In light of Volkswagen’s recent dieselgate scandal, automakers worldwide could be reconsidering bringing their diesel engines to the U.S.
The U.S. has had a tumultuous relationship with diesel cars. In the 1970s and ’80s, the dreadful and dirty GM Oldsmobile diesels were introduced and were considered one of the biggest failures in automotive engineering history. But things started looking up recently with diesel cars becoming extremely popular in Europe as a clean way of providing both fuel economy and plenty of torque for drivers.
Over the past decade, automakers have seen a growing demand for diesels in the U.S. and many were going to start bringing over more diesel-powered models to North America. But after Volkswagen’s scandal has broken out, diesel cars are arguably back at square one. Now the big question is, will these diesel cars still make it over?
Jeep Wrangler Diesel
The Jeep Wrangler diesel is actually built in Toledo, Ohio, and sold in other parts of the world, but not in the U.S. As strange as that sounds, Jeep brand boss Mike Manley recently said that he wants that to change and that the Wrangler diesel was a strong possibility for the U.S. market. As recently as this month, it was reported that Wrangler production will be shifted when the redesigned model hits the assembly line in 2017, giving the automaker the capability of adding a diesel variant for U.S. consumption.
Toyota Tundra Diesel
Toyota is still expected to offer a Tundra diesel variant next year in the form of a Cummins-sourced 5.0-liter oil burner. That engine is expected to provide more than 300 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Considering that Nissan is making the same move with its Titan, it’s highly unlikely Toyota will scrap any plans of offering a Tundra diesel, especially because diesel has always been a popular choice for trucks.
Nissan Titan XD
Speaking of the Nissan Titan, the 2016 pickup will arrive later this year powered by the Cummins 5.0-liter V8 turbo diesel with 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque – most likely the same engine Toyota is eyeing for its Tundra. Nissan says the Titan XD is the first of a family of all-new trucks with heavy-duty attitude and full-size capability, so expect the diesel engine to become a popular offering on the market.
The Mazda6 diesel has been rumored for quite some time now, with the Japanese automaker first announcing it more than two years ago. The SkyActiv-D engine still hasn’t made its way over to the U.S. and the Volkswagen’s diesel scandal may delay it even further. The company has been adamant in saying that the engine doesn’t have the performance Mazda wants despite meeting all the necessary emissions regulations. Considering Mazda has stayed mum about the Mazda6 diesel coming to the U.S., the automaker could be waiting for the next-generation model to arrive before offering a diesel variant in here.
As quickly as news of Volkswagen’s diesel scandal broke out, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has already put their foot down on the upcoming Colorado and Canyon diesel pickup variants. According to a recent report, the agencies have told GM that neither vehicle will be certified until they have been tested on the road as well as in the laboratory. The launch of the trucks were originally scheduled for the fourth quarter, but now additional testing could result in a delay, especially if there’s a discrepancy.
ALSO SEE: 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel Review
Porsche Macan Diesel
The Porsche Macan diesel is offered in other markets worldwide and has been confirmed for the U.S. market but that can all change, especially since that powerplant is now under investigation as part of Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal. The 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine would offer around 245 hp for the U.S. market and was expected to be priced under $60,000.
Hyundai and Kia
Both Hyundai and Kia have expressed interest in offering diesel engines in its U.S. cars, since they are available in overseas markets. The Korean automakers reportedly considered offering diesels in the U.S. more than five years ago, but shelved the project due to the anticipated cost of exhaust after-treatment systems along with the added cost of the diesel engines themselves. Increasing CAFE standards have them reconsidering diesel engines in the U.S., but it’s worth noting that Hyundai and Kia have been investing heavily into new hybrid models and that could become the new focus for the brands.
Jaguar F-Pace Diesel
Jaguar has already confirmed that a diesel engine will join the F-Pace lineup next year in the form of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque. As part of Jaguar Land Rover’s new Ingenium family of engines, expect to see the diesel four-cylinder to show up in other models like the XE in the near future.
Earlier this year, Cadillac confirmed that it’s developing four- and six-cylinder diesel engines and last month CEO Johan de Nysschen confirmed that the American automaker would “definitely” bring diesels back to the U.S. Although it’s still unclear which models would be candidates for diesel engines, the ATS is likely, considering it competes with the Jaguar XE in Europe, which will be offered with a diesel variant.
It begs to be asked whether the 2017 Audi A4 will still arrive in the U.S. with a diesel variant now that the Volkswagen diesel scandal has taken hold. Confirmed for the U.S. market, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 190 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, and this is the first time we would have seen a diesel A4 here. Whether or not that still comes to fruition remains to be seen because that is the exact engine at the center of the controversy.
ALSO SEE: 2017 Audi A4 Review
Volkswagen Tiguan TDI
As another model potentially up in the air in the wake of Volkswagen’s scandal, the Tiguan’s latest model bowed recently at the Frankfurt Motor Show and it was looking optimistic that a TDI variant would arrive in the U.S. We’ll have to keep a close eye on whether or not Volkswagen decides to bring its latest TDI models to the U.S. as a result of what’s going on.
Jaguar XE Diesel
Just like the Jaguar F-Pace, the Jaguar XE diesel is expected to arrive next year for the U.S. market. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine produces 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque and will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and will be the brand’s most fuel efficient model in North America.