Tuesday, August 30, 2005

With fuel prices soaring, isn't it time for a Diesel Ranger and Explorer?

With gas prices approaching $3 per gallon and the possability that it could go much higher, isn't it time that we started to think about Diesel engines as well as Hybrids? Ford sells Diesel versions of the Ranger overseas and would be wise to consider them for the North American market as well.

The Explorer is a major vehicle for Ford and as it grows larger it grows thirsty. Now available with the Mustang's 300 hp 4.6 L V-8 and the base 4.0 L V-6, the best milage you can expect from an Explorer on the highway is around 25 mpg, even with the V-6. Now imagine if you could achieve 30-35 mpg and still have the power needed to move the beefy wagon.

I read an article on AutoBlog the other day, where two drivers took a Lexus Hybrid SUV and a new Mercedes Diesel ML SUV across country. The Mercedes achieved around 35 mpg.
Just think of all those commuters that drive Honda Civics because of the fuel economy. Now add the reliability of a Diesel engine. And for the tree huggers, there is the option of getting your own Bio-Diesel still and having the ultimate "Green" vehicle.

Hell, all those soccer mom's SUVs smell like french fries anyway from the happy meals.
Maybe a Diesel Focus would sell well against the new VW Diesel models coming our way as well.
Just food for thought.


Ben K said...

How's the price of diesel in the US compared with the price of petrol? In Australia diesel is more per litre but no so much that any economy savings are lost.

Ford must sell a heap of diesel small cars in Europe. Do they have a medium-sized (bigger than 3L, smaller than 5L) diesel they could use in the trucks? I think the Land Rover Discovery comes with quite a nice diesel.

Big Ford Fan said...

Ben, good question I'll check the local station and see what kind of difference there is in price.

As for a medium sized Diesel engine from Ford, I know they were working on a V-6 Diesel with Navistar, but that was intended for the Large SUVs and pickups.
The Diesels they sell in cars overseas are outsourced as well.
Ford needs to invest money in Diesel technology, it's going to be a big part of the future.

Big Ford Fan said...

I checked the price of fuel on my way to work and at my local station, Diesel was selling for $2.99 per gallon and 87 Octane Petrol was $3.19 per gallon.

The first time I've seen gas over $3 per gallon, but not a surprise in the wake of Huricane Katrina, which crippled fuel refineries along the southern coast.