Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Mark asks: Do you remember the Moody Diesel from the 1970s or 1980s? They put a diesel engine in a Mercury Capri, the mechanical twin to the Fox body Mustang, that got 85 mpg. I remember seeing it on the news one night long ago, and then we never heard about it again. What happened to it? Seems to me that, if Uncle is so concerned about fuel economy, that would a solution.
My reply: Well, Uncle isn’t really “concerned” about gas mileage – leaving aside the question as to whether the gas mileage achieved by our cars, which we pay for, is any of his legitimate business. The MPG fatwas are a pretext for Uncle’s real concern – which is to drive us out of our cars, by making them unaffordable via regulatory compliance costs.
Ok, that said…
I’m not familiar with the Moody diesels. I am, however, depressed by what I know the diesels available right now are capable of. Which is average mileage of 70 MPG or even better. VW was working on a commuter car with just such capability – but it has been kiboshed by the “cheating” inquisition.
Heck, an ordinary TDI engine such as was available in the Jetta, Golf and Beetle until 2016 could deliver 50-plus MPG, competitive with a hybrid but for thousands less. And tens of thousands less than an electric car.
I am convinced that diesels were targeted for termination in passenger cars especially because of the mortal threat they represented to EVs. They had none of the functional gimps and cost much less and lasted much longer. If they had been allowed to remain on the market, very few people would be buying EVs or even hybrids, except the small number of people willing to pay a lot extra for the tech – and who can afford to indulge their interest in the tech.
Or to virtue signal.
Most people, on the other hand, buy based on considerations of cost and practicality – according to which criteria the diesel-engined car stomps the EV and hybrid into the ground.
. . .
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I remember reading the reviews of VW’s modern Diesels, and they were indeed impressive. Unlike the Rabbit Diesel of decades ago, the Golf Diesel offers both economy AND spirited performance. Because of the Diesel’s torque, the Golf would offer comparable performance to a gasoline powered car, while returning 50 mpg-wow! One of the big car mags did a comparo of a gasoline powered Golf vs. a Diesel Golf, and took the cars on a road trip around Germany. The Diesel Golf did well, and it stacked up favorably with its gasoline powered counterpart. I’m sorry it’s no longer available.