The activity going here at VIRginia International Raceway this weekend definitely does not qualify as hyper-miling. In fact it is anything but. The thirty young racers competing in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI cup are hustling their cars around this beautiful 3.27 mile long circuit as fast as they can. But they are still doing it in a relatively thrifty manner. The racing Jettas are putting out 170hp which is enough to average over 87mph here. While most race cars get mileage in the single digits and the national fleet average is 20.2mpg the racers are averaging 25mpg running on regular pump ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. That's good enough to go the entire race weekend without filling up. Starting with the next race at Mosport on May 17-18 the cars will start using B5 biodiesel which is what the production Volkswagen's are certified for. The cars are also running with the same exhaust after-treatment system as the production fifty state legal models. That means every car has a lean NOx trap and diesel particulate filter installed.
Yes, FWIH, 20% more power. This engine really marks the shift towards diesel economy in passenger cars to diesel power in passenger cars. The VWs stressed economy. I think this is the first TDI with an excess of power. And with the probable Audi A4 V6 TDI and the available BMW I6 diesel, diesels may become known as the performance/economy choice, not the pure economy choice. I would like an Audi A4 4 cylinder but I doubt that's going to happen in the US.
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