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Celebrating 120 years of Diesel

2013-08-13 09:01

120 YEARS OF DIESEL GRUNT: The first diesel engine was fired up 120 years ago and to date the engine has continued to improve and gain in popularity. Image: Newspress

HERNDON, Virginia - On August 10 1893 Rudolf Diesel fired up his first compression-ignition engine, one now more commonly known by his surname.

It’s unlikely that Diesel could have predicted how the engine bearing his name would revolutionise the automotive world. No doubt he would have been delighted that increasing numbers of car-buyers are discovering the advantages of diesel engines.

CLEAN DIESEL

More than 75%t of the diesel engines sold in the US passenger car and SUV markets can be found under the bonnets of Volkswagen models. Since 1977, when Volkswagen first offered a diesel in its Rabbit/Golf, the automaker has sold more than a million diesel-powered cars and SUV's in the US.

To date (August 2013) VW has sold 56 480 TDI Clean Diesel cars, nearly a quarter of its sales.

To demonstrate the benefits of its TDI Clean Diesel engine, two teams of drivers set fuel consumption records in a Passat 2.0 turbocharged TDI mated to a six-speed manual. In 2012, a Passat recorded 2616km on a single tank of diesel at an average of 2.8 litres/100km.

In June 2013 Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger set a Guinness World Record for the "lowest fuel consumption in 48 US states for a non-hybrid car" by achieving three litres/100km over travelling 13 071km. The achievement beat the hybrid vehicle record of 3.6/100km.

In 2014 VW will introduce its EA288 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel engine. VW’s general manager of the office of engineering and the environment in the US, Oliver Schmidt, said: "The VW Group is a leader in clean diesel technology. With the introduction of the this engine we are excited that our family of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles is continuing to improve and will be even more clean, fuel efficient, and powerful."
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