With major diesel car manufacturers developing models that comply with strict US emission controls, Americans are currently finding that fast diesel cars are now a viable option. Here is a look at the top five.
Turbo Diesel Volkswagen Jetta
Made from lightweight materials and with the ability to use fuel in a more efficient manner, the Turbo Diesel Jetta can manipulate wind to provide outstanding performance. All in all, it boasts the best in German engineering, and that means added safety features and a quick drive. It is able to meet the most exacting emission control standards, such as the California Tier II, Bin 5.
Variable Twin Turbo Diesel BMW
The Variable Twin Turbo Diesel BMW operates either a four or six cylinder diesel engine to extremely high levels of performance excellence. The twin turbochargers, instead of operating in parallel, are activated at various points and through exacting coordination will run together or individually. This diesel car is not only fast but still achieves outstanding fuel consumption.
There are three distinct turbocharged Mercedes diesel cars. Each has an engine with 2.1 liters displacement. They work on common rail direct injection that can churn out impressive torque and horsepower. Without a doubt, with a turbo diesel Mercedes, buyers get high performance and torque, without having to sacrifice on mileage. The Mercedes Benz ML450 and the ML350 offer great performance, but nothing matches the ML63 AMG diesel version that churns out 210 horsepower and 400 pounds of torque with amazing fuel economy.
Audi 3.0 liter Q7 V12 TDI Diesel
This is a true competitor to the likes of the Mercedes Benz ML64AMG and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. With an ability to churn out an amazing 500 horsepower, this is truly a monster of a diesel car that can crank out an unbelievable 738 foot-pounds of torque. It accelerates from zero to 62 mph in just 5.5 seconds.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
Powered by a turbo diesel V12, this model provides an excellent alternative to buyers looking to take a long distance drive quickly and economically. It can develop enough horsepower and torque to give you a truly thrilling driving experience.
Diesel Engine Performance vs. Unleaded Engines
When you do any comparison between engines you must first look at their similarities. Both diesel and gas engines have several similarities and only differ in a few areas. They both have cylinders and operate on a combustion principle. Both of the fuels are mixed with air to ignite a small explosion that drives the pistons. They both come in the standard sizes of four, six, eight, 10 and even 12 cylinders for higher performance vehicles. The difference is in the way that they produce their power. This is where you see the major performance issues.
Gas Has Multi-Part Combustion
In its very simplest form, a gas engine requires gas, air and a spark to create a small explosion which drives the pistons up and down. This turns the crank, which turns the driveshaft, sending power to the wheels. The gas and air is mixed together at the top of the cylinder when it is compressed towards the spark plug. If there is too much gas to air mix, or vice versa, then there is no explosion, or what is called a "miss."
Diesel Is a Straight Shot
A diesel engine is streamlined in a much more efficient way. The gas is not mixed with the air at the beginning of the cylinder. The air is compressed first. This causes the air to heat up to the point where the diesel ignites when it is injected. There are no spark plugs, so you don't have to worry about them going bad or causing a "miss."
More Power, Quicker
Because of this streamlined approach, there is a little more power, a little bit quicker than a gas powered engine. Ferrari has worked to perfect its diesel engine and now produces a high performance vehicle that is also fast.
Performance Is More than Speed
Speed is not the only factor where performance is concerned. In the past, diesel engines were not that welcome because of their noise, power issues and pollution problems. However, this has been worked on by European engineers and these problems have been taken care of. Now, diesel engines perform much better in these areas to make them more popular here in America.