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Regular readers know we tend to be big fans of modern diesel engines. All the past demons that had plagued oil-burners over the years have been exorcised, including rough running, nasty smells, loud operation and narrow power bands. But sadly, modern clean diesel powerplants have never taken hold in the United States.

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Regular readers of these pages know that we tend to be big fans of modern diesel engines. Most of the past demons that had plagued oil burners over the years have been exorcised, including rough running, nasty smells, loud operation and narrow power bands. Sadly, though, for whatever reason, modern clean diesel powerplants have never taken hold in the United States.

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Mazda has just launched it's latest "Kei-class" car in Japan with the redesigned AZ-Wagon. The "Kei" cars are built to specifications defined by law in Japan that place limits on size engine displacement and power. Kei cars are limited to 660 cc of engine displacement and 63 hp along with a maximum length of 3.4 m. The new AZ-Wagon is claimed to beat current Japanese emissions standards by 50-75 percent. All of the engines get variable valve timing and normally aspirated versions with a manual t

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Click the image above for a hi-res gallery of the Nissan Otti and Moco

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Click image for a high-res gallery of the turbocharged Mitsubishi i

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Click image for photo gallery

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