If you were to query Autoblog staffers and many savvy enthusiasts for what they wanted in a car, you'd swear that perhaps 70% of America's auto market would shortly be composed of rear-drive turbodiesel station wagons and hatchbacks. Sadly, the theoretical popularity of such vehicles rarely translates to sales out in the buying public, so such offerings are few and far between. Diesel fuel, in particular, has enjoyed a wave of positive U.S. enthusiast publicity, what with its torquetastic nature and noise, vibration, and harshness improvements.

Yet not only are there precious few diesel cars and trucks available, in these lean times, automakers are threatening to pull back from already announced future product commitments. Acura is widely believed to be delaying and/or killing d plans for a derv TSX, and earlier this month General Motors put its promising 4.5-liter V8 on ice. Now, Edmunds AutoObserver is reporting that Nissan my delay or scrap its previously announced Maxima diesel model. Thankfully, at least the Europeans seem to be moving forward with their diesel initiatives, with the Volkswagen Jetta TDI selling well, the thoroughly wonderful BMW 335d coming on stream, and future offerings like an Audi A3 TDI not too far away.

Still, we can't help but wonder if the combination of fallen gas prices and general economic malaise will scupper diesel's viability in the U.S. just as fuel prices finally move toward cost-per-gallon parity with gasoline. Oh, the humanity.

[Source: Edmunds AutoObserver]

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