QOTD: Diesel's Death?

qotd diesels death

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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2 of 89 comments
  • Nukester Nukester on Sep 24, 2018

    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.

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Sep 24, 2018

    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.

  • Art Vandelay The X-90 was the one to get!
  • Art Vandelay I can get a minty MKIV Supra for that money if I've just got to own this sort of car. As a bonus it will be better built and garner more attention down at the Cars and Coffee and in 6 months nobody will say "I only paid 40k for mine!" I can only figure that the dealer just wants to keep it on the showroom floor to get you in there where they will then order you one for later delivery at a sane price.
  • Art Vandelay Report: TTAC Dead in 2022
  • Art Vandelay I bet more Ferraris get driven than people comment on this site post-update lol
  • Jim Holmgren Absolutely love my TR8. It's a thoroughly modern car by Triumph standards. Comfortable to drive and ride in. AC and power steering - plus power brakes. The Rover V8 is the perfect engine for the car. It pulls strong without being ridiculous and it makes "a proper noise". In convertible form, I see nothing controversial about the styling for the 1980s.