Volkswagen announces that their BlueTDI technology is now ready for the North American market, but is America still unprepared to embrace a diesel car?
The announcement came from VW at the International Vienna Motor Symposium in Austria. The clean burning diesel trumps its own 2006 TDI model in fuel savings by 12%. The reworked 2.0 liter diesel will bring 60mpg to the market while still being 50-state legal. VW had already been approved for Europe by meeting or exceeding their 2009 Euro-5 standards. Now that the VW BlueTDI engine has passed the EPA’s Bin 5/LEV 2 Emissions rules it will now be permitted to stamp its passport for a voyage across the Atlantic.
The new BlueTDI Jetta arrives on the North American shores pushing 138-hp and 236-ft lbs of torque; both superior improvements in performance over the 2006 model. The last TDI engine for the VW sold in 2006 had 100-hp and 170-ft lbs of torque. As the 2006 model sold for about $24-26,ooo in the US when new, what will the mark-up be on the new BlueTDI? Reports say that the diesel engine will be a scant $2,000 over the MSRP of its gasoline brother.
…Photos and Fuel Mileage comparison after the leap…
The new Jetta BlueTDI has a number of features that help make it the cleanest burning diesel to come to North America from VW, but it seems as though low emissions are only an EPA and state government concern. If low emissions were the priority of more car and SUV buyers then the few PZEV vehicles sold in the US would have been more popular. Does anyone here know someone driving a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle? So for the new Jetta BlueTDI to really make an impact in the US VW will need to tout the fuel mileage/added cost ratio.
For the sake of argument, if you are shopping a new VW Jetta and are comparing a gasoline SE version to a Diesel SE version it might look something like this. The Jetta SE will have an average price of $22,000 and come with a gasoline fueled 2.0 liter 4-cylinder pumping out 200-hp and 207-torque. The gasoline Jetta SE also averages in fuel mileage 29mpg highway. For a gasoline powered, average sedan those are not bad numbers. However, let us compare that to the new BlueTDI option.
The new Jetta BlueTDI is again the 2.0 liter diesel 4-cylinder with only 138-hp, but a good 238-torque. However, the BlueTDI achieves a pleasing 60mpg on the highway. For a $2,000 increase in MSRP you are doubling the fuel mileage of the gasoline powered Jetta. Now if diesel fuel cost double that of gasoline in the US then it would be a moot point; gasoline wins. As it stands now diesel averages about .60 cents more at the pumps over regular unleaded fuel.
So the basic questions becomes, would you be willing to pay a $2,000 premium and .60 cents more a gallon to achieve twice the fuel mileage? More than likely, most of us on the road today are not even achieving 29mpg on the highway with the car we are driving. Remove the vision of stinky plumes of smoke being emitted from the diesel exhuast, as those days have passed. Is the switch to some cleaner burning, more fuel efficient diesel vehicles beginning to make some sense? Add some hope for biofuels that do not effect our food sources and the future begins to look a little Greener.