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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
#7212 of 10348 Not quite an Alternative Fuel discussion - Part 1
Apr 21, 2006 (12:28 pm)
The "lunch or watercooler" topic du jour around the office has yours truly touting the virtues of diesel (including, of course bio-diesel) and the importance of the "trickle down" effect from so-called Luxury items to the more "accessible" items.
On the other side of the debate are my challengers that tell me "what I am saying is impossible, because a US vehicle that is gasoline is NOT bettered by nearly 40% (in MPG's) by the available diesel counterpart."
First and foremost, in this debate (tempting to call it an argument) both the points of view can be said to be correct. Why?
Let's look at this from the point of view of the one engine/car combinations that I have spent some time researching -- I am led to believe, but have not checked each and every MFGR's web site to confirm, that the following in spirit, at least, translates to "most" European car offerings -- the Audi 3.0L turbo diesel vs the Audi 3.2L normally aspirated gasoline engine.
Both engines displace roughly same "volume" -- 3.0 vs 3.1+ L. Both engines when used in identical current MY A6 chassis Audis with identical 6speed automatic transmissions accelerate (according to MFGR's specs) from 0 to 100kph (62MPH) about the same (7.1 seconds for the gasoline version and 7.0 seconds for the diesel version). Without using any "hail Mary" tactics to achieve the maximum possible MPG's, the diesel A6 achieves over 39% more MPG's. Subject to change, one would imagine, diesel here in Cincinnati is generally ten to twenty-five cents cheaper per gallon than Premium Gasoline (which is required by the Audi A6 3.2 model.)
Note: "home made" bio diesel in late 2005 could be "brewed by Everyman" at an out the spigot price of $.70 per gallon. Even if the costs have doubled to "brew your own," the economics seriously favor "home made" bio-diesel but even with Premium/Diesel price equality, diesel wins by virtue of the 39%+ greater distance per gallon that it offers.
"Clean Diesel" (European diesel, NOW and North American diesel LATER this year) adds another characteristic to the mix: "30-60 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions,"according to the Washington, DC-based Diesel Technology Forum.
The rush to buy (or at least demand) such vehicles here in the US would seem to be a foregone conclusion. And, I am not limiting this to those who would want an Audi product -- I am thinking much more broadly than simply one German manufacturer. The narrowness of the example and stats cited is to attempt to allow us (around the water cooler) to get our arms around the discussion and to be able to draw some conclusions, etc.
The VP of Sales of my company has a new Ford F150 4door pickup truck with a HUGE thirsty V8 engine and literally every possible "luxury" option Ford offers on such vehicles. The darn thing is very posh -- and it does NOT require the afterthought "for a truck." It is very posh, period. Riding in it is comfortable and quiet. At highway speeds it is quite the Roadmaster. Beats me how it would handle the twisties (presumably my A6 would leave it in the distance), but it is a very impressive "car."
"So," I say, "you complain about nearly $100 fill ups, yet why didn't you get a diesel version of the thing?" The short answer contains two data points: the Ford F150 diesel is VERY noisy (both inside and out) and somewhat smelly (minor) but it is essentially not significantly more economical to fuel and drive. Unlike the Audi example, above, there is not really an apples-to-apples comparison that is available since there is really no equivalent offering in the diesel format.
Diesel cars from Ford or GM -- name three that you would have that meet the A6 to A6 comparison. I'll wait.
Yet, there are Mercedes E class gas and E class diesel vehicles that are mostly equivalent automobiles (equivalent displacement and performance that is similar, i.e.) And, in the case of the Merc, you can buy one on this side of the Atlantic. Hmm, one would imagine that it would NOT require an engineering miracle to put a Mercedes turbo-diesel in a Chrysler 300 that would be able to sit beside the gasoline 300 in terms of cubic displacement (if not volumetric displacement.)
We keep dinkin' around with gas-electic hybrids yet we have some decent engineering and street cred in the diesel realm that we are "frittering away."
And, now, today, on "The Today Show" the prospect of gasoline over $4.00 per gallon looms ever more realistic in our near-term. How does an $80 per tank fill up sound 4.3 times per month (on average?) Fritter, fritter, fritter.
Here in Ohio (and in Michigan) we are lagging the rest of the country's economic recovery and boom times as we sit in the midst of beleaguered giant auto companies breathing ever more heavily under the pressure to discount their vehicles due in part to the fact that the cost [of ownership; to operate, i.e] of a GM or Ford car has shot up due in no small measure to the price to fill up the tank.
Here is a blow-your-mind event that happened earlier today: the VP of sales I mentioned earlier is looking for a new SUV. His wife wants one with third row seats. While she was waiting at the Ford dealer for the oil change on his F150, the sales manager gave her the keys to a $56,000 Ford "E" (Explorer, Expedition, Excursion, Excalibur or whatever they call the big ones with the third row seating) -- loaded to the gills with captains chairs hot and cold running DVD screens, navigation and power articulated bun warmers. She drives the thing. She comes back from the drive and says "thanks." "Ma'am, you can have this for $42,000."
$14,000 off as the starting offer!
She calls her husband on the way home from the dealer to relate this experience. By the time she reaches her house some 30 minutes later, there is a voice mail offering the vehicle for $39,000 if she buys in April and uses FoMoCo Credit for the purchase or lease.
She has decided to wait to test the Audi Q7 and discuss the Q7 (and some others, some American made) diesel offering. And this from two folks who are already Ford customers who have had zero issues (other than that sucking sound at the gas station) with their F150.
