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View Full Version : Is there a diesel market in the US?


iseibert
01-20-2006, 01:46 PM
With the advancements in diesel technology will there be a market in the United States to bring some of the European diesel models.

Many of the diesel models provide similar if not identical horsepower ratings, increase fuel efficiency, and a significant torque increase which makes their times in a 0-60 test up to a second faster than the gasoline counterparts.

I'm not sure if most Americans still view the diesel engine as a noisy, unattractive option that sends black smoke pouring from the exhaust and are unwilling to consider this as an option in a luxury vehicle, but if there are multiple benefits to optioning the car with a diesel then why not?

:dunno:

avalys
01-20-2006, 02:31 PM
Mercedes has been selling an E-Class diesel in the US for the past few years. Anyone know what its sales figures are like?

LA525iT
01-20-2006, 02:39 PM
Mercedes has been selling an E-Class diesel in the US for the past few years. Anyone know what its sales figures are like?

Its not for sale in California (maybe some other states that follow CARB???), so the numbers will not reflect its 50 state sales potential.

Ajax
01-20-2006, 02:39 PM
I'm not sure how much this has to do with it (from a catalytic converter pov, etc) but the US cooks a higher sulfer content diesel than they do in Europe. I believe that is due to change later this year, however.

mullman
01-20-2006, 02:55 PM
I would buy a diesel BMW if there was one avail here...

SteveinBelAir
01-20-2006, 03:23 PM
As a Brit living in the US, I percieve it as a mindset. Everyone I talk to "would never own a diesel unless it's a big Chevy truck". Maybe the manufacturers researched this and are therefore reluctant to bring such cars to market??

I love oil burners and always rent one when I visit the UK.

bmw325
01-20-2006, 03:26 PM
I think that once BMW, Mercedes start selling clean, quiet, powerful, fuel efficient diesels here people will start to notice. I think the biggest potential turn off might the relaitve lack of diesel stations.

Mels325
01-20-2006, 03:37 PM
I for one would be highly interested in a diesel BMW. I get so much more performance out of my diesel truck that weighs about 7000 pounds than I do with a gasser that weighs just under 5000. While off the line accelleration is not as good, cruising is a dream and it's easier to tow 6000 lbs with the diesel at 80MPH than it is to cruise empty at 70MPH in the gasser. Just think what a BMW would be capable of doing.
I will most likely be in the market for a new car this summer and I would love to check out a diesel BMW. Low sulfer fuel is on the way, so maybe that will pave the way for more European diesels. Check them out, they are not anywhere close to the crappy diesels GM put out in the mid 80's.

Penforhire
01-20-2006, 03:44 PM
There are enough diesel gas stations. And they are VERY popular for tow vehicles (mostly pick-up trucks). But I don't know is America really wants a diesel passenger car. It would absolutely need to be a turbo-diesel to manage some HP.

philippek
01-20-2006, 04:14 PM
Drove an X5 3.0d the last time I was in the Philippines. IMHO, if it came to the U.S. it would be more popular than free birth control at prom.

MarcusSDCA
01-20-2006, 09:13 PM
Firstly, you can register a diesel car in California now if it has more than 7500 miles on it. You just can't buy them here new. There is a huge cottage industry in AZ and NV for selling late model/low mileage VW diesels in CA. The price of gas has made the diesel Golf/Beetle/Jetta hot little used cars at 45+ mpg. A diesel New Beetle or Golf is almost as hot as a Prius.

BMWNA is so paranoid about brand image I'd be surprised to see diesels here unless they were 50 state compliant. BMW doesn't want to have to exclude new diesel cars in California...their biggest US market....while selling them elsewhere. It's all or nothing. I also think they are afraid that Americans like a single vision of the BMW gasoline powerplant and diesel has all sorts of (undeserved) shortcomings. Just the fact that the 1-series isn't coming here proves that brand image paranoia governs their marketing moves. BMWs aren't tiny, BMWs aren't smelly, BMWs aren't slow, BMWs aren't economical, BMWs aren't loud, etc etc.

I agree with Philippek that the X5 3.0d (or other diesel iterations) would be a great start......a socially more conscious SUV with a very capable engine.

LA525iT
01-21-2006, 11:37 AM
Drove an X5 3.0d the last time I was in the Philippines. IMHO, if it came to the U.S. it would be more popular than free birth control at prom.

