ADVANTAGES OF DIESEL TECHNOLOGY IN LIGHT-DUTY AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS
LOREN C. MARZ - Board Certified Meteorologist
Based on old perceptions, light-duty diesels are not usually associated with "high performance". However, modern diesels have become the "performance option" in many vehicles, especially in Europe.
The following are reference citations which support the notion of "high performance diesels", and counter the "diesels are slow" perception.
His go-fast company, Gale Banks Engineering in Azusa, Calif., is a firm believer that diesels are the future. The speed run on the Salt Flats was meant to dispel the old myths of the stinky, slow oil burners. It worked. And the pickup is street legal to boot. So ol' Gale can now lay claim to the World's Fastest Pickup and the World's First Diesel Sport Truck. For more information, visit www.bankspower.com...."
...And mind you, none of us were driving conservatively in order to achieve a decent fuel economy number...."
On the steep and twisty inclines that made up much of our test route, this unit's 280Nm of torque and muscular mid-range power delivery made for more effortless overtaking and fewer gearshifts than in its petrol-powered counterpart. Given the fact that the D-4D is capable of returning 48.7mpg on the combined cycle and is the first oil-burner to meet Euro VI emissions regulations - putting it in a three per cent lower CO2-related tax bracket than any diesel - and the newcomer's credentials look solid...."
Yet, diesels make more sense for this market than in Europe where they have soared to a third of all vehicle sales, says a perplexed Chrysler President Dieter Zetsche.
The way Zetsche figures it, if they are approaching 35% share in his homeland Europe, they should capture 50% in the U.S. because of the characteristics of this market.
North Americans want strong acceleration off the line when the light turns green. The combination of impatience and a desire for power calls for low-speed torque, which diesels provide. This country's drivers also need towing capacity and more off-road capability than the European market demands. "All of that is low-end, high torque," says Zetsche, better achieved with diesel, not gasoline engines...."
"...While the auto maker will follow suit in the pursuit of hybrids, they are not the "silver bullet" when it comes to better fuel efficiency, says Zetsche. "I think diesel is the bigger answer and the more important one."..."
Before you dismiss the idea of diesel-powered cars (we already have diesel light trucks), consider several things. First, we're not talking about smoke belching, noisy, smelly diesels here. We're talking about the new generation of clean, powerful, efficient diesels (see "Diesel Evolution" elsewhere on this site). Second, diesels can get 40 to 60 percent better fuel economy than similar gasoline engines. This would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Third, modern diesels will emit less pollution than gasoline engines. Fourth, one out of every three cars in western Europe is diesel powered. Fifth, the technology not only exists, it is already in production by American and foreign car companies. American diesel-powered cars are manufactured for sale in Europe. Sixth, ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel has already been mandated in this country by the EPA by 2006. Seventh, diesel engines are more practical in hybrid vehicles than are gasoline engines. Eighth, diesel engines can be built in any size and power to match the transportation needs of various sized vehicles. Buyers wouldn't be limited to small cars or short travel distances. Ninth, the refining, transportation, storage and distribution infrastructure already exists for diesel. Adding diesel pumps to gas stations would cost far less than a hydrogen distribution system. Tenth, we can manufacture diesel fuel from natural gas and renewable resources to cut our dependence on foreign oil even further. Understand we're not talking about replacing every gasoline-powered car and truck with a diesel. If only 20 percent of our cars and light trucks are diesel powered, the average fuel economy and total pollution of the American vehicle population will be significantly improved...."
"... Engineers at AVL believe that the high torque output of diesel engines could make them the perfect engine for the large SUVs favored by Americans.
"Diesel would destroy gasoline from a performance perspective," said Chris Cowland, AVL's technical director. ..."
"...Two electronically controlled turbochargers, with maximum boost-pressure of 3.0 bar, are key to the improved performance, enabling the 1.9-liter twin-turbo to drive as smoothly as a naturally-aspirated, large-displacement engine. Peak torque of more than 400 Newtonmeters is available all the way up the engine-speed range from 1400 to 3500 rpm. Apart from the considerable power increase, one of the advantages of the twin-turbo principle is the engine's low fuel consumption...."
Power = 156 kW @ 3800 rpm (82 kW/ltr.)
