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Old 12-29-2005, 10:39 AM   #1
Tonto Kowalski
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Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

Why is it that cars with diesel engines are so rare in USA/Canada, while in Europe they are common? Don't they have many advantages such as longer life, less maintenance, lower fuel costs?

I always thought diesels were only for trucks and were too slow for sports cars but I did some reading on it and it seems they are just as fast. For example, this car: http://www.pistonheads.com/doc.asp?c=100&i=9847
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:03 PM   #2
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

it's because people are afraid of diesel. diesel's gotten a bad rep from past engines with their smoky, noisy, and slow characteristics. they've gotten alot better now and aren't nearly as loud, the fuel has alot less sulfur in it so it doesn't stink, and they can be incredibly fast, faster than a gasoline engine of the same displacement.

It's all about education, unless people start to see good diesels, they won't think they are good. one of the prolems is that diesels now are so much like gasoline cars that people don't really notice that they're driving a diesel (like with the vw golf, jetta, etc). that won't be the case when i get my 13sec 1/4 mile diesel ford truck (i plan on building one, first step, getting a truck).
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:05 PM   #3
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

because manufactures produce what comsumers want. there obviously isn't a great demand for diesal cars in the US now. only diesal i know about is one that VW makes. they are louder and more expensive also
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

there are many diesel trucks, all the american 1+ tonne trucks are available with diesel. and i wouldn't say there's no desire for them, it's just that people don't know they want them. they don't know they can have an engine of the same displacement as a corvette that will outrun one in a 1/4 mile or any other track, that can have better fuel economy, and that can last longer. these are all things that people want but they don't know they can get them from a diesel.
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:19 PM   #5
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

Yeah, people think they wouldn't like it, but they never try it. They hear the word diesel and think of a Mercedes from 1980.

Its frustrating to say the least, especially with the environment and economy the way it is.

In CA its the liberal dolphin-huggers. Don't get me wrong, I hug dolphins and I'm a liberal, but I'm educated and there's just no place for that here. They smell diesel fumes and assume they're bad. They see a 1975 Kenworth chugging smoke and say they're bad. They hate it when trucks are slow on the highway, so they make it their personal crusade to rid the US of any thing remotely diesel and so far they're the loudest voice. So, they're succeeding. In CA, the only passenger vehicle you can buy with a diesel is the VW, and they're trying to get rid of it by changing the emissions requirements.
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:22 PM   #6
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

my dad is a perfect example of that, his dad had a diesel back in the 60s or 70s and it was really slow, he thinks diesels are all slow because of that car. stupid french people.
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:57 PM   #7
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Do you think diesel cars will ever be common in North America?

If Chevy was to make a diesel engine and put it in for example their Cobalt, if it was good it would get good reviews in the magazines, and if people test drove it and were impressed, I don't see why they wouldn't buy it.
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:46 PM   #8
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

I think people will read the good reviews that say its not stinky or rattley, and then say to themselves, "yeah, but its a stinky rattley diesel so I'll never buy it." Its the same as the V6, V8, or I4 preference. In the 80s, many people refused to buy little V6s. They wanted the power of the V8... regardless of the fact that many of the V6s made more power than the V8 in the 80s. They wanted more power, so they bought the engine with less power ??

The American public is so fleeced. We (as a whole) buy horsepower, but feel torque. We beg for more fuel efficiency, then buy 6500-lb SUVs that get 12 MPG. We complain about the smog, but then enact emissions laws that don't help smog at all. We won't buy diesels because they're noisy, smoky, and rattley, but most people who refuse to own one never drove one.

So, when we've completely depleted the world's fossil fuel supply and all of you can't buy gasoline because the last 500 gallons are owned by ExxonMobil and they're charging $6000 a gallon, I'll just fill up with biodiesel and keep on driving.
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Old 12-29-2005, 11:06 PM   #9
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Many people here think of smoke and fumes when they think of diesels.

I don't know of many diesel-powered sports cars.

