German automaker Volkswagen has set a Guinness World Record for fuel economy in the U.S. with the VW Passat TDI. The diesel-powered Passat traveled a distance of 8,122 miles (13,071 kilometers) across the 48 contiguous U.S. states, delivering an average fuel economy of 3.02 liter per 100 Kilometers (78 mpg), the highest ever recorded for a non-hybrid vehicle. The previous world record was set at 67.9 miles per gallon.
The car was piloted by blogger Wayne Gerdes and engineer Bob Winger.
“We felt we had a good chance of beating the existing record with a series production Passat TDI,” Gerdes said, “but to smash it by averaging 77.99 mpg is really impressive and a testament to the potential of Volkswagen’s TDI vehicles. It shows how much the fuel consumption depends on the driver.”
As a reminder, the Passat is powered by a turbocharged and direct-injection TDI engine that offers an EPA estimated fuel economy of 43 mpg (5.5 Liter per 100 km) highway when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.
Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Returns For 2020 With A Lot Of Torque
Prospective RAM 1500 buyers can once again have their new truck with a diesel engine.
Ram has brought back the V6 EcoDiesel to its 1500 pickup truck lineup, available starting in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Like previous EcoDiesel , the new unit is a turbocharged V6 that displaces 3.0L, but engineers made a few enhancements, including a redesigned cylinder head, a new-generation turbocharger, an updated exhaust gas recirculation system, and new fuel injector nozzles.
The end result is 260 horsepower (+8 percent) and 480 lb-ft of torque (+14 percent), representing an improvement of 8 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can tow up to 12,560 pounds and comes with an air suspension that improves both ride control and fuel economy.
“The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is America’s most powerful half-ton diesel pickup, following up on Ram’s Heavy Duty torque leadership and achieving what no other manufacturer has, with up to 480 lb.-ft. of torque in a 3.0-liter engine,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand. “The all-new EcoDiesel engine and our eTorque mild-hybrid powertrain technologies deliver the highest available fuel efficiency for our Ram 1500 customers.”
FCA made the EcoDiesel optional on all models and configurations of the Ram 1500, including the off-road-oriented Ram Rebel (pictured).
Porsche Ends Long-Term Relationship With Diesels
The German automaker will have a diesel-free future.
Porsche has ended its long-term relationship with diesel engines to focus on electrified vehicles.
The decision shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that diesel models only accounted for 12 percent of the company’s sales in 2017, while demand for its hybrid models keeps increasing. In Europe, approximately 63 percent of all Panameras sold are hybrid.
In fact, there wasn’t a significant dip in overall vehicle sales when it stopped offering turbodiesel cars in February of 2018. Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG, stated:
“Porsche is not demonizing diesel. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology. We as a sports car manufacturer, however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free. Naturally we will continue to look after our existing diesel customers with the professionalism they expect.”
It’s not just Porsche that giving up on diesels. BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Cadillac have all made a similar move, putting diesel engines to wayside to focus their energies on EV tech.
Cadillac Stops Diesel Development To Focus On Electric Vehicles
Don’t expect to see a diesel-powered Cadillac anytime soon, if ever.
Like its contemporaries BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, Cadillac has put the development of a turbodiesel engine on hold to focus on electrification.
The New York-based company had been working on a range of four- and six-cylinder engines primarily for a European offensive it has planned for years but never managed to carry out. The new XT4 crossover, for instance, was intended to be offered a diesel engine by 2020.
Company president Steve Carlisle confirmed the decision in an interview with Automotive News, stating:
“We’ve been working on diesel, but the markets may be changing more quickly than we anticipated. Going forward, we will focus on electrification.”
While Carlisle stressed that diesel engines aren’t going away anytime soon and that Cadillac hasn’t killed the program entirely, the Dieselgate scandal and parent company General Motors’ sale of Opel are major setbacks that make the possibility a diesel-burning Cadillac very unlikely.
Perpetrated by Volkswagen in 2015, dieselgate demonized the diesel engine in North America and Europe and made it more complex to certify one, while Opel worked directly with Cadillac on diesel technology.