• Jun 19, 2007


Hybrid-electric cars are seen by many as the most effective way of saving the environment, while diesels are often shunned as being dirty, smog-producing motors designed for trucks. This anti-diesel view couldn't be further from the truth. Modern diesel engines in many cases offer superior mileage to their hybrid counterparts and, with the latest exhaust particulate filters, are just as clean, too.

Paul Eisenstein from Popular Mechanics (didn't he found The Car Connection?) managed to get an exclusive test-drive of one of Volkswagen's 2008 Jetta Diesel prototypes. The car is running VW's brand-spanking new clean diesel technology in the form of a 2.0L four cylinder common-rail diesel engine that will meet the Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions standards for all 50 US states. Check out the video after the jump. The VW guy talking is a bit preachy, but the new Jetta Diesel is an important product for the coming diesel revolution. Since the U.S. market is used to seeing diesel-powered Volkswagens running about, we doubt it will make as big a splash in the marketplace as Honda's Diesel Accord or GM's half-ton pickups with the new 4.5L V8 Diesel Duramax, but it's great to see this hybrid humbling little car back on sale after its short hiatus.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]




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  • 33 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota and Citroen are already developin diesel-hybrid models http://www.motorauthority.com/index.php?s=toyota+diesel+hybrid You can submit this story in http://allaboutcars.corank.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      Geez the video is essentially a VW commercial with no new info.

      The article here is misleading and biased:

      "with the latest exhaust particulate filters, are just as clean, too."

      Uh no. It is in a similar category to the worse of current Gas engines. Nowhere near SULEV category that many hybrids are in.

      "we doubt it will make as big a splash in the marketplace as Honda's Diesel Accord or GM's half-ton pickups with the new 4.5L V8 Diesel Duramax, but it's great to see this hybrid humbling little car back on sale after its short hiatus."

      First off, I believe pickups are still exempt from tier 2, bin 5 and are likely dirty as ever, and I see just as many diesel pickups as diesel Jettas so I don't see a big splash from either. Hondas Accord is the really new kid on the block.

      Hybrid Humbling? Why does it have to be this vs that. Go check the long term tests at Edmunds, the hybrids came out on top of VW diesels in long term mileage test.

      My car is 8 years old and I will consider a diesel or hybrid around 2009. They both have potential and there is no need for the extreme baiting we see about it. Fanboys are so tiresome.

      Two good mileage extending technologies that don't need put downs.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The curret stock production vehicle with the best real world long distance test is a diesel...not Hybird is somewere in the near of that perfromance..

        The 2000 VW Lupo 3L TDI still holds the world record for the best average mpg in a production car in a long distance test ever... they drove in a around the world rally over 45.000km with a average of 112mpg with a average over 50mph ...the best single day result was a over 140mpg as they drove 600miles across Aussi with no hill no curves no traffic no stop just rolling constant speed..

        Hybrids have no future... all agree that the highest they will ever get on the world market is 5-6% ...diesel already are at 25% of all new build cars.. only because the USA hates diesel does not mean shit... the cleanest car today on earth is the smart diesel...it runs cleaner as a Prius with much better mpg
        • 7 Years Ago
        No. Ram 6.7L engines meet 2010, 50-State Emissions and is one of the cleanest diesel engines on the market. So no trucks aren't dirtier than ever.
      • 7 Years Ago
      epilonious,

      Right now the norm in europe is around 140-150 hp from a 2 litre turbodiesel, with many sportier engines going up to 170 and above. The new Peugeot 307 and its sibling Citroen C4 will be offered with a diesel hybrid in Europe. And no, diesels don't have bad acceleration, especially not compared to similar sized gas engines (ok, without turbos, that changes things a bit), great torque at low rpms helps you go from stop, and is also realy nice cruising in sixth gear on the highway. There is some turbo lag, but new diesels are on par in terms of acceleration. Just dont look at the board computer showing instantaneous fuel consumption while flooring the car, your hair will go up. They are meant to be driven at lower rpms, where you get the most out of them. And I remembre there was a drag race on top gear between a Mini cooper S and a Skoda fabia RS 1.9 TDI and the TDI won hands down...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, I've never understood why there's been no company making diesel hybrids. It really seems like the best of all worlds.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's pretty simple if you read any interviews with toyota or audi heads on the topic, cost. lots of people say they want them, few people will pay a $6,000-$10,000 premium for one.
        • 7 Years Ago
        to expand on Ruggel's excellent point...

        Gasoline engines minded for economy have good acceleration, good cruising efficiency, and horrendously bad torque meaning bad from-stop performance

        Electric motors have near-infinite torque when starting from a stop, but lose torque and horsepower steadily as they accelerate... The electrical system to feed these motors in a hybrid context also tend to be expensive.