For me, every since Top Gear did a test where they got 40mpg average (imp) out of an A8 4.2 twin turbo diesel, I've been thinking about a 535d and how cheap it could be to run.

Patrick
01-21-2006, 11:51 AM
Drove an X5 3.0d the last time I was in the Philippines. IMHO, if it came to the U.S. it would be more popular than free birth control at prom.

:rofl:

Although a slightly different animal, if you ever (and I don't know how unless you come over here) get a chance to drive the 535d ... well, it will shock you. It is frightening.


.

hawk2100n
01-21-2006, 09:01 PM
I love diesels, but I dont know if I would have one in my BMW. I love having the gasoline performance and revvs, but diesel is a much better system, techinically speaking. I have a 85 300TD Mercedes, and I love it. It is slower than molasses and kinda noisy, but it is so interesting to drive if you like something like that. It only has 167,000 miles, and most can easily go 3-400,000 miles. If I were to get another diesel, I will get another wagon. For some reason, I think that a diesel wagon is the best combination. A 535xdT with a manual transmission would be the ultimate road trip car and maybe my realistic dream car. :dunno:
Also, the Mercedes e320 CDI, which set endurance records, 100,000 miles in 30 days, averaging 139 mph and 17 mpg on a test track. They took the same 3 vehicles afterwards, which were stock, and then set a record for passenger car endurance on a single tank, over 1000 miles per tank was acheived with real driving on the the US interstates. The only modifications were a small roll bar installed. Diesels are the engine of the future.

Malibubimmer
01-21-2006, 11:40 PM
As a result of current fuel prices (50 cent differential today in my area between 91 Octane gas and diesel), the only diesels that have a future are the ones in trucks.

hawk2100n
01-22-2006, 01:40 PM
But, if you factor in the up to 40% increase in economy, diesel is a lot cheaper than a gasoline engine to run. And if you plan on keeping a car for a while, a diesel will far outlast its gasoline counterpart. I think that the biggest obstacle facing diesel is people's perception of the engine itself. They dont want a noisy, slow, and smokey engine in their car, everything that a modern diesel isn't. I think because of California's emmissions laws, diesels will be slow in coming over there. Here, diesel is usually about $.02 cheaper than premimum. :dunno:

SteveinBelAir
01-22-2006, 02:50 PM
As a result of current fuel prices (50 cent differential today in my area between 91 Octane gas and diesel), the only diesels that have a future are the ones in trucks.

Yes. Keep in mind that diesel in Europe is cheaper than gas. Here it seems to be more which negates the increase in overall economy.

hawk2100n
01-22-2006, 03:37 PM
The reason is the super high demand for it by truckers and home heating oil.

SteveinBelAir
01-22-2006, 04:01 PM
The reason is the super high demand for it by truckers and home heating oil.

Because US refineries can't make enough.

Mels325
01-22-2006, 05:37 PM
Because US refineries can't make enough.
Because US refiners can charge that much and still sell it.:thumbdwn:

hawk2100n
01-22-2006, 05:44 PM
Because US refineries can't make enough.
Because the greenies havent allowed the construction or expansion of a single refinery since the 70's.

x54.4blue
01-23-2006, 06:36 AM
It is my understanding that it take more crude oil to make a gallon of #2 fuel oil.

It also has more "energy per gallon"?

Therefore the addtional mpg is not real?

Stefan358
01-23-2006, 09:22 AM
hi,

just read an interesting statistics about this topic (german can magazin auto-bild).it sais that the US could save around 200Million liters (approx.50 mill. gallons) per day if they would have diesel engines in cars. do not know how they made the calculation but anyhow it an interessting figure.

SteveinBelAir
01-23-2006, 10:36 AM
hi,

just read an interesting statistics about this topic (german can magazin auto-bild).it sais that the US could save around 200Million liters (approx.50 mill. gallons) per day if they would have diesel engines in cars. do not know how they made the calculation but anyhow it an interessting figure.

Look, even if Dale Earnhardt himself rose from the dead and proclaimed diesel motors the best thing since the wide mouth Bud bottle, your average Monte Carlo jockey is not going to drive an oil burner unless it weighs 4 tons and has a winch. Nope, no way.

