Europe is madly in love with the diesel engine. More than half of the total new cars on sale today in Europe are diesels. The diesel is even more popular in countries like France and Austria where 65 and 70 percent respectively of new cars sold are oil burners. The US is fast catching up with diesel technology as well, thanks to sky rocketing fuel prices.
So why is the diesel so popular then? Well, the modern day diesel is obviously economical. Spiraling fuel costs have contributed much to the diesel passenger car's success in Europe. A diesel consumes considerably less than a petrol engine, especially in stop-start city traffic. With no sign of petrol prices falling, the diesel has an advantage over petrol-powered cars when it comes to long term running costs.
The modern day diesel engine is a technically advanced product. Car manufacturers have introduced many high-tech features in diesel engines in recent times like high pressure direct injection and variable geometry turbochargers to produce more power.
The diesel is renowned for their strong power and torque at very low engine speeds. This low range urge is useful in city traffic and for overtaking.
Today's modern and intercooled turbocharged diesel engines give out power output levels of an equivalent petrol engine. Take Jaguar Land Rover's (JLR) new 3-litre turbodiesel as seen in the Jaguar XFS here for example, the oil burner makes 275bhp and 600Nm while the petrol 3-litre V6 in the XF 3.0 offers only 238bhp and 293Nm.
The XFS is one of a handful of diesel powered passenger cars that are on sale here today. Besides the XFS, local JLR dealer Malayan Motors also offers the new XJ limo and the Land Rover Discovery 4 with diesel engines.