Diesel is the New Black in Pickups

March 2nd, 2015 by admin

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It’s all about options and diesel is the option making waves in the pickup truck market these days. In the wake of the Detroit North American International Auto Show and last year’s SEMA show, half-ton diesel pickup options in the Nissan Titan and the Chevrolet Colorado are highly anticipated. Improved fuel economy, increased towing capacity and lower maintenance costs over time make modern clean diesel engines a far cry from their smoke chortling predecessors and the current flavor of the day.

At the recent 2015 Detroit show, 57 automotive journalists selected the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford F-150 as the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year, respectively. Notably, there is a TDI Clean Diesel version of the Golf and many in the truck community are lobbying for Ford to offer consumers a diesel option in the F-150. In noncommittal fashion, Ford has hinted that it could become available in 2018.

In the full-size pickup realm, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, sporting prodigious torque and four-corner air suspension, has been a runaway success for Fiat Chrysler. Parts like Detroit lockers are able to withstand the diesel engine’s monster torque generated while towing. Recent issue with rear-wheel drive models leaking diesel exhaust into the truck cabin may slow the Ram’s roll, but Fiat Chrysler maintains confidence in the vehicle. In fact, the company plans to double the EcoDiesel’s production.

At last November’s SEMA show in Las Vegas the “one-cycle” Niama-Reisser (named after creator Heinz Reisser) CHB-Evo diesel engine made a splash, sporting two cylinders and reimagining the diesel engine design. The CHB-Evo has dual circular “torus” combustion chambers surrounding the crankshaft housed at the engine’s central axis.

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Purporting to provide an over 20% increase in efficiency over traditional designs, a 40% decrease in the engine’s footprint and 5% reduction in emissions is impressive, but another remarkable Niama-Reisser feature has the auto industry abuzz. Units can be stacked together to combine diesel power modularly. Forecasts are for a four-seat vehicle to get up to 200 mpg, with a range of 1,000 miles between refuels.

Toyota was projected to offer a light-duty diesel in the half-ton Tundra, but has indefinitely delayed production because of emissions regulations. As diesels steadily shed their stigma for being gas guzzling, pollution-spewing beasts in the light truck market, questions remain. With heavy duty parts, can formerly astronomical maintenance costs truly be lowered as promised? Will diesel engines achieve a significant reduction in emissions? And most importantly, will consumers view them as both reliable and affordable options?

David Beran is a combustible Copywriter at 4 Wheel Parts, retailer of truck and Jeep parts

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