Jeff_DML
01-23-2006, 12:59 PM
mercedes has a 50 state legal diesel coming out next year:thumbup:

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/AutoshowArticles/articleId=108818


diesel price is US is kind of worrisome, wonder if it will go up even more when the new sulfur fuel is phased in:(

x54.4blue
01-26-2006, 06:15 AM
It is my understanding that it take more crude oil to make a gallon of #2 fuel oil.

It also has more "energy per gallon"?

Therefore the addtional mpg is not real?

If it takes more crude why living with a oil burner?

tierfreund
01-26-2006, 06:23 AM
:rofl:

Although a slightly different animal, if you ever (and I don't know how unless you come over here) get a chance to drive the 535d ... well, it will shock you. It is frightening.


.

True. With my lightweigth, no options, slim wheels 258hp MT6 E90 330i, fully accelerated reving each gear to redline, I cannot keep up with the 273hp 535d Step where the driver simply floors it and lets the car kick him in the back. From 60-150mph itīll pull away an easy 100metres from me despite my best efforts in ultraquick shifting.

That staggered turbo 3.0 I-6 diesel really is a monster motor. My guess is, the engine actually puts out even more hp than officially stated. Certainly itīs got enough torque to make corkscrews out of normal driveshafts.

gIzzE
01-27-2006, 04:15 AM
I have just purchased a DMS Automotive 535d M-Sport Touring, it is 344bhp and 506lb ft of torque and does 0-60 in 5.5seconds and gets to 100mph in just under 13.5 seconds while still returning 30+ mpg (imperial) so around 36mpg US, and if you take it easy you can get 38mpg no problem, which is just over 45mpg US.

The car flies when you put your foot down at 40mph and only takes around 3,5secs to get to 70mph which is where you need the power in the UK, the only petrol that comes close is the 550i but when I am getting 30mpg out of the 535d the 550i is only returning around 16mpg, it also doesn't seem to have the torque, it feels lame in comparison.

When we are paying $5.50 for a US gallon (diesel or petrol) that fuel saving makes a hell of a difference, why would I want to pay more for a 550i when it is not as good and then pay twice as much in fuel to run it?? Answer is I wouldn't. The only time the 550i is a better car is when it is idleing on a cold start and I am standing outside the car, for everything else the diesel wins everytime.

andy_thomas
01-27-2006, 06:39 AM
I have just purchased a DMS Automotive 535d M-Sport Touring, it is 344bhp and 506lb ft of torque and does 0-60 in 5.5seconds and gets to 100mph in just under 13.5 seconds while still returning 30+ mpg (imperial) so around 36mpg US, and if you take it easy you can get 38mpg no problem, which is just over 45mpg US.

US gallons are smaller. 38 mpg (Imp) is just under 32 mpg (US). Still impressive, but can I assume you will selling this car when it is still relatively young and letting someone else take a punt on how long the crank will last after tens of thousands of miles of transmitting 25% more grunt than it was designed for? ;)

gIzzE
01-27-2006, 08:33 AM
Yeah you are right about the conversion, it is 38 uk gallons = 45 US gallons, obviously the mpg figure will be opposite.

Haha, The 535d has been tested over many 10's of thousands of miles already with no problems, DMS said they could have got far, far more out of the tuning, but they wanted to stay well within safe and reliable limits, reliability is the most important thing for them.
No good having a remap that knackers your motor, you can bet if that started happening you would hear about it far quicker than you hear people who are happy!

FenPhen
01-29-2006, 05:32 PM
It is my understanding that it take more crude oil to make a gallon of #2 fuel oil.

It also has more "energy per gallon"?

Therefore the addtional mpg is not real?A gallon of diesel weighs ~15% more than a gallon of gasoline, and a gallon of diesel produces ~17% more thermal energy than a gallon of gasoline. Still, a Mercedes E320 CDI is rated for 27/37 mpg compared to the E350's 19/27 mpg (~40% improvement).

Gasoline and diesel are distilled out of the same crude oil, so it's not an issue of diverting production. One barrel of crude oil (http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/non-renewable/oil.html#Howused) produces ~20 gallons of gas and ~7 gallons of diesel.

Diesel is cheaper to produce and used to be cheaper than gas in the U.S., but refinery damage, Katrina reconstruction (heavy equipment), home heating, and possibly the introduction of low-sulfur diesel are all hitting up diesel's price.

