Diesel Car Preview for 2014-15

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CHRYSLER

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel

Chrysler’s Jeep unit became the first U.S. manufacturer to formally announce its return to diesel after a far shorter hiatus than General Motors’, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel, powered by a V6 diesel courtesy of parent Fiat, hasn’t yet made an appearance in showrooms.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee was redesigned for 2014 and now is available with a new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine.  Chrysler says that the diesel-powered Jeep will deliver 30 mpg (7.8 l/100 km), giving the SUV a driving range of 730 miles (1,175 kilometers).  By comparison, the gasoline-powered V-6 variant has a highway fuel economy rating of 25 mpg (9.4 l/100 km), giving the diesel a 17% edge.

The diesel V-6 is mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission designed for greater fuel efficiency.  It also improves the Grand Cherokee 4×4’s performance with a lower crawl ratio.

The 24-valve dual-overhead cam 3.0-liter diesel engine produces 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque while promising low CO2 emissions.

The diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow 7,400 pounds (3,356 kilograms) and the 4×2 model will achieve 21 mpg (11.2 l/100 km) in city driving with 30 mpg (7.8 l/100 km) on the highway.  The 4×4 model is expected to get 20 mpg (11.7 l/100 km) in the city and 28 mpg (8.4 l/100 km) on the highway.

Chrysler executives told The Diesel Driver that other models may also get the turbo V6, including the all-new 2014 Cherokee.

MAZDA

The 2014 Mazda Mazda6

The 2014 Mazda Mazda6

Mazda is no stranger to innovative powerplants: it popularized the Wankel rotary engine in the 1960s.  More recently, the Japanese automaker introduced the Skyactiv-D 2.2L diesel engine in its home market, where it was the first diesel engine on the market to meet that country’s stringent new emissions standards without requiring expensive urea after-treatment technology to reduce nitrogen oxide.

Last December, at the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show, Mazda said it will enter the U.S. diesel market in late 2013, with the 2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D.

When it arrives, the all-new for 2014 Mazda6 will be the first Asian diesel to be sold in the U.S.  It’s also one of the few diesel passenger cars that does not require a urea after-treatment system to comply with nitrous-oxide emissions standards in the U.S. Mazda credits this to the 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine’s unprecedented low 14:1 compression ratio.

Power and fuel economy figures for the U.S.-bound model have not yet been finalized, nor have fuel economy estimates, but the 2.2-liter engine in other markets is rated at 173 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, with fuel economy of 44 mpg (5.3 l/100 km).  According to Mazda, the version slated to be sold here will be 10% lighter than its foreign counterparts, and will have a higher output with lower emissions.

MASERATI

Back in April, Maserati debuted its first diesel automobile, the Ghibli, at the Shanghai Auto Show.  In addition to the 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel (the same VM Motori diesel engine that is available in the European version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee as well as the Nacia Thema), there’s also a 3.0-liter V6 petrol variant.  Both will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The four-door Ghibli is designed to be a more sporty alternative to the larger Maserati Quattroporte, and the diesel version will compete with the BMW 535d, Audi A6 TDI, and Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec 4Matic in the States.

Click here to continue to Page 4Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen

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