Mercedes C-class To Get 2 New Diesels

Wednesday July 1st, 2009 at 7:77 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Mercedes-Benz star

More good news if you like higher mileage, lower emissions and cars graced by three-pointed stars. Mercedes-Benz will soon be offering not one, but two new BlueEfficiency diesel engines in their C-Class models. The C-Class is the “baby Mercedes”; they look like a real Mercedes, only smaller. Act like them too. Screwed together like a bank vault, lots of high tech gizmos, that sort of thing.

And now if the C-Class is your kind of car, you get three new diesel engine choices. There’s a 2.2-liter 4-banger diesel available with a single turbo that puts out 170 hp and a beefy 295 lb-ft of torque, and another 4 cylinder, this one featuring dual turbos, 204 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Either engine sounds like fun, but I’ll take the second one, thank you very much.

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Diesel Subarus On Their Way?

Monday June 15th, 2009 at 8:66 AM
Posted by: tonyb


According to reports in the green blogosphere, Subaru, maker of fine, boxer powered all wheel drive cars, will soon be adding diesels engines to its range of engine choices, at least in the home market. Odd really, because Japan was never that into diesel cars. Sure, delivery trucks, but very few private individuals buy diesels.

Subaru introduced its first diesel engine in Europe in 2008, naturally, a boxer, and has sold over 30,000 examples, but that makes sense since oil burners are very, very popular there. So popular in fact that 54.1 percent of Legacy sales in Europe have been diesels.

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Mercedes E 250 Bluetec Concept Gets 39 Hwy MPG

Thursday April 9th, 2009 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: tonyb

New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe - E 320

It’s time for the New York Auto show, and although not the first show to spring into one’s mind, this is the show that Mercedes-Benz usually rolls out some interesting stuff. For example, when they first wanted to show their gullwing to the world back in the 50s, Mercedes did it in New York. Anyway, at this year’s show, the three-pointed star has decided to roll out some very interesting and efficient clean diesel concepts.

Case in point: the E 250 BlueEFFICIENCY Coupé. Sure, it’s just “a concept”, but it looks like one that could hit the showrooms by next week if they wanted to (and my bet is that Merc really wants to). The E 250 BlueEFFICIENCY Coupé gets 28 MPG around town and 39 MPG out on the open road. Which is pretty impressive for a car that weighs about what a WW II Tiger tank did. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but Mercedes hasn’t made a light car for 100 years, so getting figures like that is pretty impressive. What’s even more impressive is that Mercedes manages to pull 369 lb-ft of torque from a 2.2-liter four-cylinder direct-injection diesel engine. And on top of that, it’s a diesel that’s legal in all fifty states.

Concept? OK Mercedes, here’s a concept for you: very high sales figures in places like California. Just bring it to market and stop teasing us.

Source: AutoBlogGreen

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Bentley's Future: Less Weight, Diesel and PHEV

Wednesday March 25th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Bentley Motors

Here’s a bit of a surprise, Bentley, long seen as a car of excess has begun to look at things in a little more frugal manner. Coming to market along with the next gen Continental model will be new powertrains and more than just that, weight reduction will also be part of the program.

Franz-Josef Paefgen Bentley CEO mentioned at this years the Geneva Motor Show that an all-new powertrain would appear in Bentleys by 2012. He did not give specifics, but the rumors flew that it would be a diesel, since Bentley is part of the Volkswagen group. A diesel would be an obvious choice with its high torque being a good match for the big British luxury machines. All of the current Continental variants are powered by very impressive twin-turbo W12s with VW DNA.

If Bentley forgoes the diesel route, another option theorized would be a plug-in electric vehicle. Since Bentleys already cost you an arm and a leg, they could more easily absorb the cost of batteries and hybrid hardware. The hybrid system being developed by VW and Porsche, and most probably headed for SUVs, is modular enough that it could be adapted to other vehicles. Adding plug-in capability would be technically easy, and could allow the Continental to operate silently at lower speeds on electricity.

Now about that diet. The new Continental SuperSports that bowed in Geneva actually started as a weight reduction project, and THEN flex-fuel capability was added to the engine. The next gen Continental is expected to drop about 400 lbs through increased aluminum and high strength steel. Good, these cars were pretty hefty to begin with.

Source: AutoBlogGreen

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Diesel Mini To America, Eventually

Tuesday February 17th, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

MINI Cooper diesel

Even though BMW’s well loved Mini is selling well, and the all electric version is selling better than their expectations, Mini can’t get off the dime and bring the diesel version to these shores, even though it’s been available, and selling quite well in the Euro markets. Why? First off, it’s the diesel engine. The current diesel in the Cooper D isn’t deemed clean enough for U.S. emissions regulations. Initially Mini suggested a modified version of the Cooper D could make the trip to America, company spokesmen now say it might have to wait until the next-gen clean-burning diesel can be developed for the MINI.

Drat! But I can see the engineering conundrum that Mini, and by extension, BMW face. Sure, BMW has a whole bunch of really nice diesels, and all of the modern ones burn very clean, but all you have to do is look in the engine bay of a 5 series Beemer, and into the shoe box they use for the engine compartment in a Mini and you know there’s going to be fitment issues up the kazoo. And remember, diesels are bulky little mills to begin with.

