VW Commemorates the 120th Anniversary of the First Diesel Engine -

VW Commemorates the 120th Anniversary of the First Diesel Engine

It is highly unlikely that Rudolf Diesel — who died 100 years ago this September — could have possibly conceived how the engine bearing his name would revolutionize the world’s energy and transportation platforms

On August 10th, 120 years ago, Rudolf Diesel fired up his first engine that ran on the compression-ignition principle, one that is more commonly known by his surname. The diesel.

It is highly unlikely that Diesel — who died 100 years ago this September — could have possibly conceived how the engine bearing his name would revolutionize the world’s energy and transportation platforms. And, no doubt, he would have been surprised and delighted that more and more car buyers in America are discovering the advantages of Clean Diesel engines: excellent fuel mileage, smooth running, and mid-range torque that gives effortless passing power.

More than 75 percent of the diesel engines that are sold in the passenger car and SUV segments in the United States can be found under the hoods of Volkswagen models. Ever since 1977, when Volkswagen first offered a diesel in the Rabbit, the company has sold more than one million cars and SUVs powered by these engines in the U.S.

So far in 2013, Volkswagen has sold 56,480 TDI® Clean Diesel cars, representing nearly a quarter of the cars it sells. Volkswagen offers Clean Diesel technology in seven different models, six of which get an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or more on the highway. Nearly 40 percent of Passat models sold in July had the 2.0-liter, turbocharged, direct-injection, common-rail TDI engine, which has an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 43 miles per gallon when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. This enables the Passat TDI to go 795 highway miles before needing to refuel.

To demonstrate the benefits of the TDI Clean Diesel engine, two teams of expert drivers recently set mileage records in a Volkswagen Passat TDI with a manual transmission. In 2012, a Passat recorded 1626 miles on a single tank of clean diesel fuel, at an average of 84.1 mpg. This past June, Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger set a new Guinness World Records® achievement for the “lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. States for a non-hybrid car” category at 77.99 mpg after an 8122-mile drive around the country, more than 10 mpg better than the previous mark. The achievement also beat the hybrid vehicle record of 64.6 mpg.

The good diesel news will continue to get even better in 2014, when Volkswagen will introduce its new EA288 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engine, offering both more horsepower and even better gas mileage. At the recent Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan, Oliver Schmidt—Volkswagen’s General Manager of the Office of Engineering and the Environment—confirmed the new engine. “The Volkswagen Group is a leader in clean diesel technology,” said Schmidt. “With the introduction of the new EA288 engine, we are excited that our family of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles is continuing to improve and will be even more clean, fuel efficient, and powerful.”

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