Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
#4549 of 10348 "There's no replacement for displacement. . .er, check that. . ."
Oct 30, 2005 (6:58 am)
For some time BMW (but not exclusive to BMW) notably has all but rejected (and some would say they HAVE rejected) "blown" (in this case supercharged) gasoline engines.
Memo to BMW Dealers: "Ixnay on the uperchargedsay ommentcay."
Uh, OK, there is no replacement for displacement EXCEPT an increase in volumetric efficiency afforded by more than "natural" breathing.
Translation, superchargers are coming to BMW's sooner rather than later.
Memo to BMW of America Dealers: "Ixnay on the ieselday."
Uh, OK, diesels are not for real sporting intentioned German cars (in the US).
What is going on here?
It's one thing when a few folks posting here on edmunds (and elsewhere) are asking -- some begging even -- for diesel powerplants: we are just screaming voices in the wilderness. It's quite another thing, however, when a writer, a paid professional with a bully pulpit argues intelligently for diesels.
A few days ago, I thought I could fire up some lively discourse by suggesting that LPS cars are positioned to "save" us from foreign oil dependence by adopting diesel powerplants (rather than hybrid technologies) since LPS cars seem to be the bellwether segment. In plain English the LPS cars often portend the engineering and features of those vehicles lower on the totem pole.
Very little dialog from this community on this subject ensued. Moreover, there appeared to be little interest in the Rand study this past August that suggested we could become foreign oil independent by virtue of the known oil in Colorado and Wyoming. Of course, the Rand report does say that it will take at least 20 years to build up the capacity to extract this oil (and that the estimates currently suggest we have three times the known reserves of our current middle-eastern suppliers.)
When I read this, I thought it was darn near profound. Obviously I am wrong, for despite numerous talking head news programs talking about $3.00 and up gasoline prices, not one of them has raised the Rand organization's findings, even to challenge it.
Instead, we have Bill Ford talking about hybrids and Ford's commitment to bring more and more hybrid cars to market. Not one mention of the possibility of diesels as a current technology with the ability to lower our driving costs almost immediately has been made (that I can locate) by either the news organizations, "energy companies," or the automobile companies themselves.
OK, so I am not an industry pundit or even someone that should be considered as one with the requisite gravitas to be given a second thought.
But, Angus Mackenzie (he with the aforementioned bully pulpit) has written an accessable article called "Diesel Does It, America needs a better weapon to fight rising fuel prices," in the December 2005 issue of Motor Trend.
"Now, Mark, I knew Angus Mackenzie and YOU are NO Angus Mackenzie," you may say.
I completely agree. My posting several days ago and Mackenzie's piece are only coincidentally similar. Yet Mackenzie describes his experiences with an Audi and a BMW diesel [A8 and 7 series respectively] that leaves little doubt that both fuel economy and good old fashioned "American Hot Rod" lusts can be satisfied TODAY with the adoption of turbo diesels.
Get this: The Audi W12 produces 428 pound feet of torque at 4700 RPM, but the Audi diesel V8 produces 479 pound feet of "weapons grade" torque at 1800 RPM. The differences in the real world between these two engines (assuming they cost the exact same -- and they don't) is night and day. Not only will the diesel outperform the far more expensive (to buy AND operate) 12 cylinder gasoline engine, it does so without requiring a two gear downshift of the transmission and a wait for the W12 to get up to the torque peak RPM's. And Audis turbo diesel gave better mileage than BMW's 6 cylinder diesel.
Mercedes, too, has incredibly competent diesels that could provide aid and comfort to those of us beleaguered and wearied by ever escalating gas prices. But, at these price points, gas prices are probably of secondary concerns -- for one does not spend upwards of $60,000 and then have a huge concern about the price of the juice to run the car.
The point, first and foremost, is performance AND efficiency. Diesel (and remember bio-diesel will work in these engines) would give us power hungry Americans just what we want "our cake and the ability to eat it too."
I highly recommend the Angus Mackenzie article (the big picture) in the December 2005 issue of Motor Trend. My words no matter how similar to Mac's may not merit much discussion; but, Mackenzie is "somebody" recognized and with sufficient gravitas to support my earlier somewhat tongue in cheek memo: "How LPS Cars can save us from a growing, inevitable fuel crisis." [sic]
Motor Trend December 2005 page 12 (and at this time, I can't find it on Motortrend.com.)
