Compared to gas engines, diesel motors are far less mainstream, mostly appearing under the hoods of work trucks and heavy-duty equipment. But as automakers more readily realize the performance advantages of diesel engines and continue to advance fuel technology, diesel doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Interested in which areas diesel rides beat out gas? ATC’s diesel gurus will walk you through 3 performance advantages that diesel engines provide below.
1. Through-the-Roof Fuel Efficiency
Likely the number 1 benefit that a diesel engine delivers is enhanced fuel efficiency. As a fuel source, diesel can produce more power per unit compared to gasoline (14% more energy by volume, according to a Q and A with GM’s director of global advanced engineering).
This, in addition to other engine treatments, such as turbocharging or advanced fuel injection, allow diesel engines to reach mpg estimates that tower high above their gas-driven counterparts.
2. Torque Is a Diesel Engine’s 1, 2 Punch
In terms of how a diesel vehicle feels to drive with your foot on the pedal, the first thing most people notice is the abundance of low-end power (or torque) that’s on tap. Torque translates its power talents in the form of immediate acceleration off the line and greater hauling power when towing.
The feeling of drawing power from a larger engine under foot and the instant zip up to speed after pausing at a stop sign or traffic light appeals to many consumers while being able to boost payload and towing capabilities is a leading reason why diesel engines dominate truck manufacturer’s model lineups.
Curious about how the Volkswagen scandal affected diesel’s advancement and popularity? Check out ATC’s post on why diesel is still relevant and on the rise.
3. Longer Engine Life Span
Within a diesel engine, instead of igniting a spark plug to get the engine to burn fuel, compressed hot air sets off processes within the engine chamber. Spark plugs are one of the most replaced engine parts in gasoline vehicles, and when they go, they usually don’t go quietly. Removing them from the equation entirely makes diesel engines more reliable in the long run. It also means they’ll require less maintenance along the way.
Plus, to stand up to the extreme pressure levels that occur during combustion, diesel engines are built extra robustly. Let’s just say, if a diesel engine and a gas engine got into a fight, we’d expect the diesel engine to be the heavyweight champ.
Do the Unthinkable with Your Diesel Engine
Durable, heavy duty, and highly efficient, to car and truck lovers, a diesel engine’s performance edge never ceases to amaze.
If you’re a diesel fan, you have to download ATC’s diesel DIY exploration eBook How to Fuel a Diesel Engine with Vegetable Oil. Learn the pros and cons of this near-mythical diesel engine mod from ATC’s diesel technology pros before getting under the hood and getting your hands dirty.
Going diesel? Countless manufacturers offer diesel engine versions of their most popular rides to allow mainstream consumers to experience the power and efficiency of driving diesel. See what makes an engine a clean diesel and which vehicles offer these motors in the U.S here.