Another problem facing the Mini D (And all other diesels in the U.S.) is the price of diesel fuel which, for reasons beyond me, is kept artificially high via taxation.

Mini has a rationalization about this, of course. They point out that the price difference between premium gasoline their vehicles require and ordinary diesel is actually quite a bit more manageable. Also folding into the personal auto balance sheet is the operating cost of the Mini D. Those little brutes get SIXTY miles per gallon according to tests run in the U.S. by Bosch, so even though the fuel is spendy, owning one overall is not.

Source: AutoBlogGreen

Posted in BMW, MINI, Press and News |Tags:, , || 3 Comments »

Volvo's New Twin-Turbo Diesel For The S80 D5

Tuesday January 13th, 2009 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: tonyb

2009 Volvo S80Lots and lots of diesel news these days … and this time, it’s Volvo’s turn.

In this case, the Scandy company best known for cars as safe as bank vaults, is rolling out a new twin-turbo oil burner for their S80 sedan. It’s a 2.4-liter, five-cylinder engine putting out 205-horsepower and around 310 lb-ft of torque. The engine allegedly gets around 38 mpg while meeting strict Euro 5 emissions standards. Sadly, there’s no plans for bringing it to the North American market (dumb) for reasons unknown. Why does Europe get all the cool diesel tech, huh?

Anyway, this same diesel powertrain will also be dropped into the upcoming S60 sedan and the evergreen V70 wagon. For those of you that are engine geeks, the specifics are like this:

As mentioned, the mill uses twin turbochargers, and features ceramic glow plugs and piezoelectric fuel injectors to cut down on fuel consumption. The engine, which is all aluminum alloy, is light weight and uses transverse cooling to keep a more uniform temperature in the cylinder head and engine block than a typical diesel. This improves reliability. The engine also features asymmetrically sized turbos, that together deliver 26 PSI pressure across the rev range.

Really, Volvo (and/or parent company Ford) should bring this one here.

Source: LeftLaneNews

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Porsche Begins Production Of Cayenne Diesel

Wednesday December 31st, 2008 at 10:1212 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Porsche Cayenne diesel productionMuch rumored, and much hoped for by lots of greenies as well as people with a green bent that also like to show off, Porsche has started up production of its Cayenne diesel. And this comes after two years denying it would ever build a diesel because they are “incompatible with Porsche’s image.” Ironic, no?

The new production line is happening at Porsche’s state of the art Leipzig factory. The oil burner is the same 240 hp 3.0L V6 TDI mill used by Audi in the Q7, and Volkswagen in their Touareg. Both are headed for the US market. The Cayenne? Well, Porsche ain’t saying just as of yet, but you’d have to think they would want to bring it here. Especially if the CAFE standards get raised, since the same power unit was used by Audi in their Audi Mileage Marathon, and they got an average of almost 29 mpg over nearly 3,000 miles from New York to Denver. Not bad for a big truck.

Anyway, at the moment, Porsche is only offering the Cayenne diesel in Europe where it will be priced from €47,250, which is around 70,000 dollars US, which is to say, not cheap.

Like Porsche Cayenne buyers every worried about such trivialities.

Source: AutoBlogGreen

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The Race to Be Green is ON!

Wednesday December 17th, 2008 at 6:1212 AM
Posted by: m35man

Ford EcoBoostEurope is taking the lead when it comes to being more environmentally responsible with its new cars, working on lower emissions and higher horsepower. Of the American car makers, Ford has been the most proactive in the chase for greener vehicles, with cars like the Ford EcoBoost, which has been the buzz maker since early in 2008. The race to be green is on, and it will be interesting to see who gets to the top of the heap first.

Electric, diesel, biodiesel, hydrogen, natural gas—even restaurant grease. Scientists, engineers, physicists; even chemists are all working overtime to spare the air and find alternative fuels that won’t clog the air and ruin our lungs. There hasn’t been a technological race since the 60’s when we were fighting against the USSR to put a man on the moon!

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2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Review – the new age of diesel arrives

Thursday September 18th, 2008 at 12:99 AM
Posted by: Derek

Volkswagen is proudly promoting their new TDI turbo-diesel engines in America after finally becoming 50-state compliant and exceeding the emission regulations for all 50 states in the U.S., especially California’s strict emission regulations. Volkswagen’s TDI engine is so clean, it qualifies for a $1,300 advanced lean burn federal income tax credit. Not only are future TDI owners helping the environment by not spewing obnoxious CO2 into the air, but they also get rewarded by the federal government. The optional 140 hp TDI engine will be available in the 2009 Jetta sedan and Jetta SportWagen.

We just finished test driving the 2009 Jetta TDI at Volkwagen’s national press event held in Santa Monica. After logging nearly 150 miles on the twisty mountain and canyon roads in and around Malibu, we recorded a fuel economy of 35 mpg. Not spectacular, but we weren’t going for the world record for best fuel economy like John and Helen Taylor. Other journalists who were exercising their hypermiling techniques were able to get 41 mpg or better from their Jetta TDI sedans.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , || 2 Comments »

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