Torque = 400 Nm [295 ft-lbs] @ 1400-3500 rpm
"...The new diesel (test vehicle was a Quad Cab short bed 4X4) ran 0-60 in a class-leading 8.03 seconds...."
"...Ram truckin' with a diesel is fun...."
"...Big trucks are a natural fit for diesel power, as a glance at the track sheet will confirm: 6.2 seconds to 60 mph, 14.7 seconds through the quarter-mile at 93 mph - in a 5880 pound off-roader capable of 24 mp[g]!..."
"...the all-internal-combustion option [diesel vs. gas-hybrid] is best suited to 200,000 miles' worth of hill-and-dale, sea-to-sea American-style driving...."
Source: Car and Driver, March 2004, http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=4&article_id=7816&page_number=4
Source: "Who knew a diesel could be so suave?", James R. Healey, April 8, 2004, USAToday, http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/reviews/healey/2004-04-08-e320_x.htm
"...he estimates horsepower at over 1100 and torque at 2500-plus lb-ft.... "
The new 4L TDI V-8 develops 286 hp and 479 lb.-ft. (650 Nm) of torque...."
...This presentation includes two fascinating sports car studies: an SLK 320 CDI with a 210-kW/286-hp triturbo diesel engine (630 Newton metres [465 ft lbs]) and the Vision SL 400 CDI with a new eight-cylinder engine which is soon to enter series production at Mercedes-Benz. With an output of 231 kW/315 hp and a torque of 730 Newton metres, this future V8 engine is the world's most powerful car diesel unit. Cordes: "This engine shows that the future of the diesel has only just begun."..."
The new drive in the Vision SL 400 CDI also belongs to Mercedes-Benz' third generation of CDI engines. To create this system, the engineers took the familiar four-litre V8 diesel and enhanced many of its components while also adding state-of-the-art piezo injectors, new turbochargers and an optimised water/charge-air cooling system. Taken together, all of these measures allow the engine to bring forth its power and torque in an even more harmonious fashion. The SL 400 CDI accelerates from zero to 62.5 mph in 5.8 seconds. As such, this diesel sports car justifiably bears the legendary letters "SL". ...."
Source: http://www.carpages.co.uk/mercedes_benz/mercedes-benz-diesel-engines-part-4-05-03-05.asp, http://www.drive.com.au/editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=9411
"...low engine weight of only 255 kilograms..."
"...As for the future of diesels in America: We drove multiple European models from San Antonio to Laredo, including an AMG-tuned CLK, and there is simply no downside to these modern diesel automobiles. Power is more than adequate, torque is of the stump-pulling variety, and if the cars do what Mercedes says they will - which is meet all state and federal pollution requirements using low-sulfur fuel (available here in September 2006) - sign us up. According to a spokesman for the Diesel Technology Forum, this new fuel will be "only a few cents" more expensive than current diesel fuel.
Mercedes-Benz has thrown down the diesel gauntlet: Diesel cars can be fast, fun, dependable, economical and - most important - legal in all 50 states. If the federal government will give diesel technology some breaks, this could help change things. A lot...."
Source: http://www.babcox.com/editorial/ar/eb110432.htm, http://www.pulltown.com/about.htm
...It scoots to 60mph in 6.5 seconds and blasts all the way round to its electronically limited 155mph without breaking its stride. The automatic, petrol-powered 530i is 0.6 seconds slower to break the 60mph mark and this is a lifetime in such similar cars.
With this kind of performance, combined with frugality of 35mpg even on a continental thrash...
...On the trip I also drove the impressive 630i -- and we'll be reporting on that car soon -- but for 2,000-mile drive back to England I only wanted the keys to one car. That was the diesel, and that speaks volumes - the days of the tractor are over...."
"... the EcoRacer...accelerates to 100 kph (62 mph) in a mere 6.3 seconds..."
"...The four-cylinder engine develops 100 kW /136 PS at 4000 rpm. Between 1900 and 3750 rpm, the 1484 cc four-valve unit develops a torque of more than 250 Newton metres. The compression ratio is 17.2:1. The unit is both light and compact, and - not only in the EcoRacer - it conforms to values planned for the EU-5 exhaust standard. The gearbox of the turbo-diesel is the DSG double-clutch transmission...."
