

        Believe it or not, here in Germany one of our extremist Green Party politicians wanted to introduce ‘donkey taxis’ in the countryside as a means of ‘combating the bad air’. Essentially cartwheels towed by a poor donkey.

        Normally most people, upon hearing this, would take this in as satire. But if you have lived in this country and know how extremist and unrealistic the Green Party is, you know that they are quite serious.

        https://www.focus.de/finanzen/news/konjunktur/weil-keine-busse-mehr-fahren-gruenen-politikerin-will-esel-taxis-einfuehren_id_8375556.html

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @ThomasSchiffer: ROFL!!!!! I read the linked article and by NO means does it say what you claim. Here we are, looking at a tiny population 1000 village outside of Zweibrüken that simply wants to resolve an issue of worse-than-minimal public transportation. The village cannot afford to operate a self-propelled taxi service and apparently simply doesn’t want the hustle and bustle, either. If people want to go into Zweibrüken, they only need to hop a donkey cart and away they go, saving money in the process considering the going price for petrol and diesel in Germany.

          And yes, it is a satire piece, even if it is true.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            Anywhere where a donkey cart would work, a golf cart would be less of a hassle.

            I’ve been shopping for golf carts for my soaring club. They’re surprisingly capeable, if you only need speeds under 20mph and are OK being outside.

          • 0 avatar
            ThomasSchiffer

            Vulpine,

            Focus.de does not do satire.

            And yes, the suggestion of donkey taxis was limited to a single town in regional Germany, however at the time the idea was actually very popular with the Greens; or perhaps they were just attempting to support their delusional colleague.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @ThomasSchiffer: Then you chose a very poor example; you’d have been better off referencing those Greens, rather than the Bergermeister. It wouldn’t have come off so funny.

        • 0 avatar
          jose carlos

          You have already that sort of taxis: human powered carts in may cities. 200 years down the industrial revolution you travel in time. that’s progress.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      Octavia is a great VW group car. My own is a lowly 1.6 TDi, 110bhp. Sometimes wish it had more oomph for overtaking, but for day to day driving it is fine, cheap to fuel, cheap to tax. Surprisingly not affected by the dieselgate recall.

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        WallMeerkat,

        Correct. And the value for money is exemplary. I ordered mine in red. Diesel, because I tend to travel over 40,000 km a year.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GxQKLX7tIQ

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      “Then there’s the question nobody is asking, namely what to do with old batteries?”

      Nobody is asking that question except a few who choose to be left behind. The answers are well known. The batteries last longer than expected. They can be refurbished. They can see second life as storage. The fancy materials are 100% recyclable.

      Show me the battery recycling plants dealing with the millions of batteries already sold in hybrids and ev’s. Where are they?

      Tire wear may be equivalent to ICE cars, but no one voiced concern about this until ev’s came along. As for particulates from brake wear, only the wilfully ignorant don’t know, or choose to overlook, the fact that regenerative braking greatly reduces brake wear.

      Batteries take energy to make, and there is associated pollution. But diesels require manufacturing all sorts of systems ev’s don’t need at all, with resulting pollution and energy use. Same as the additional energy and materials needed to make the basic diesel engine itself.

      The real issue with diesels is apparent between the lines here. Some associate diesels and scorn for environmental concerns, with masculinity. They have deep and unresolved problems in that regard. Their bullyboy behavior will be evident as they react.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @ brandloyalty: People seem to forget there’s already a huge industry in recycling automotive lead-acid batteries; why is it so difficult to imagine recycling lithium batteries? Sure, at the moment there is very little need to do so but as more BEVs and plug-in hybrids hit the roads, the need will develop and whomever is first to do so profitably will make a killing at it–on 15-year-old-plus batteries.

        Now, here’s a better question: Why is it so hard to recycle old alkaline batteries? No recycling centers accept them, at least where I live, and the vast majority of them end up in landfills, despite their environmental hazard. It makes no sense to single out a single type that doesn’t yet even impact the market and ignore batteries that have been despoiling our land for nearly 100 years.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Show me the battery recycling plants dealing with the millions of batteries already sold in hybrids and ev’s. Where are they?”

        waiting for it to be as cheap or cheaper to reclaim lithium from spent cells than it is to extract virgin material.

        aluminum is a lot cheaper to reclaim via recycling because refining it from ore is a b***h.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      I keep trying to tell people on this site that news of “death of diesel” in Europe is premature after just coming back from there and talking to lots of people, but everyone quots articles that they misinterpret. “Diesel illegal in German Towns, illegal in France, Illegal everywhere”. No one reads to understand the whole article. Does VW lobby the German government long and hard to ban diesel? Sure, because they got caught with the pants down and are incapable of making a reliable engine that can pass modern emission standards. Does that mean that everyone in Europe is junking their diesels and jumping into hybrids and electrics? Of course not. Europe isn’t just Denmark, Norway and Sweeden where sales of hybrids and electrics were heavily subsidized. In poorer countries of Eastern EU, no one is buying hybrids and electric. They are beyond niche. I did see an uptick in gas engine sales but diesel still very much rules the roost.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Diesels are too deeply imbedded in Europe’s (passenger) car culture to ever go away. It would take a complete reversal of rules/taxes favoring diesels, and decades to downgrade even to niche status.