I'm waiting for the call that says, "we'll give YOU $39,000 to take it off our hands, just so long as you buy the gasoline from us."
Part 2 follows.
#7213 of 10348 Not quite an Alternative Fuel discussion - Part 2
Apr 21, 2006 (12:29 pm)
Part two of the water cooler debate has to do with the "trickle down" phenomenon.
My father's first brand new car was a 1963 Chrysler Newport. It had three options: Torque-flyte 3-speed Automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes. It had an AM Radio, and manual everything -- it did not have air conditioning even. The Chrysler Imperial's on the lot right next to the Newports had "full power" even the cozy wings were power articulated as was the tuning and station selection on the AM - only radio.
My second Audi, a [new] 1979 Fox GTI, had (hold on to your seats) power brakes, AM/FM mono and "factory A/C" -- that's it. It was the most expensive car I had ever had [that I purchased] to date. My Company car was a 1978 Audi 5000 with "power pack" and a sunroof (crank operated, of course.)
Upstream cars had power steering, brakes, windows, locks, sunroof, mirrors and air conditioning (and on and on) standard or "they were only sold that way." The neighbor with the similarly sized Cadillac (similar to the Newport) had power "everything" compared with our measly brakes and steering assists.
Today, probably for as long as many folks here can remember, even many of the "econo-boxes" come with or are only sold with "full power" and often even the entry level versions are equipped with CD players, anti-lock brakes and even climate control.
Everything: convenience, economy, luxury, performance and safety "features" starts at the "high line" cars and trickles down (more and more rapidly than ever, these days) to the more affordable offerings from the company.
Diesel, one could reasonably conclude will become one of the "it" features or technologies, oh, NEXT TUESDAY, at the current rate of fuel cost escalation.
Several European manufacturers are poised to export these "clean and [more] powerful" versions of their successful LPS cars and then almost immediately follow suit with their more downstream models. As mentioned, it would seem that Daimler-Chrysler engineers and marketing types would be busily figuring out what it will take to adapt and adopt clean, efficient and powerful (and VERY durable) diesel engines -- already proven engines -- into the entire line from Neon to Charger to the new 300D (which, ironically [and perhaps quite fortuitous from a marketing standpoint] will be able to stand for the next generation after "C" and also the first generation of Diesel motivated Chrysler cars.)
Poor GM with the $67,000 Hulks called Escalade V8's with their huge weight and gas sucking ways.
Moreover, Audi [at Sebring] has just proven the possible, if not probable, viability of a Chrysler 300 Turbo - Diesel SRT-8.
The water cooler talk ended with nothing but confusion and, from one staff member, hope that the American MFGR's (specifically Ford and GM) bring similar offerings first to their "rank and file" LPS cars and then quickly trickle down this technology to the "bread and butter" non-LPS vehicles.
Now, where did I put that URL for the "brew your own bio-diesel" kit? Just a sample of some info -- just a sample, can be found here:
Prediction: In May, 2006 gasoline will TOP $3.30 per gallon (for regular) and those of us Premium drinkers will be "regularly" looking at $3.50+ per gallon or, in my case I just translate that to a $70.00 fill up.
The sky's the limit!
Drive it like you live.
#7214 of 10348 Re: Not quite an Alternative Fuel discussion - Part 2 [markcincinnati]
Apr 21, 2006 (2:03 pm)
Those diesels in the Silverados, F-150s, etc, are built for one thing, torque. I doubt NVAH (and smell) are even a moderate consideration when it comes to designing these engines. They're supposed to be work horses, not "luxury trucks" (still an oxymoron if you ask me, no matter how "posh" the F-150 and its Lincoln clone become).
What needs to happen for diesels to go anywhere in this country is somebody besides Volkswagen has to pick up the torch and offer a diesel for the average joe (and advertise). The Jetta TDI is great, but I cant remember seeing a VW commercial actually featuring it. There were plenty of "grown up, sort of" ads, but I dont remember seeing "diesel's grown up as well" in any of them.
America's car companies are Honda and Toyota, but they're of course a bit busy with hybrids. A diesel Mazda3 or Sentra would be a smart move, but I doubt its going to happen any time soon.
#7216 of 10348 2007 5 series
Apr 26, 2006 (10:05 am)
So, Bimmer aficionados, any word on whether the 530i will become the 535i (300 hp) and the 525i will become the 528i (230 hp) for the 2007 MY?
#7217 of 10348 Re: 2007 5 series [jrock65]
Apr 26, 2006 (10:13 am)
I believe there are no changes b/w the 06 and the 07 other than 4 year/50k mile "on-star" and a more cleaner burning engine.
also, got a quote before tax and license for a 07 530 with the following options
How is this deal?
#7218 of 10348 Re: 2007 5 series [low_ball_88]
Apr 26, 2006 (11:42 am)
Did they discontinue the availability of the manual?!?!?!?!
#7219 of 10348 Re: 2007 5 series [low_ball_88]
Apr 26, 2006 (3:13 pm)
I'd say that's a smokin' deal for a 2007. MSRP for that car is $53,645.
#7220 of 10348 This is also a good deal
Apr 27, 2006 (2:11 pm)
On paper... GS450h MSRP = $54900
#7221 of 10348 Re: Goodbye LPS! [liferules]
Apr 28, 2006 (11:34 am)
Personally I hate SUV's, but if I had to buy one, the Cayenne and the Infiniti's would be my top choices as they have a little different style from the usual sun-blocking behemoths out there...
Well the Cayenne and the FX are SUVs in "name" only No way these should be even considered an SUV; and rich545 called it a "truck"
By the way. I traded an FX for an M