"...Audi claimed a possible 1-2 lap advantage at Le Mans over the R8, a track where a high percentage of the lap is at 100-percent throttle. So that will translate into a larger [fuel efficency] advantage at other circuits...."
...Peugeot expects the engine to deliver more than 515 kW (690 hp) of power and more than 1,200 Nm of torque...."
...Welter Racing, a French-based team, has announced plans to go one step further into the green by fielding a biodiesel-powered racer in the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2008. An entirely new chassis is being developed for the racer that will be entered in the 2007 race, albeit powered by petrol. The biodiesel powerplant will be ready to take the track for the 2008 race...."
In the final hours of the 74th running of the 24 Heures du Mans, there were no more surprises - unless one counts the unlikely eventuality of the world's premier endurance race being won by a diesel-engined sports car. Unlikely as it may seem - and it would have been deemed impossible until recently - diesel is not just economical, not merely practical, beyond unexpectedly torquey, it is now a type of engine with a Le Mans win to its name.
Even before the victory of the No.8 Audi Sport Team Joest R10, in the capable, mature hands of Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner, and the third place of its sister No.7 car driven by Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish, the car was changing the face of racing. Peugeot announced it will contest the great race next year with its own V12 diesel, with much the same specifications as Audi's TDI...."
Mission accomplished. The #8 Audi R10 of Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner fulfilled Audi's ambition of fielding the first non-gasoline-powered winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the process the trio set a record for the distance travelled by the winning car, narrowly beating the previous record set by an Audi R8. Despite a lengthy pit stop to replace the faulty fuel injection system, the pole-sitting #7 Audi of Kristensen, Capello and McNish managed a third-place finish in LMP1...."
...The fans on the race track and a worldwide audience of millions of TV viewers saw an impressive demonstration of Audi TDI Power and the performance of modern diesel engines. The brace of Audi R10 TDI cars, powered by a 650 hp V12 TDI engine, were by far the fastest and most economical cars. During the entire race, one of the new diesel sportscars from Ingolstadt was at the head of the field. Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen drove the fastest lap of the race, setting a 3m 31.211s time, and he was the first driver at the wheel of an LM P1 sportscar to cover 16 laps with one fuel load. Completing 380 laps, Audi also set a new distance record.
In the race, the advantage in fuel consumption of the Audi TDI Power was visible for the spectators to on average, the Audi drivers only pitted every 14 laps to refuel 90 liters of Shell V-Power Diesel. The opposition, who relies on petrol engines, had to pit considerably more often. The fans were also impressed just how quiet an environmentally friendly 650-hp sportscar can be...."
The R10 was quicker over one lap and consistently faster over the course of a stint. What's more, it was going further on a tank of fuel. Ninety liters of diesel were good for 15 laps of the 8.48-mile Circuit de la Sarthe; 90 liters of gasoline good for just 13 laps.
'The Audi was just too fast,' said Collard. 'I was really trying in the opening laps, taking curbs and pushing hard, but I was still two seconds a lap slower. They were faster than us under acceleration, under braking, almost everywhere.'..."
...Their No. 2 Audi R10 TDI set a race record by completing 142 laps...."
...'Their greater straight line speeds and much better fuel economy have not changed. And that central issue still remains - the absurd disparity between diesel and gasoline fuel economy. And these areas also need to be addressed.'..."
Source: http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060929/FREE/60929005/1056/FREE, http://www.rsportscars.com/eng/cars/peugeot_908rc.asp
Despite the weight handicap, Allan McNish held the provisional "pole" in the number 2 Audi R10 TDI for a long time. He was narrowly beaten by Nicolas Minassian's Creation-Judd just before the end of the qualifying session. Frank Biela, after setting the fastest time with the number 1 R10 TDI in the morning practice, was on his quickest lap when qualifying had to be interrupted due to an accident...."
McNish drove the final 1:17 on the same tires and tank of fuel as Audi displayed the fuel economy of diesel, one of the reasons Audi undertook the landmark program...."
...The variable twin turbo technology-also referred to as multistage turbocharging-gives the top-end unit maximum output of 150 kW/204 hp, making this the first all-aluminum diesel engine in the world to develop output of more than 100 hp per liter...."
