New CAFE requirements help turn Detroit's eye back to diesels

With oil prices hitting $100 a barrel on the second day of the year, I think it's safe to say that green (or is that blue?) driving will continue to be big news in 2008. Over on Autoblog, our sister site, one of the first posts of the year was about the triumphant return of diesels to the minds of Detroit engineers, something I consider another sign that fuel efficiency is on the minds of pretty much everyone who spends time behind the wheel.
We've been covering the rise of diesels for a long, long time, but yesterday's Detroit News' article on the subject tells us that the big reason for the diesel push are the new CAFE rules in the recently-passed energy bill. The problem, as we're all well aware, is that many people still have a poor image of diesel (dirty, smelly) and the challenge for the Big Three is to make "clean diesel" the new norm. Europeans know all this already, and it'll be up to vehicles like the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel (pictured in the gallery below) to bump the number of diesels on the market from 3.2 percent today to 15 percent in the next ten years (that's the prediction from J.D. Power and Associates anyway). With their backs to the CAFE wall, automakers are ready for diesel. I assume AutoblogGreen readers are as well. Is the rest of America?

[Source: Detroit News via Autoblog]

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