While diesel engines are beginning to gain ground in the North American market, their dominance in Europe could be coming to an end.
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A battle that almost seems to have fought it self, selling diesel cars in the U.S. used to be little more than a fool’s errand for most automakers, but that is quickly changing with companies competing to catch up with the trend.
Volkswagen will be releasing a new generation of diesel engines for their upcoming MLB- and MQB-platform vehicles. The new turbocharged diesel four-cylinder engine range will be called “EA288″ and will have a displacement range of 1.6L to 2.0L.
America however will only get the 2.0L TDI that will have around 190-hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the current generation’s 2.0L TDI, that is a 36-percent increase in horsepower and a 19-percent increase in torque. We should expect to see the new 2.0L TDI in the next-generation Golf, Jetta, and Passat. It’s also safe to assume that fuel efficiency will improve in addition to its performance increase.
The EA288 engines are receiving other tweaks as well, including the integration of the exhaust manifold into the engine head in order to help dissipate heat. It will pack a selective catalytic reduction system to help reduce total emissions by as much as 45-percent compared to its predecessor. We should be seeing the debut of the new EA288 with the MK VII Golf that debuts in Europe this summer.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Maseratis exude power, style and sex appeal. They do not, on the other hand, evoke anything close to the unrefined image of a diesel engine. Or at least they haven’t in the past.
According to a report by AutoBild, Maserati is making a smaller version of its yet-to-be-release Quattroporte luxury sedan and it seems the Italian automaker plans to package it with a V6 diesel, a first for the company.
Wait! Don’t reach for the barf bag just yet. The oil burner is actually supposed to make 300 horsepower and 516 ft-lbs of torque, not too bad for a car that’s supposed to be somewhat smaller than the automakers usual preference.
There’s no official name tag on this one yet, but it’s being called the ““Maseratina” for now and will probably try to stack up next to the likes of the BMW M5, or Audi S6. Those might seem like a couple of tall glasses to fill for engines that notoriously top out ahead of the game, but we’re excited nonetheless.
[Source: AutoBild via GT Spirit]
There was a time, some 35-odd years ago, when the only engines found under the hood of a Volvo were four-cylinder units. Some were naturally aspirated, and some were boosted via a turbo-charger.
However, due to the demands and pressures from customers and share holders, Volvo started producing five-cylinder, six-cylinder engines. They even got Yamaha to design and build them a V8.
But that is all about to change for its future. According to industry sources, Volvo will not be employing any engine larger than a four-cylinder by 2020. Volvo is looking to develop a line of three-cylinder and four-cylinder motors. To get extra power, they will be turbo-charged, and diesels are also on the menu card.
This new engine line is dubbed VEA for Volvo Environmental Architecture. The idea is to reduce green-house emissions via smaller, lighter engines.
These new engines will start appearing by 2013 in a Volvo model near you.
[Source: Automotive News]
In an effort to align both brands more closely under the VW umbrella, as well as save on engineering and R&D costs, Audi will supply Porsche with it’s spicy twin-turbo V6 diesel engine.
Designed for installation in Porsche’s new baby SUV, the Cajun, said diesel is a potent piece, churning out 309 hp and a staggering 479 lb-ft of torque in Euro trim.
On the Audi side, the new diesel engine will also be installed in the facelifted Q5, along with versions of the A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8 and Q7. There’s also been speculation that a version of this new diesel might also find its way into a range of new S models, though Audi’s head of engineering, Axel Eisner, would only confirm that it had been approved for ‘regular’ production models. He also hinted that Audi is also working on a four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel.
Back in September, the US Department of Energy, in conjunction with Nissan Motor Co, green lighted a proposal to test a Cummins four-cylinder turbo-diesel in the full-size Titan pickup.
The program was largely conceived to help big trucks like the Titan achieve better fuel economy, in lieu of the 35.5 miles per gallon CAFE requirements (that now also include light trucks), scheduled to be phased in in 2015.
The test engine, a 2.8-liter unit cranks out 350 lb/ft of torque at 1800 rpm making it comparable with the Titan’s existing 5.6-liter V-8. However substantial gains in fuel economy have already been achieved, the diesel is said to currently allow a 2WD Titan to achieve around 28 miles per gallon, a sizeable improvement on the V-8 truck’s 13/18 mpg (city/highway).
Cummins says this new diesel can be built in either 2.8 and 3.5-liter forms and thanks to the use of high strength steel pistons, is not only a sturdy engine but also rather compact by diesel standards, not that compactness is of real concern when installing one in a Titan.
The test program is scheduled to run through September this year and it will be interesting to see what further results develop when it comes to capability and fuel economy. However, regulators are now proposing even tougher fuel economy standards for 2025, as much as 62 mpg. With such shifting targets, in such a short period time, the ability of any pickup truck manufacturer to meet them is going to prove challenging at best.
[Source: Automotive News]
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a bulletin citing that fuel filters on certain Mercedes-Benz models that could leak at the O-ring seals due to improper lubrication of said seals.
Although the NHTSA bulletin specifically focused on diesel-engined models, M-B extended the recall to cover gas engined vehicles as well. As it stands, the recall affects some 2,300 vehicles in total including 2011 E-Class passenger cars as well as the GL (shown); M and R-Class SUVs/Crossovers. Mercedes-Benz said that the defective fuel filters will be replaced free of charge by authorized dealers, beginning this month.
In late 2008, when the U.S. economy went into freefall and GM stood on the edge of the precipice, any projects that weren’t core to the automaker’s survival were either canned or put on the back burner. One of the latter, was a light-duty version of the GM Duramax diesel, designed for the light duty 1/2 ton Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Now that truck sales are on the rebound, the idea of a light duty diesel engine is gaining traction once again. According to Mark Cieslak, Chief Engineer for GM’s full-size truck program, making the engine an option in HD trucks as well as the 1500 personal use models would give it a stronger business case. “The 4.5-liter V8 diesel is fully developed and ready, so if we wanted to, we could launch it in a hearbeat,” he said.
If GM were to make the 4.5-liter Duramax diesel available, even in the HD trucks, it would likely carry a premium over the gasoline fueled 6.0-liter Vortech V8. Recently; GM introduced a substantially updated line of HD pickups for the 2011 model year, with a more powerful 6.6-liter Duramax diesel, that’s rated at 397 horsepower and a whopping 765 ft-lbs of torque. And although HD pickups current don’t fall under the EPA’s tough new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards laid out between now and 2016, the light duty Silverado and GMC do.
Offering the 4.5 as an option in those trucks would help towards GM’s overall fuel economy targets, while offering it in the larger trucks would give buyers a cheaper and less extreme alternative to the 6.6 diesel, which current carries a healthy $8,395 premium over the standard 6.0L gas Vortech V8.