When diesels first hit the American market after the gas shocks of the 70's, they were unreliable, smelly, loud, and rough. They did get better gas mileage than comparably-sized gasoline engines, but in the eyes of the American public, the negatives of diesel tech far outweighed its positives. Diesel engines have gotten far better in the past 25 years, with Europeans buying more oil-burners than petrol engines. $3.00 per gallon gas (or worse) is helping to usher in a second renaissance for the diesel, and Honda is going all-in with a 3.5L dieselV6 for the US market.

Honda's forthcoming engine, which should be arriving around 2010, should achieve 30% better fuel economy (or more) than a comparably-sized gas engine, which should alleviate some of our pain at the pump. Honda plans on installing this V6 diesel delight on larger vehicles like the Odyssey minivan, the Ridgeline, and the Pilot. We think the new V6 will go along nicely with the planned four-banger in the Accord, and it will certainly help the folks from Tokyo compete with the many diesels the competition has planned for the near future.

[Source: Bloomberg]