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Old 03-24-2011, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,680 posts, read 4,461,168 times
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I'm just curious about this now that gas prices are getting quite high. I know there are many cars available in Europe that are not available here with smaller, lower powered diesel engines that get fantastic gas mileage. Supposedly they were not made available here because they figured the American public would not be interested due to the low horsepower. My question is- do any of you think this will change with the higher priced gas? Will we start seeing these cars with small, 60MPG diesel engines being made available here in the States?

I am just tired of looking at cars and finding even the smallest non-hybrids still barely getting lower to mid 30's on the highway!
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Northwest Indiana
801 posts, read 2,417,276 times
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Simple answer, No.

Small underpowered cars have never been popular in the US. They never have gotten more then little niche markets.

The reality is that few Europeans drive them as well. The "Smart" car has been discontinued in the US and sells poorly in Europe as well. Most will pay more for the gas rather then trade down to a small car.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 9,205,391 times
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When fuel (petrol) prices hit $8-10 a gallon, they'll be here. Until then, folks will complain that they're "underpowered" because heaven forbid, if a vehicle takes longer than 10 seconds to go from 0-60 it's "slow".
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Poway, CA
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We already have a few of them. Just look at all the B-segment vehicles like the Ford Fiesta, the Fiat 500 (coming soon), the Honda Fit, etc.

Mike
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:39 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,107,644 times
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Yeah, "underpowered" would be why a diesel-powered car in Europe (getting probably 40+ mpg) will blow by you at 100 mph. Fact is, modern diesel cars are no longer low-powered slugs. First, most all of them are turbocharged. They have much better low-end torque than most gasoline engines--and it's torque, not horsepower, that makes for acceleration. Thanks to the newer multi-speed automatics and manual transmissions that keep diesel engines in their RPM "sweet spot" better, they also can cruise at speeds well in excess of US speed limits and still get superior fuel economy. There are plenty of diesel cars in Europe comparable to mid-size American cars that can get up to 40 mpg or better.

We don't have these cars available in the United States because:

1. The US has idiotic diesel emission regulations that are different enough (not really better, just different) from Europe's that auto manufacturers do not want to spend the many millions of dollars necessary to get diesel vehicles EPA certified for the US.

and

2. Americans are so g******ed ignorant about diesels that all they can think about is some old smoky diesel truck when they hear the word "diesel." By the way, you don't get "gas mileage" with a diesel engine because it doesn't burn "gas."
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 9,205,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboyslo View Post
We already have a few of them. Just look at all the B-segment vehicles like the Ford Fiesta, the Fiat 500 (coming soon), the Honda Fit, etc.
... but none of them are offered with the smaller, thriftier gas engines, nor their diesel counterparts. Nor start-stop, to really help in city driving ...

Mazda: EPA Test Keeps Stop-Start Out | The Truth About Cars
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: WA
5,293 posts, read 20,713,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narfcake View Post
... but none of them are offered with the smaller, thriftier gas engines, nor their diesel counterparts. Nor start-stop, to really help in city driving ...

Mazda: EPA Test Keeps Stop-Start Out | The Truth About Cars
Instead of spending $500 per car to reduce idling perhaps we can spend the money to fix the antique, ineffecient, fuel wasting, time wasting traffic control systems in this country. The kids game controller can tell what he is doing with his body but the red light controllers in millions of places are so stupid they regularly will stop scores of cars for many minutes for no reason.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,638,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Yeah, "underpowered" would be why a diesel-powered car in Europe (getting probably 40+ mpg) will blow by you at 100 mph. Fact is, modern diesel cars are no longer low-powered slugs. First, most all of them are turbocharged. They have much better low-end torque than most gasoline engines--and it's torque, not horsepower, that makes for acceleration. Thanks to the newer multi-speed automatics and manual transmissions that keep diesel engines in their RPM "sweet spot" better, they also can cruise at speeds well in excess of US speed limits and still get superior fuel economy. There are plenty of diesel cars in Europe comparable to mid-size American cars that can get up to 40 mpg or better.

We don't have these cars available in the United States because:

1. The US has idiotic diesel emission regulations that are different enough (not really better, just different) from Europe's that auto manufacturers do not want to spend the many millions of dollars necessary to get diesel vehicles EPA certified for the US.

and

2. Americans are so g******ed ignorant about diesels that all they can think about is some old smoky diesel truck when they hear the word "diesel." By the way, you don't get "gas mileage" with a diesel engine because it doesn't burn "gas."
You're absolutely right on all accounts.

The one thing I'd like to mention is that with technology, the "sweet spot" on diesels have gotten significantly wider. Where they'd usually have no power at all without turbospool (well, technically still true but they kick in early) and completely bottomed out halfway through the rev range, you now have 2.0L engines producing 380Nm of torque from 1600rpm all the way to the 6200rpm redline.

I really wouldn't say that 170hp and 380-400Nm of torque is underpowered. And it'll cruise at 75 Mph whilst getting 63Mpg, I can personally vouch for that, and you really cant beat it.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:21 AM
 
Location: un peu près de Chicago
773 posts, read 2,003,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking85 View Post
... you now have 2.0L engines producing 380Nm of torque from 1600rpm all the way to the 6200rpm redline.
I really wouldn't say that 170hp and 380-400Nm of torque ...
It doesn't compute.

400 NM (295 lb-ft) @ 6000 rpm ≈ 340 hp
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:45 AM
 
Location: Eastern Missouri
3,054 posts, read 5,031,973 times
Reputation: 1377
With the absolutely insane ppm requirements of the d@*m epa on diesel fuel and engines, just look at the outragous cost of diesel fuel at the pump. That is why after doing some figuring, my next truck will be gas powered instead of diesel like I prefer. 40-50 cents a gallon more for fuel per gallon kills the advantages of helping preserve earth's fossil fuel supply when the wallet is being robbed. BTW, if anyone doubts my opinion of diesel power; my buddies 70 Chevy step side pickup we built together has a duramax and it was also the very first Duramax diesel powered vehicle to run in the 9's in the 1/4;


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbSNdFFZdqA


This was the first in the 9's pass. September '07 at Gateway across the river from St. Louis. As you can see, it was still defueling on the shifts;


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggxsrVWEf9E


Diesels are not slow underpowered slugs anymore!
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