#4550 of 10348 Re: "There's no replacement for displacement. . .er, check that. . ." [markcincinnati]
Oct 30, 2005 (8:22 am)
"Very little dialog from this community on this subject ensued."
Great topic but I think it is OT in this thread.
I believe ANY energy alternative has merits, but unless gas prices spike to the point where it REALLY hurts the little guy financially, the alternatives are going to move very slowly without government subsidy.
I believe in the potential of hybrids but they are taking somewhat of a beating in the press because of their expense. This is good for diesel's chances right now and the manufacturers should jump on it IMO. Diesel needs strong marketing because consumer perception of it is nowhere, I think.
The consumer needs to know what the immediate benefit of diesel is and the marketers have to drive that home. This requires a major effort which is not easy considering the hybrid trend and recent announcements of manufacturer commitments to hybrid.
I think the best chance diesel has is if hybrid prices don't come down the way people expect. And I think there is a good chance that they won't because the technology is convoluted when compared with the lone internal combustion engine.
#4551 of 10348 Re: "There's no replacement for displacement. . .er, check that. . ." [designman]
Oct 30, 2005 (11:49 am)
Diesels in LPS cars (in the US, since they are already in the LPS cars in Europe) should be right "on topic."
We, in the US, are being denied "the best" several of these LPS manufacturers have to offer. Instead we are being offered high performance vehicles to be certain, but not both high performance and high efficiency.
Perhaps, as Mackenzie notes, when you have to fill up your vehicle three times per week (due to mileage) and each fill up costs north of $120 (as it can in Europe), diesel makes sense even for those who can afford to buy gasoline at practically any price. Mackenize writes that when he started driving the diesel versions of the Audi and Bimmer he could go much longer between fillups and, in Europe at least, each fillup was less expensive.
Currently, it appears that diesel here in the US costs slightly more than Premium Gasoline -- someone explained that this is temporary and due to Katrina.
The part that really got my attention beyond the mileage was the superior performance diesel affords.
Apparently, economy is boring, but performance is not -- and the LPS cars ARE where the technology trickles down from in large measure.
I would have gone with either the Audi Turbo Diesel or BMW's (and if Infiniti had one, I would have at least considered it.) We are, instead, given the choice of ever more thirsty gasoline engines (check out the new Audi S8, and certainly the upcoming S6 and RS6, etc, to see what I mean with respect to power and thirst.)
Those of us in the LPS community (assuming we are or could be "the market force" I believe we are or will become) could help usher in an era of both higher performance and higher efficiency vehicles -- and here is where it must begin.
Of course, I could be wrong, the sun may explode tomorrow and make this all moot.
#4552 of 10348 Re: Wierd interaction between RL & Passport 8500 [jjacura]
Oct 30, 2005 (12:45 pm)
Put a UPS in between this cabinet and the wall. Doesnt have to be expensive at all, lights are generally not power hogs. The UPS will absorb the peaks and fill in dips with reserve power from the battery. That should take care of the problem.
#4553 of 10348 Re: "There's no replacement for displacement. . .er, check that. . ." [markcincinnati]
Oct 30, 2005 (1:03 pm)
There's something of a "war of perception" going on between diesel and hybrids, and is what I believe is the major factor holding back large scale development and adoption of diesel power plants.
Hybrids, largely thanks to the efforts of the mighty Toyota PR department, are perceived by a lot of people as magic vehicles that run on hugs and sunshine, with absolutely no environmental downside. None of this is true of course, but the problems are simply glossed over.
Diesel has the opposite problem, in that largely false perceptions are hurting it, rather than helping. I think a lot of America still perceives diesel vehicles as dirty, smelly, and noisy. There are other problems though. The fuel we've got right now is not clean enough for many of the engines already in use in Europe to work and pass emmisions standards. Hopefully the new stuff will take care of that one.
