50-MPG Cars Are Closer Than We Think
Clean diesel proves fossil fuels aren't worth abandoning just yet.
We can’t really blame the media for calling out President Barack Obama on his claims that 50-mpg cars were rolling off of American assembly lines. After all, it’s the job of the press to make sure that politicians toe the truth line at all times. Unfortunately, we think the row over the commander in chief’s mileage claims was a bit misplaced. You see, while American consumers are used to thinking of any fossil-fuel-economy number of more than 40 mpg from a nonhybrid vehicle as impressive, the truth is that automakers from around the globe are more than capable of reaching the magic 50 mpg line with technology available right now.
One need look no further than the surprisingly efficient and powerful 2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder engine available in the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen. The Environmental Protection Agency rates that family-sized vehicle at 42 mpg highway. That’s a solid number, but during some time behind the wheel of the 2010 model last year, we saw well over 46 mpg at speeds of more than 70 mph.
The diesel VW has been well-received in the U.S. for obvious reasons. The wagon is stylish, offers 236 lb-ft of torque and has room for everyone and their luggage. What you may not know is that Volkswagen isn’t the only manufacturer that builds a highly efficient diesel vehicle -- it’s just the only one that managed to brave the government’s web of red tape to sell it in all 50 states.
Ford, for example, sells a diesel-powered Focus in the U.K. capable of returning fuel economy in the upper 40s to lower 50s right now, but lingering American perceptions of diesels as both dirty and noisy keep carmakers shy of offering oil-burning wares in our market. Throw on legislation specifically tilted against the diesel cause and the cost of bringing those engines to the U.S. is beyond prohibitive.
So should we be mad that the president misspoke during his speech, or furious that legislators and automakers refuse to embrace a perfectly viable technology that’s both easy on the environment and commercially viable right now?
We say both.
Jeep makes a diesel engine for the Wrangler out of it's Toledo Ohio Plant that is a four cylinder that gets 35 mpg, and has 100% more torque than it's heavier six cylinder gas engine that get's 18 mpg. Chrysler REFUSES to market it in the US because there is NO market for diesels domestically.
Yea, no market for an off road vehicle that weighs less, gets 50% more mileage and 100% more torque. Gosh, I wonder why Chrysler is failing as an automaker?
P.S. the Focus diesel gets 70+ mpg TODAY in Europe, and a lot of other diesels get more. Try to get one over here and IF they let you by the time you pay for all the "Emissions Control" work done you will get under 50MPG!
You want high MPG? Get the .gov out of the pockets of the oil companies and the banks and other corporations and you will, till then the Fascist government here will continue to rape us all until they have to bury this country for the stink.
The little diesel cars In Europe are incredible...not just in mileage numbers,but in power and all around fun to own! Something seriously lacking in battery cars. Plug-in cars are a waste of time and resources...especially when most power grids are fueled by..coal. Solar and wind are too variable..and forget about nuclear!
For now..right now...we should be offered the diesels of Europe. I am sure plenty of people would move to a sedan that returned 50-75mpg. The Ford Focus diesel does it NOW...just not in the USA.
Given a CHOICE..I would buy the efficient small diesel..over more empty promises from battery cars. C'mon Washington..make it happen!
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