That E320 Bluetec sounds very promising.

hawk2100n
01-30-2006, 03:03 PM
One of the biggest efficency boosters of diesels is that lack of a throttle in the intake manifold. The vehicle can run at maximum airflow all of the time which reduces pumping losses. Gasoline engines have the throttle that compares to breating through a straw.

ViperSSD
01-30-2006, 05:08 PM
Last time my dad was in Munich, the rental he got was a 535d and he didn't know it was a diesel car till he came home and I told him.

ViperSSD
01-30-2006, 05:08 PM
Last time my dad was in Munich, the rental he got was a 535d and he didn't know it was a diesel car till he came home and I told him.

tierfreund
01-31-2006, 03:16 AM
One of the biggest efficency boosters of diesels is that lack of a throttle in the intake manifold. The vehicle can run at maximum airflow all of the time which reduces pumping losses. Gasoline engines have the throttle that compares to breating through a straw.


The N52 engine in the E90 325 and 330 does not have a throttle either thanks to valvetronic (or rather it has a big throttle that is fully open for most engine load and rev conditions), thus eliminating that advantage of the diesel engine.

I think the BMW V8 and V12 engines have valvetronic and thus no throttle nowadays either.

niktee
01-31-2006, 07:00 AM
Not only is diesel fuel less expensive in Europe, diesel passenger vehicles are granted tax advantages over "petrol" engined vehicles. This accounts for the wild popularity of diesels in Europe. Here, as you know, we have neither lower diesel fuel prices or tax advantages to make it attractive to buy diesels.

hawk2100n
01-31-2006, 06:19 PM
The N52 engine in the E90 325 and 330 does not have a throttle either thanks to valvetronic (or rather it has a big throttle that is fully open for most engine load and rev conditions), thus eliminating that advantage of the diesel engine.

I think the BMW V8 and V12 engines have valvetronic and thus no throttle nowadays either.
They replaced the throttle with the valvtronic system wich varies the lift enough to be the throttle. Pumping losses are reduced, but the design flaw of air flow throttling on gasoline engines remains, just in a lesser form.

adrian's bmw
01-31-2006, 06:32 PM
The rumor I've heard is that BMW is indeed coming out with a diesel engine for the U.S. market this fall. Now for which models- I don't know, but the 3 series was mentioned. I'm sure they'll have one available for every model.

5door6
02-01-2006, 09:17 PM
Late last year, I was looking for a diesel vehicle. Yes, now the diesel price is higher, I don't know why, because it is much easier to refine. Anyway, I sincerely believe the future is in diesel. VW allows the use of Bio Diesel (Diesel made from taking used vegetable oil and adding trace ammounts of ethanol and lye) without voiding the warrenty. You cant do that with a gas engine. I had the chance to ride in a diesel Mercedes E270 wagon (only availible in germany) this summer. I was very suprised with the performence. We were doing about 230km/h. Well, thats my $.02
--------------------------------------------------
Current Ride: 2006 Mazda6 5-door; Bright Island Blue
Future Ride: BMW M3 or M5

iseibert
02-02-2006, 06:23 AM
The rumor I've heard is that BMW is indeed coming out with a diesel engine for the U.S. market this fall. Now for which models- I don't know, but the 3 series was mentioned. I'm sure they'll have one available for every model.


I spoke with my SA recently and he agrees with Adrian, BMW is looking into bringing a diesel line into the US in the next few years. The 50 state emission compliance is the problem and they are working on a solution to get the diesel to pass California emission standards.

I am not as familiar with diesel engines, and had never heard of the proposed solution to the hyrdocarbon emission problem. Using a Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) system, several manufacturers believe diesel will pass 50 state emission laws. This system sprays Urea into the hot exhaust gases causing a chemical reaction which leaves nitrogen and water. Below are two links for more information.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005/04/mitsubishi_fuso.html

http://0-www.osti.gov.library.unl.edu/fcvt/deer2001/baker.pdf

slker
02-02-2006, 01:53 PM
I'm sure most have heard already that Mercedes Benz is well on the way to
making the diesel jump again in the US with Blue Tec.

http://www.autoblog.com/2006/01/08/detroit-auto-show-mercedes-benz-launches-clean-diesels-for-the/

2007 MB model cars will be using the Urea method to reduce NOx.

Cannot find any info on BMW coming out with diesel next year, other than rumor...