Source: http://news.com.com/2300-11389_3-6174150-1.html?tag=ne.gall.pg, http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070420/FREE/70418005/1029/THISWEEKSISSUE, http://pacificp.com/newsletter/april07.htm
"...The V12 diesel, with a 6-liter (6,000 cc) engine closely related to that of the R10 TDI racing car-a triple Le Mans winner-delivers 368 kW (500 bhp) and develops a torque of 1,000 Nm (738 lb-ft) between 1,750 and 3,250 rpm.
Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.5 seconds and a capped top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) equal the driving performance of a powerful sports car. Despite these performance data, the V12 diesel consumes an average of 11.3 L/100km (20.82 mpg US)...."
"...The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon develops 163 HP between 3,500 and 4,200 RPM while offering up an amazing 265 Lb-Ft. of torque 1,750 to 3,000 RPM. This equates to a zero to 60 mph time of < 8.0 seconds and a top speed of 137mph. Acceleration in fifth gear from 50mph to 75mph is also suitably swift taking just 9.6 seconds...."
"...the X5 diesel is 38 percent more fuel-efficient and just 0.1 second slower to 60 mph than the pricier X5 xDrive48i with its gas-powered V8....
...In performance testing, our X5 xDrive35d dispatched with 60 mph in 7.2 seconds and crested the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds; the latter is actually 0.1 second quicker than the V8-powered X5 xDrive48i can manage...."
"...the little 3.0L inline-six in the 335d actually made 258 hp and 421 lb-ft at the wheels, making the crankshaft numbers closer to 300 hp and 525 lb-ft...."
"...A new C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY will likewise feature the ECO start/stop function and a six-speed manual transmission, resulting in fuel consumption of 4.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (53.5 mpg US)-0.4 liters lower than the previous figure. CO2 emissions drop from 127 g/km to 117 g/km. The new C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with ECO start/stop function is the most fuel-efficient C-Class yet...."
"...The new C 200 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY model has a displacement of 1.8 liters and an output of 135 kW (184 hp), with fuel consumption of 6.8 liters of premium unleaded gasoline per 100 kilometers (34.6 mpg US) (combined NEDC consumption)-around 0.8 liters (10%) less than the previous four-cylinder engine with conventional fuel injection and a supercharger. CO2 emissions from the direct-injection [GDI] model with a manual transmission are 158 grams per kilometer (12% lower than previously). Despite the lower fuel consumption, the peak torque has been increased from 250 Nm to 270 Nm (199 lb-ft), enabling the new C 200 CGI to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds (outgoing model 8.6 seconds)...."
"...This effective ECO start/stop function likewise features in the new Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY model with a six-speed manual transmission, which has a displacement of 2,143 cc, an output of 125 kW (170 hp) and a peak torque of 400 Nm (295 lb-ft), allowing the sedan to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds...."
Diesel vs. gasser comparison:
Fuel consumption - 6.8/4.4 = 1.545 = 54.5% more (35.3% less for diesel)
CO2 emissions - 158/117 = 1.35 = 35% more (25.9% less for diesel)
Acceleration - 0-100 km/hr - 8.2 sec (GDI), 8.4 sec (CDI)
"...The new Jetta 1.2 TSI BlueMotion Technology [103 hp] consumes an estimated 5.3 l/100 km (44 mpg US) (equivalent to 123 g/km CO2) on the NEDC. The Jetta with 1.6 TDI BlueMotion Technology [103 hp] attains a low combined fuel consumption of 4.1 l/100 km (57 mpg US) (109 g/km CO2)...."
Diesel vs. gasser comparison:
Fuel consumption - 5.3/4.1 = 1.293 = 29.3% more (22.6% less for diesel)
CO2 emissions - 123/109 = 1.128 = 12.8% more (11.4% less for diesel)
"...With combined fuel consumption of 6.8 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (35 mpg US) NEDC-corresponding to CO2 emissions of 177 grams per kilometer-the new V6 diesel model is 11% more economical than its predecessor. At the same time, the power output is up 10% at 190 kW (258 hp) and torque is 15% higher at 620 Nm (457 lb-ft). The S350 BlueTEC accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) electronically limited)...."
