Thursday, September 15, 2005
With 204 hp and 340 lb ft of torque, this new Jaguar XJ with a Diesel V6 should motor down thre road well. Too bad it probably won't come here. In Europe you need to have Diesel models to compete, even in the Luxury car segment. I remember in the 80's when Diesels were the rage in European Luxury and near luxury cars here in the US. Volvo, Mercedes, BMW, Peugot (which for you young people was a French car you'll never see) all of the serious players (with the exception of the Big Three) had Diesels. Now with the price of gas over $3 a gallon and $4 on the horizon, maybe we should consider them again. When the sale of "clean" low sulfur Diesel starts here, I'd like to see Diesels make a comeback.
I remember in the 80's when all the European manufacturers sold Diesel versions of their vehicles here and even Ford and GM had flirtations with Diesel. If you recall a post from June on John B's Diesel Ranger, Ford also had Diesel Escorts and I believe Tempos. Now in the US, Diesels are rarely seen in anything but full size trucks and commercial vehicles. My memory of Diesels from the 80's are of noisy smelly vehicles that you couldn't park outside in the cold weather. I helped more than one person try and start their Diesel Rabbit back then. But Diesel technology has come a long way. I know from reading the AutoProphet's blog www.theautoprophet.blogspot.com that there are still issues concerning emissions, but in the long term investments in these technologies will pay off.
Funny thing, I read on AutoBlog www.autoblog.com that Americans wouldn't prefer the low rev high torque Diesel engines. But I think the author may forget that we in the US were more in tune with high torque engines from out V8 days. It's only in recent history that high revving multi valve 4 and 6 cylinders have domminated the landscape. Or am I just showing my age? When I was younger it was all about torque and the holeshot, not about 8,000 rpm shift and bumping rev limiters. I think most US drivers could get reaquainted with low rpm torque, especially considering how many lazy americans drive automatic transmisions.