Newsweek magazine had an online article about how old diesels are smokey, rattle, and slow....my car is pretty fast and quiet.
Diesel-powered vehicles haven't enjoyed the best reputation in the United States, despite the well-known benefit of impressive fuel efficiency. Consumers have long been unimpressed by other traits, such as their black clouds of exhaust soot, ear-rattling racket and, ahem, let's call it "stately" acceleration.
And while that 10-year-old Dodge Ram pickup with the Cummins turbodiesel and 18-wheeler-wannabe exhaust stacks sitting next to you at the traffic light still forces you to close your window and curse its oppressive noise, today's diesels are so quiet it's hard to distinguish them from gas-powered models, and that's why you probably haven't noticed them on the road.
But BMW and Mercedes are embracing diesel power, even for sporty models. BMW has dubbed its effort "EfficientDynamics," and the company's diesel lineup includes a 204-horsepower version of the new 1-series compact model. Producing more than 200 horsepower from 2.0-liters of displacement means the engine exceeds the 100 horsepower per liter threshold long seen as the line of demarcation between "regular" engines and true high-performance power plants.
General Motors is bullish on diesel's potential to reduce the consumption of pickups and SUVs, but CEO Rick Wagoner is more guarded about its potential in cars.
"You are going to see an explosion of diesels in the truck segment," he predicted. "Don't rule out cars, but we aren't forecasting a huge increase in the U.S. market demand for diesels."