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Could all of the work some automakers are doing to increase diesel engine adoption in the US be going up in a cloud of smoke? Maybe so, as torquier and more fuel-efficient gasoline engines and cheapening hybrid technology are cutting into what had been perceived as the advantages of diesel drivetrains, the Detroit News says.

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Made almost entirely of aluminum and featuring direct injection, variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust sides and a high-efficiency turbocharger, the new-for-2013 1.8 liter gasser from Alfa Romeo and Fiat Powertrain Technologies is one of those downsized engines that combines all of the latest technologies into a single package.

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