        Diesel motors have very, very good low end torque, but very bad acceleration (low revs), and are often turbocharged to get just 100 HP from a 2.0 Liter which makes them expensive.

        So, a Diesel hybrid means you get all the cost of an electric booster setup with all the cost of a turbocharged Diesel to help the Diesel where it doesn't really need it.

        Meanwhile, the main issue with Gasoline Electric hybrids is crappy battery technology. Good high density batteries weigh a ton, and light high density batteries have memory issues that means for 10 years of use you can only get them to a certain charge level and have to manage them constantly. So, there is a good chance that as batteries improve hybrids will get better and better mileage.

        In the meantime, there are already several Diesel hybrids: locomotives and heavy ships have 3 or 4 two-stroke diesel engines (about 1000 ft-lbs each) to run generators to feed massive electric drive motors :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      biodiesel even better. not a factoid but personal experience going to B100 got a 76% drop in emissions.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just because Audi did it first doesn't mean a whole lot. Some things need to be perfected. Like injection pumps and fuel efficiency.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ya know the funny thing is - teh first company to offer a "Diesel-Hybrid" that gets about 65 mpg to 85 mpg is going to make a lot of money. So which company will it be?

      Ford Reflex sound about right?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Audi...they did the first diesel hybrid in 1997 with the audi A4 duo (1.9TDI + 21kW electro engine)... during a time no one was interested in such stuff.. the car completly floped and after only 90 ordered cars Audi droped it..
      • 7 Years Ago
      Rather than a 2.0 Diesel VW getting 50 mpg, I would love to buy a Jetta 1.0 V2 diesel hybrid getting 80 mpg.

      V-Twin has great torque and is very good for packaging a hybrid component next to it. A 1 liter V2 engine could make about 60hp and 120 torque if you divide up the 2 liter engine's numbers in half.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I have thought about this as well. Why cant the front end of a car be a huge electric motor powering the car. Then on the side somewhere or in the trunk or somewhere tucked away have a small engine supplying power to it. A 1 liter bike motor on a cruiser makes about 80hp. Thats 70 kilowatts of electricity. More than enough to supply power constantly even without the need of any batteries.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If you're going to go on-and-on about full series hybrids (motor in the front, generator in the back)... the obvious choice for the generator is a turbine of some sort. It can run on anything from ethanol to fuel oil, has one speed and one moving part with no harmonics to deal with. They don't even have to be that costly if you start cranking them out.

        In the meantime, Toyota and GM (EV1 series hybrid, look it up) already did the research with full series hybrids and found out that WAY too much energy was being lost with speed variances and the triple-conversion (generator batteries motor) and found it was more efficient to just strap the gasoline motor directly into the drivetrain for highway cruising with a bit of power generation on the side. (Cheaper too).
        • 7 Years Ago
        V-twin engines are odd firing.
        Boxing twin engines are even firing. So are inline two
        http://www.timberwoof.com/motorcycle/V-TWIN-7.html

        Hopefully VW will get a 7 speed double [wet] clutch
        5,10,15,20,25,30,35 mph / 1,000 rpm top speed ~130 in 7th gear sounds nice, eat that prius.

        Isn't the mechanical coupling speed in the prius~75mph
        • 7 Years Ago
        a V2 Diesel? The motor mounts alone would have to be $500 pieces of technology to not shake the car and/or passengers to bits....

        There is a reason Harleys are mostly solid-state
      • 7 Years Ago
      Henryk @ Jul 18th 2007 9:27AM
      Reduce fuel,reduce emissions CO2 of the passenger cars-The Revolutionary FireStorm Spark Plug inventor Robert krupa Patent US.

      BAD NEW SPARK PLUG THAT SAVES 70% OF FUEL


      Full Text
      Nexusmagazine:http://www.nexusmagazine.com/articles/Firestorm.html
      ,http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=87928>Disp=0
      ,http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=200213
      ,http://www.firestormperformanceproducts.com/
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'll take a GTi diesel... or GTd or whatever.
      Just throw a little dieselAudiTDiLeMansR10 in the DNA.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "this hybrid humbling little car"

      It may humble the hybrids, but I doubt anything can humble many hybrid owners.

      Can't wait to see the TDi Jetta Wagon in the showroom. Maybe even with DSG!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ouch. That was vicious.

        But both funny and true.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So... as a 2008 MY Jetta/Rabbit/GTi (perhaps), will this be showing in the showrooms this fall (September/October 2007)?
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