  • avatar
    vehic1

    Overalls-wearin’, cowchip-tossin’ yeehaws like the old-fashioned cancer from aromatic hydrocarbon emissions. They believe that somehow, magically, a massive amount of fossil fuel pollutants do not negatively impact the health of themselves and their families. Watching Duck Dynasty and equally clever entertainment helps to remove them from the gritty reality of the filth delivered by these antiquated contraptions.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Obvious Troll Is Obvious Trolling aside, the fact is that non-modified diesel pickups are quite “clean” – assuming, of course that they’re not equipped with VW-style cheat devices.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        except the people he’s talking about (you know, the proud-to-be-ignorant, confederate flag waving “Real Americans”) just pull all that stuff off anyway.

        because, you know, they have a Constitutional Right(TM) to blow clouds of soot in people’s faces.

    • 0 avatar
      Ko1

      Here in Alberta, it’s the oilfield kids. You just haven’t “made it” until you can park a $120,000 bro-dozer in your driveway. And, of course, everybody knows that you have to rip off all of that emissions crap and add a tuner to increase your mpg and increase the engine’s longevity! (Despite that I often see them coming in with blown headgaskets at 150,000 km. “Uhh, well, that’s just the cost of doin’ business!”)

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Ko1, some of the guys I knew who owned those trucks also had a huge tank of diesel in the bed where the tool box would normally be. Their company would give them 3-400 liters of diesel when their contract was over so they can drive home to NB, NS, etc. I am not sure if they gave gas to the guys with gas trucks. And they weren’t many you are right.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      Or MAYBE some people realize that no one lives forever and life is just too damn short to suffer while wheezing around in some ugly cramped slow eco-blob that makes a person look and feel like a total loser. Better to have your fun and go out with a bang then to wear a hair shirt for a few more years of misery.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Ah, I see…so the entire spectrum of vehicular choices is comprised of a) an ugly slow cramped eco-blob or b) a pickup that spews noxious clouds of black smoke. And if you don’t drive b), you’re having no fun.

        Got it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @FreedMike –
          Well… if we follow his advice, life will become “just too damn short”

          because we will end up…
          “suffer(ing) while wheezing around”….

          fine particulate deeply imbedded in our pulmonary system will do that to ya!

          “makes a person look and feel like a total loser.”
          Looks like the pickup sales campaigns of the Big 3 have paid off… in some cohorts ;)

          “Better to have your fun and go out with a bang”
          I’ve worked trauma and critical care, that option ain’t all that glamourous……..

          “for a few more years of misery”

          That explains the desire to get rid of socialized medicine!

          Sigh!!!

  • avatar
    kosmo

    I’ve got a 2007 diesel Sprinter that tows really well.

    After driving a 2017 Ford Transit with the twin turbo gas V6, I’d probably choose that next time around (though at 5k a year or so, mileage isn’t a primary issue for me).

    Especially with many mfgs charging such a huge premium for diesels these days (or perhaps always).

    Personal Firsthand Observation: Went on a bike holiday to Italy a few years ago. Lots of diesel vehicles. Had a few rainy days. When you sink-wash your socks afterwards, the sooty stuff that comes out of them DOES make a guy wonder about diesels.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      A lot of people, in some parts of Europe keep their cars a very long time. On my last trip in June, I’ve seen lots of VW diesels and others from early 90s. Yeah, they pollute a lot more. Also lots of heavy trucks from the 90s..lots of smoke coming out of those pipes.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    Diesel is the only way I would consider getting a Range Rover right now d/t the abysmal fuel economy.

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    In this day and age it’s all about what the regulators want to happen.

    And unfortunately regulators aren’t benevolent, impartial, clean people who won’t sell their policies to big corporations. Some corporations even have local states and governments as key stakeholders.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I think what will ultimately be the demise of diesel in light duty applications will be the long term expenditures required to keep the diesels functioning properly. The repair bills can be staggering on some of these engines and it seems they all need an injector pump at 100k miles, which run about $5k.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    I’d like to know the burn and particulate properties of the biodiesels that are currently undergoing experimentation. Could this be the diesel’s savior?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Didn’t we know once they started cracking down on dirty diesels, the party would be over, their demand would dwindle to niche status for passenger cars?

  • avatar
    Nukester

    I drive a 2016 X3 with the small diesel engine. It gets amazing fuel economy and can tow what I need to tow. I cannot imagine any electrified vehicle replacing it. In fact I can tell you, there is NO WAY I am plugging a vehicle in to charge it not to mention the immense environmental damage caused in the production of lithium batteries. PLEASE don’t kill the diesel for SUV’s, there really is no better way to go.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Diesel Cruz is probably the next to drop. Jeep will tinker with the 3.0 until 2021, then declare that the take is too low and discontinue it. The half-ton trucks will continue to offer a diesel version as long as sales are there, which does not seem to be changing. But I cannot be sure that they would not make a high-boost yet long lasting gasoline turbo engine for a truck. Well, Ford always lagged in the fuel efficiency of their EcoBoost offerings. But perhaps RAM’s Hurricane or a GM 2.0L engine will cause buyers to reconsider. Of course some only buy diesel in order to roll coal. Those people will find refuge in heavy duty pickups.

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