Diesel seems to be more expensive right now in the Pacific Northwest than gasoline (not sure about other parts of the U.S.).

I don't know of any stock diesel-powered car that run the 1/4 mile faster than a new Corvette C6. A C6 gets 18/28 mpg city/highway.
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Old 12-29-2005, 11:28 PM   #10
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

True, but that's not to say that they couldn't. Its just that demand hasn't dictated that manufacturers build one.

I've seen 6500-lb diesel trucks pull mid-11 second runs on less displacement than a C6 and still get 20/26 mpg. And they can tow 12,000 lbs

The bottom line is that diesel fuel contains more BTUs than gasoline, less of it gets absorbed by the coolant, and the higher compression is potentially capable of converting more of those stored BTUs into work. The fact that they don't is as much from stunted development in the market as it is from the heavy components the used to go into the engines themselves.

Some of the most incredible output comes from the larger industrial/agricultural diesels where the market sees its value. The technology that has trickled into the automotive market largely came from agricultural diesel advancements, but until the automotive market truly embraces diesel, it won't be profitable to bring it down from the tractors. I wish it were the other way around, but it doesn't seem to be going that way.
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Old 12-30-2005, 12:48 PM   #11
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbul...d.php?t=481751 is a video of a pickup beating a corvette, i know it's far from stock but it's a diesel powered engine that can be daily driven, can tow its own trailer to the track, 1/4 mile, salt flats, etc. and can be used as any other pickup would be. i'd like to see a carvette do that.
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Old 12-30-2005, 06:09 PM   #12
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

I do not recall seeing this in other posts, but in Europe, and parts of south America, gasoline is much more expensive than diesel just because of taxes. It's been this way for years, hence the popularity of diesel cars.

It is intersting that dispite the fact that diesel cars are much cheaper to run, half of all cars sold in Europe are still gasoline-powered.

Personally, there are quite a few new diesel cars and trucks sold around here and they STILL STINK. Personally, unless diesels become as clean as gas cars, I have no interest in seeing more of them.
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:21 AM   #13
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

if you think diesel stinks wait untill you smell one running on waste vegetable oil, you'll be begging for petroleum diesel exhaust. in fact i think it is humorous to punish suv drivers with my fumes.
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Old 12-31-2005, 08:32 AM   #14
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Re: Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zagrot
if you think diesel stinks wait untill you smell one running on waste vegetable oil, you'll be begging for petroleum diesel exhaust. in fact i think it is humorous to punish suv drivers with my fumes.
From what I've heard, waste vegetable diesel fumes smell like french fries.
But most bio-diesel (as its called) is a blend of vegetable and petroleum diesel so I don't think it smells much different.
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Old 12-31-2005, 07:29 PM   #15
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Re: Why are there no diesel sports cars in USA?

i love diesels, my friend's brother built an E46 M3 as a sort-of race car and put in a 3.5 litre diesel, added turbo etc..

it didn't rev as high as some of the competition but it had so much torque that it could easily out accelerate them, what's more the regualtions said 350bhp was the maximum power, so they had 350bhp and about 600lb/ft of torque, so they matched the power an had more torque than the petrol/gas cars. and it returned 16 miles per gallon as opposed to the 11 that the others were doing, it's a good endurace car because it ha good econcomy etc, and it requires less maintenance.

i hope diesles do make an impact into north america, i live in London Uk an yea, there's loads of diesels here, all the owners of newer diesels i know love them.

if you want proof of just what diesels are capable of just look at commercial diesel trucks, now some people think that for a 12 litre engine 350bhp isnt much, but many engines in that category produce about 1500-2000lb/ft and more. and those engines haul over 60 tons.

i went to the truck racing recently here, the trucks used 12 litre straight six engines, producing over 1000bhp and over 4500lb/ft of torque and although the trucks weigh in at 5.5 tons, they're damn fast. and they can outrun most sports car in the 0-100 sprint.
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