The other problem is cost. In European countries, the amount of diesel cars on the road is directly proportional to the level of government subsidy on diesel fuel. Diesel in the US seems to range from just below to just above premium gasoline. Thats not going to get thrifty shoppers to choose diesel over a Civic that can get 40mpg on 87 regular. Luxury cars make up a tiny percentage of the total number of cars on the road in the US. Even if every Lexus, BMW, Audi, Cadillac, Jaguar, and Mercedes suddenly all ran on diesel, it wouldnt make a dent in our overall fuel consumption. There are more F-150s on the road than most luxury makes combined.
#4554 of 10348 Re: "There's no replacement for displacement. . .er, check that. . ." [lexusguy]
Oct 30, 2005 (1:46 pm)
I agree with your post and the facts, myths and truths it represents.
Where else, however, but "at the top" will diesels be able to be widely accepted which would make a dent in our consumption AND cost.
When the Audi A8 and BMW 7 with their porkiness are able to go 35 miles on a gallon of diesel, wonder what would happen to A6's, 5s and ultimately the Chrylser 300, Camry and on and on?
We need to start somewhere -- it always seems that logical, necessary and valuable technology THAT SHOULD go into the MASS of vehicles (abs, airbags, stability control system etc -- all started in the LPS and above cars at the time) must somehow be vetted by the buying public in the premium class first.
Today abs and the other expected technologies are in or at least available in the very lowest cost vehicles on the market. My 1990 or 1989 Audi had dual front airbags when the lesser vehicles were touting driver's side airbags, followed soon thereafter by optional dual front airbags followed by front and rear airbags and on and on and on.
Diesel technology could be perceived differently if it were placed in both high end and high performance cars -- for shortly thereafter the market would clammor for such technology and performance in the more pedestrian cars downstream.
LPS cars are a great place to start, don't you think?
Just a thought.
#4555 of 10348 Re: Consumer Reports latest Reliability ratings [sdiver68]
Oct 30, 2005 (2:06 pm)
Although new model forecasts are exactly that, the statistical models they use to determine residuals still make leasing companies a fortune.
I don't claim to have any great insider knowledge about the auto industry, perhaps you do, but I am familiar with leasing companies in non-automotive businesses, and they have NOT been making "fortunes" for years. And if you read the article I linked to in post #4543, it looks like the used car trade press considers it common knowledge that the leasing companies had totally over-estimated residuals for years. For that matter, when was the last time you heard of someone exercising the purchase option at the end of a lease of a premium car because the residual buyout value was understated?
And it doesn't seem to be over yet. Here's a quote from an executive of RVI Group, one of the leading providers of "residual value insurance" to leasing companies and manufacturers: ""For independent finance companies, we feel that the current residuals for most luxury vehicles are too high," he said. "That is, we feel that the economic climate in a few years will not support the residuals at which most luxury vehicles are being leased today.""
This is not to say that the new M won't prove to be a very reliable car. But let's not confuse reliability with residual values. There is only a limited relationship between the two. In fact, here is an excerpt from an interview of the President of ALG: "Sundaram also discussed brand perception, saying perceived nameplate quality and not actual quality has the strongest correlation with residuals at the brand level."
Perhaps that explains why MB's residuals stayed up longer than its reliability did....
#4556 of 10348 Re: "There's no replacement for displacement. . .er, check that. . ." [markcincinnati]
Oct 30, 2005 (4:00 pm)
From your lips. . .to someone's ears.
A proper diesel in a proper (lux) vehicle needs to be experienced to be believed and/or appreciated. It'll be a tough sell over here without a big PR effort, IMHO. The first brand to go there could be very successful in North America. Audi & BMW are in the best position, given that they already have the vehicles (in Europe). The Asians may market good diesels as well, but I've neither seen nor driven them. Mercedes & VW are already in the market, but adding more performance-oriented brands would certainly help.
All the lux features, incredible acceleration & 40 mpg. What's not to like?
#4557 of 10348 Re: Consumer Reports latest Reliability ratings [garyh1]
Oct 30, 2005 (4:33 pm)
This is not to say that the new M won't prove to be a very reliable car. But let's not confuse reliability with residual values. There is only a limited relationship between the two.
residual values for VWs tend to be high despite certain reliability issues!
#4558 of 10348 On The Other Hand
Oct 30, 2005 (4:50 pm)
And Lexus lease residuals are relatively low despite high reliability....