The last round of fleet trucks we purchased, (3/4 and 1 tons), ran about $5K more per vehicle for the diesels compared to gas.
There are trade-offs for the advantages diesels offer. Higher initial cost. More expensive repairs. Even though maintenance intervals are fewer they're more expensive when they do occur. The last few years diesel regs have tightened up forcing manufacturers to change things up more rapidly than they'd like, making new owners guinea pigs for the latest stuff rolled out. The huge annoyance around here is cold weather starting. Yes, diesels start fine in the cold when everything is nice and new and functioning properly. But if anything is even slightly awry and it's below zero....you're not going anywhere right away. In addition to our Ford trucks used for service vehicles and delivery, we've got half a dozen Sprinter vans with the Mercedes diesels for road salesmen. There have been more than a few times this winter when bays have been tied up with sales vehicles that wouldn't start.
You do get more for them at trade-in time, but not nearly as much as the initial cost difference was. And despite what the car lot guy says, you won't necessarily get "twice the life at least" out of the diesel. Many owners end up getting, (what seems like a lot), more miles out of their diesel rig than they would have gotten with gasoline....but they're often stuck having to because of the investment they have in it. Even if the powerplant is up to 250,000+ miles of use, everything else is falling apart anyway.....if the truck is indeed being used as a truck.
I like 'em, don't get me wrong....but I don't think we've seen one yet "pay for itself" compared to a gasoline vehicle all things considered.
Depending on where you are and what the local market is, your situation could be very different.
We have a lot of equipment with Deutz power, and I like them a lot. Big, simple, noisy, anvil-like reliable. Just for fun I'd like to mount one in the back of a cheap small truck to drive back and forth to work.
Yeah, it's air cooled. The later models have a horizontally-mounted oil cooler across the top of that blower housing making them air/oil cooled. That's one of the big advantages of the Deutz in industrial applications. They completely eliminate one whole category of maintenance/repair issues. No coolant system issues to worry about.
Here's a V-12 that someone transplanted into a tractor. It's only around 250 hp, but they're so overbuilt and lightly stressed....they could be easily bumped up in output without suffering any consequences.
Up until the mid 1990's all Diesel's used all mechanical fuel injection. I really like these vehicles because there are no sensors, computers and associated wiring. No spark plugs to change, or any other ignition system maintenance. There is also very little maintenance.
Then there is the fuel flexibility of these older Diesel's. Diesel fuel, kerosene, transmission fluid, vegetable oil, etc... can all be used (when properly setup).
I've owned nothing but Diesel's for 4 or 5 years now and I'm very happy with them.
In Germany 95% of the cars sold is Diesel. The diesel technology came a VERY long way in the last few years. And I am not talking about diesels used in trucks or vans, but diesels in what we call PKW here (normal passenger cars).
Mercedes Benz just annoused a new diesel engine for example:
204 bhp and 4000 rpm and 500 Nm at 1600-1800 rpm (don't know how much that is in ft/lbs, sorry). And that's figures from a 2.2l (2148 cc) 4 cylinder engine!!
Toyota has a diesel model on the market called the D4D. This is also a 2.2 4 cylinder engine with 180 bhp and 400 Nm of torque.
The disadvantage about these diesel engines is that it's harder to mate them with automatic gearboxes, it would rank up the price significantly. And since most Europeans use or even prefer manual transmissions, hardly any cars are on the market that are automatics and turbo diesel. (exception is Volkswagen/audi/bmw and some other handful of models)
Diesels have the advantage that they require less maintance, and they also have better mileage! When a particle filter is installed they even get better emission values then gasoline engines.
Noise used to be an issue with Diesels. Nowadays this almost completed got eliminated thanks to multijet technology. Diesels got a lot complexer and smarter, but that's in no way different to the route gas engines are taken. Computerised, high spec engines!
But this is just my $0.02 .
(for comparison, I do NOT own a diesel. This has to do with the fact that my wife cannot drive manuals and therefor the selection of vehicles here in European with diesel is too limited and not to my liking.)
whats wrong with 350 ft-lb of torque? .. that's enough to tow your house behind you (as a figure of speech). This ofcourse is the top model diesel. They also come in 140 hp version of the same 2.2l displacement.
What makes you say a gasoline car is still more advantageous over diesel? Diesels are cleaner and have more torque nowadays then their gasoline counterparts.
In comparison. My wife and I have a Fiat Stilo Abarth (Italian car) with a 2.4L 5 cylinder gasoline motor. It puts out 180 bhp and 'ONLY' 230 Nm (230 Nm is not a little). That new Mercedes Benz engine gets twice the torque, and that at only 1600rpm!!
Nothing's wrong with torque. Torque has its place. Which is why I said that 204HP and 350 ft-lbs sounds like a truck motor. I simply said that for performance engines gasoline is still advantageous over diesel. If I ever need a big truck, I'd surely get a diesel. But for a passenger car, gasoline is the way to go.
Passenger cars get by just great on diesel though. Not for pulling power only though. But they also get better mileage and have a longer lifetime. No reason not to have diesel really . I just wish there were more turbo diesel engines mated with a automatic gearbox. They are sort of rare (at least here in Europe) and that sucks really.
I think passenger cars are also fine on diesel. You could technically even have a true performance vehicle on diesel but it would be a very different experience compared to what most in the states are used to. Diesel is great for all applications but performance...then it's more tuning and preference. I still don't foresee too many performance diesels out there even though a few do exist at this time.
Seat (pronounced Say-Ahtt) has some 'performance' diesels out on the market. Basically its a sport version of their Leon (model name) and then have a tuned diesel in it. Top Gear covered them once or twice, putting them up to their gasoline counterpart and the diesel actually managed to win it. Don't expect corvette figures or so though.
I agree that diesels make good station cars. If you're unfamiliar with the term Chilltake, in the states it's a reference to a car used for basic transport. A no-frills people mover. I guess it would be akin to a Euro-style "citi-car" but not necessarily so small. I don't expect you to do the conversiions, but if you're interested 1 Nm is .7376 ft-lbs.
The R10 is an awesome car, but also has hundreds of millions of racing R&D behind it. I'd be very interested in seeing the R8 concept, but that too I'm sure will have a righteous price tag. Affordable performance from diesel engines is still some time off in the future. That's not to say it isn't possible, or even coming. But the technology as it stands has not made it as far as has Gasoline. This is partially because the development of diesel has been procrastinated on by almost all of the fuel suppiers as well as the auto manufacturers.
Either way, I'd love to see affordable diesel performance, if only because it allows just another avenue for performance enthusiasts like myself.
My next vehicle will very likely be diesel (other than moto bikes). I will also likely refine my own veggie fuel. Seems like a win win for everyone. Better mileage, cheap, and I can make tons of soap like donniej