In response to gas prices that just won’t go down, automakers have responded with hybrids, electric, and compressed natural gas vehicles. But the gasoline alternative that stands to make the most gains in the next five years are diesels. Next year the number of diesel-powered vehicles set to go on sale will double, with Chrysler and Audi leading the way.
Chrysler is lurching into the diesel market with a 3.0 liter diesel V6 that debuts in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but is also going into the Ram 1500 pickup. Speaking of pickups, the Nissan Titan will get a 5.0 liter turbodiesel V8, and Chevrolet is launching a 2.0 liter turbodiesel in the Chevy Cruze. And lest I forget, the Jeep Wrangler diesel has been confirmed for America next year. Ford, however, is staying away from diesel engines in the U.S., even going so far as to say diesels don’t make sense for America.
Ze Germans shouldn’t be counted out however, having quite a bit of experience with diesel-powered cars in their native land. The BMW 328d packs a 2.0 liter turbodiesel with a 45 mpg rating, and Audi is more than doubling the number of diesel cars in their lineup, from two to five, with a sixth joining when the new A3 model rolls out. Volkswagen is still the diesel king, and is working with lawmakers and other automakers to lower taxes and restrictions to diesel engines from overseas.
And lest we forget Mazda, who is launching the all-new Mazda 6 sedan with an optional 2.2 liter turbodiesel that is stretching its legs on the racetrack. Even though diesel car sales account for just 3% of total American auto sales, the first seven months have seen diesel sales tick up by nearly 25%, meaning Americans awareness of diesels is on the ride.
Source: The Detroit Bureau