"...The S400 BlueHYBRID combines a modified 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine that delivers 205 kW (279 hp) of power with a 120V, 15 kW electric motor and a starting torque of 160 Nm (118 lb-ft) of torque. The combined system delivers power of 220 kW (299 hp) and a combined maximum torque of 385 Nm (284 lb-ft), with fuel consumption of 7.9 L/100km (30 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 190 g/km. The S 400 BlueHYBRID accelerates from zero to 100 kph in 7.2 seconds, and has an electronically governed top speed of 250 kph (155 mph). The fuel consumption betters that of the conventionally powered S 350 by up to 2.2 liters per 100 kilometers. CO2 emissions are reduced by 21%...."
Diesel vs. Hybrid comparison:
Fuel consumption - 7.9/6.8 = 1.162 = 16.2% more (13.9% less for diesel)
CO2 emissions - 190/177 = 1.073 = 7.3% more (6.8% less for diesel)
Acceleration - 0-100 km/hr - 7.2 sec (S400 BlueHYBRID), 7.1 sec (S350 BlueTEC)
"...Indeed, the 535d goes from 0-100 km (0-62 mph) in just 5.7 seconds (faster than the 335d, which travels the same distance in six seconds) and uses just 6.1 l/100 km (38.5 mpg) in the European combined test cycle (less fuel than the 335d, which uses 6.7 l/100 km (35 mpg) in the same test)...."
"...How efficient are Audi's diesels? Well, consider the fact that despite its much-heralded aluminum space frame, an extended wheelbase version of the new A8, the A8L, weighs a semi-portly 1,890 kilograms (it is, after all, a very big car). Venture further down the spec sheet and you'll find the number 5.8 [40.6 mpg]. That's how many litres of fuel, according to European driving cycle testing, the 3.0L TDi consumes for every 100 kilometres of highway travelled. Yes, I got that number right. No, I'm not looking at the Honda Civic spec sheet...."
"...Developed specifically for BMW's new M Performance range, the four-valve-per-cylinder, inline configured unit is the first BMW engine to adopt a patented induction process with three variable-geometry turbochargers and a common-rail injection system working at pressures of up to 31,000 psi to produce 376 horsepower at 4,000 rpm along with 545 pound-feet of torque on a band of revs between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm....
...The new engine is combined with a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox and BMW's xDrive four-wheel-drive system - a combination that provides the headlining M550d xDrive sedan with an official 0-62-mph time that at 4.7 seconds is just 0.3 second shy of the new M5, whose twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter gasoline V8 engine delivers 572 hp and 502 lb-ft.
However, there appears to be more to the M550d xDrive that pure out-and-out straight-line performance. Given its claimed pace and hefty 4,178-pound curb weight, it is also remarkably frugal; BMW says it returns 6.3 liters/100 km on the European test cycle [165 g/km CO2 @ EU6]...."
"...The base model uses a mid-front mounted 6.6-liter Duramax engine with turbo boost turned up for 430 bhp, 950-pound-feet torque at under 3,250 rpm. Its maker boasts 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
Higher performance is possible via an upgraded version of the same engine that the manufacturer rates at 660 bhp and 1,050 pound-feet torque...."
"...At the track, the [BMW 535d] diesel hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a tick quicker than the gas-fueled 535i we had for a long-term test and as fleet as the gas-electric ActiveHybrid 5 model....
...Our 32-mpg observed fuel economy beats the EPA's combined rating by 2 mpg. The ActiveHybrid 5 returned 22 mpg in our hands, or four lower than its federal combined rating..."
"...Audi's 240-hp diesel A6 is down 70 stallions to the A6's supercharged gas six, but it betters the gas six in the torque war with an extra 103 lb-ft of grunt, for a total of 428. And even in Quattro guise and with its taller final-drive gearing, the diesel clobbers the gas car to 60 mph, hitting the mark in just 5.1 seconds, a half-second quicker than the last A6 3.0T we tested...."
"...despite lugging a 7,600-pound trailer, the Colorado LT [Duramax] hit the quarter mile in 23.4 seconds, handily outpacing the Tacoma SR5 and its 6,700-pound anchor at 24.1..."