For the past few decades, emission controls by the United States have prevented major diesel manufacturers from developing diesel performance cars.
With the advent of clean diesel and new technological breakthroughs, car manufacturers are once again building diesel performance cars that meet national emission standards.
The thought that these engines can replace high-performance gasoline engines in light trucks, cars, and SUVs may appear ludicrous at first, but high-performance enthusiasts are quickly learning that there is more to diesel-powered vehicles than meets the eye.
Diesel engines are no longer sluggish and smelly, but these engines now sport high speeds and smooth acceleration, resulting in an increased demand of diesel-powered vehicles.
With the advancement in diesel engine technology, diesel engines combine ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel with improved exhaust treatment to meet the national emission standards.
Because gasoline technology has plateaued, diesel technology advancements have utilized the benefits of gasoline engines without having to deal with fuel octane and resultant detonation.
Streamlined and Straight Shot Combustion Systems
Similar in design, gasoline and diesel engines share many of the same principals, differing only in a few areas, but these differences take diesel engines to a whole new level of performance.
Since the diesel engine is designed to have a streamlined and straight shot combustion system, there is no worry that it is going to have a “miss” like gasoline engines do. This combustion system is much more efficient, giving diesel engines an edge in power and quick acceleration.
High Performance Levels
Equally impressive in diesel design is the power and compact-size of these engines, making them smaller and more powerful than their gasoline counterparts. High-performance enthusiasts can look forward to the following benefits of diesel engines:
- An increase in light-duty crankshaft speed
- A decrease in engine weight
- A 50 percent increase in performance per liter
What this means for performance levels is that diesel engines in performance vehicles will surpass gasoline vehicles in horsepower per liter, resulting in twice the amount of torque per liter and 20 to 40 percent increased fuel economy.
When combining the lighter weight with quick acceleration capabilities, diesel engines are just as, if not more, desirable than gasoline-powered performance vehicles.
Top Diesel Vehicles
With the increase in demand for diesel-powered performance vehicles, car owners are vying for models that are not only compliant with U.S. emission controls but also offer stylish options. Car owners who wish to purchase a high-performance vehicle that sports an advanced diesel system can choose between the following top-five options:
Turbo Diesel Volkswagen Jetta
Meeting the California Tier II and Bin 5 emission control standards, this diesel-powered vehicle boasts a lightweight design and efficient fuel mileage. With premier German engineering, the Volkswagen Jetta manipulates wind to give car owners outstanding performance.
These high-performance vehicles sport a 2.1-liter displacement engine and rail direct injection to churn impressive horsepower and torque.
Car owners can obtain higher performance levels without sacrificing on fuel mileage. Turbocharged Mercedes are available in three distinct diesel engine designs, including:
- Mercedes Benz ML450
- Mercedes Benz ML350
- Mercedes Benz ML63 AMG
Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
Powered by a turbo V12 diesel engine, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S offers the perfect alternative for those looking to drive long distances in style. This diesel-powered vehicle provides exceptional horsepower and torque for a thrilling driving experience.
Audi 3.0-liter Q7 V12 TDI Diesel
Able to churn out 500 horsepower, this high-performance vehicle accelerates to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds. As a top diesel competitor on the market, the Audi cranks out 738 foot-pounds of torque.
Variable Twin Turbo Diesel BMW
Operating with a four- or six-cylinder engine, this diesel-powered BMW offers high performance levels to car enthusiasts. This vehicle operates on twin turbochargers through the exacting coordination of various-point activation for running individually or together, providing a fast driving experience with outstanding fuel consumption.
According to a report released by the Robert Bosch Corporation, the market for light diesel vehicles is predicted to increase by 15 percent over the next 10 years. With the demand for diesel performance vehicles increasing across the country, car owners are becoming more aware of the advantages that come with owning a diesel-powered vehicle.