Can 'Diesel' Really Be Part of Our Vocabulary?

"2007 - The Year Of The Diesel Hot Hatch"

Looking forward to a new year always requires a look back at the trends that developed last year.

What was cutting edge in the automotive industry in the first 6 months of 2006 is bound to be main stream come August.

Perhaps the most surprising trend is the introduction of the diesel hot hatch.

I guess we all knew subconsciously that it would come, maybe we tried to convince ourselves that oil-burners could never give us that grin inducing performance. But it is here, and it's only going to become more important.

I guess we all knew subconsciously that it would come, maybe we tried to convince ourselves that oil-burners could never give us that grin inducing performance.

Seat were the first to introduce a true Diesel hot hatch in the guise of the Cupra. An amazing car producing 170bhp from a 2.0 TDi, while returning anything up to 70mpg (my mate has one and he swears it does this).

Of course high performance diesels are not new. BMW, Mercedes and Audi have been making some unbelievably good diesels in 2.5 and 3.0 litre form for a couple of years. However when we start getting accessible diesels, modders have to ask themselves are they prepared to switch to oil?

Hopefully TorqueCars can be at the forefont in helping you decide. We will be reporting on the new Leon, Golf, Astra, Alfa 147 and 159 Diesels over the next few weeks, as well as discussing the merits of some the older diesel options.

In the meantime, it may sound like sacrilege to even consider a diesel, and to be honest we aren't exactly sold on the idea ourselves.

Recent advances in diesel engines with variable fuel pressure rails, stop start and regenerative braking have added even more economy to diesel engines.

Even when you drive a diesel quite hard it will still return fantastic MPG compared to a petrol engine. It is actually quite hard to ignore diesel engines, thankfully some of the diesel innovations like direct injection are moving over to petrol engines.

It will not be long before we see production diesel engines producing 100mpg, many manufacturers are beating 70 mpg already.So you can half your fuel costs but still enjoy the same performance levels.

Newer diesel engines are much much cleaner, they have better fuel management, and pollution reduction measures but lots of short journeys can lead to clogging up of the DPF (Diesel particulate filter). See our guide on how to clean a DPF for more info.

But think of this...if you do 10,000 miles a year in your modded car then switching to a diesel could save you over £500 a year just in fuel - in my book that's an uprated ECU in year 1, and a nitrous kit in year 2! Hmm...let us know your thoughts.

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