The Argument for Diesel
It is no secret that diesel-powered vehicles are often considered the Holy Grail of power plants. They’re efficient, torquey, reliable and workhorses of the commercial field. They’re found globally in hundreds of different models, except for in the United States. Unfortunately for those of us who are enthusiasts of the oil-burner platform, EPA regulations and consumer demand have long prohibited the growth of the small diesel power plant here.
Cheap gasoline has probably been the biggest inhibitor of diesel growth, as the 20-25% efficiency gain is moot when it’s only a few cents different, and gasoline engines generally have better power output for our high speed lives. Not to mention, their initial cost is high because they are so heavily built. But those are the stable reasons of why the demand is growing for these power plants in off-road market vehicles.
It’s often in the off-road setting that you are exceptionally remote, so fuel efficiency plays a big factor in that. Even more important is the reliability of the engine. Because diesels are built to handle the stress of their high-compression ignition design, they have long life spans. The last thing you want is to experience a critical failure of your engine in the middle of nowhere. Most importantly is power. Our vehicles are overweight and overpacked and even the best gasoline-powered engines struggle when it comes time to move all our weight over the mountain pass. Diesels inherently have exceptional torque thanks to their long piston strokes, high compression, and turbo chargers that force air into the engine no matter the conditions or elevation.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief that the oil-burning gods are smiling on us, and delivering us the much coveted engine. Here is a small list of vehicles getting ready to debut with diesels.
- 2018 Jeep Wrangler
- 2017 Chevy Colorado
- 2019 Jeep Scrambler
- 2018 Ford F-150
- 2019 Ford Ranger
- 2020 Ford Bronco