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We've known diesel has been gaining popularity in the US market over the years, but the pace with which oil-burning models have been accepted by American drivers has surprised Volkswagen, one of the fuel's leading proponents.

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The push for more diesel vehicles in North America is finally starting to pick up momentum from non-German automakers like Chrysler, General Motors and Mazda, but there are still hurdles automakers face in winning over American car buyers. To combat this, The Detroit News says that Volkswagen is attempting to get government officials to help level the playing field and even create incentives to promote diesel vehicles.

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Not to be outdone by BMW and its 45-mile-per-gallon 2014 328d or the new Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, Volkswagen is reportedly preparing to launch a more-efficient TDI diesel engine in North America. In speaking with VW recently, Edmunds learned that the automaker plans to replace its current 2.0-liter TDI engine used in many VW and Audi products (including the Golf, Passat, Jetta, Beetle and Audi A3) beginning in the second half of next year.

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Renowned adventurer Rainer Zietlow will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the legendary Pan-American Highway by embarking on a two-week drive from Argentina to Alaska on the world's longest road. Crossing through portions of 14 countries and covering a distance of nearly 16,000 miles, Reiner, along with two co-pilots (Carlos Fernandez and Marius Biela), will put a modified 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI to the test.

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Gavin Conway, writer for the Sunday Times, buckled into a Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion and embarked on a journey. This trip was not your typical Sunday jaunt, nor was it what we'd call a grocery run. Let's just say that Conway had Guinness World Record visions dancing in his head. Followed by independent representatives who verified the run, Conway and the Passat hit the French roads and never looked back.

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2010 Volkswagen Golf – Click above for high-res image gallery

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We have been following Top Gear America's Project Sipster for a while. The team's project was to install a modern ciesel engine from a VW Jetta TDI into a 28-year-old VW Golf and make the car go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds but also able to achieve 70 mpg. Oh, and do it for less than $7,000. The team is done, and they're happy to report that Project Sipster's mission was accomplished. In fact, the car exceeded expectations, averaging 84 mpg on a 70-mile trip.

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Top Gear US has struck again with their latest installment in the Project Sipster saga, and this one's a doosey. The TG crew is taking an early '80s VW Rabbit diesel apart and replacing the engine and transmission with newer and more powerful units. We're pretty sure that there's plenty more planned for the oil-burner than just an engine swap, so we'll be following closely over the coming weeks.

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the VW up!

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According to VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, we'd better get used to the sound of a rumbling internal combustion engine churning away in our automobiles, ingesting dead dinos as they continue to be the dominate source of power for our automobiles for at least the next 15-20 years. The German automaker has big plans to invest in technologies to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, but most of the efficiency increases will come from refinements made to gasoline and diesel-burning powerplants.

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Diesel racers have had a lot of success in the recent past. But what happens when you have diesel racing diesel? We'll find out soon. For 2008, Volkswagen is replacing the current GTI cup with the Jetta TDI Cup. As the name implies, the new series will use the new Jetta TDI diesel sedan. For racing purposes, the 2.0L diesel will be rated at 170 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque pumping through the standard six-speed DSG gearbox. The suspension and brakes will be beefed up for track use and all the usua

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With a few hours behind us since the early-morning announcement of their diesel line-up in Geneva, VW is now giving more details on the Touareg BlueTDI, which will be coming to North America in 2008. There are no plans to bring this SUV to Europe. As we mentioned this morning, the Touareg BlueTDI's Selective Catalytic Reduction system (SCR) makes the 3.0-litre V6 TDI 225 PS diesel engine one of the cleanest diesel engines on the market. The point-by-point details are available after the jump.

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I won't give you all the details of Car and Driver's first test of the new Jetta TDI here, you can click to go to their site and read it if you'd like. But, I will give you some details...

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Volkswagen of America is counting its lucky stars that it has a portfolio of diesel-powered models on the showroom floor as increasingly fuel-economy-conscious consumers look for relief from rising gas prices. In the first four months of the year, Volkswagen's TDI diesels accounted for more than 22 percent of total sales. In April, diesel sales accounted for more than 40-percent of New Beetles sold and 38-percent of Jettas.

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