Post Tagged with: "diesel"
by Peter Dushenski @carenvy
The Devil is Christianity’s disincentive manifest.
For followers of the infinitely compassionate Jesus, lusting after your neighbour’s new Cayman S is punished with an eternity of soot and sweat in your eyes. It’s that severe. For followers of Gautama Buddha, the shadowy tempter Mara provides a similar embodiment of evil action. He’s also not very nice. Judaism and Hinduism lack such a manifestation of poor behaviour, perhaps because they both prefer to trade in intangibles, but the notion of the Devil has now permeated global culture. Transcending boundaries, Satan, Lucifer, and The Prince of Darkness are synonyms for the absolute pinnacle of perversion.
If you’ve ever watched Top Gear, you were probably appalled when Jeremy, James, and Richard referred to diesel as the “Devil’s Fuel”. Could they have been talking about the same torquey elixir that motivates our trailer-pulling trucks up the steepest of slopes? Wasn’t diesel a fun way of being efficient? Not for European folk, it seems. For them, regardless of religious background, diesel is the devil.
Ironically, we Canadians hold it in the highest of regards. Our finest and most capable trucks, plastered with iconic nameplates like “Cummins”, “PowerStroke”, and “Duramax”, all swill the stuff. And that’s just the domestics, the German companies that sell diesels here can’t import them fast enough. Mercedes Canada could stop selling their gas-powered SUVs tomorrow and their salesmen wouldn’t even notice. And we all have a friend with a diesel-powered Golf or Jetta who drove cross-country on 3 tanks, making the kind of history he won’t shut up about.
Jean jacket-wearing Canucks look at the efficiency figures, feel the rich kick of torque, and book summer flights to Europe just for the chance to see the bloody things. Compared to granola-pounding Prii, diesel cars offer an unmatched sense of Eurochicness and pump-hopping pride. Surprise, surprise, we can’t get enough!
by Tom Sedens (wildsau.ca)
This is a VW Rabbit adventure story.
It’s not so much about VWs, or Rabbits, or adventures specifically. It’s about a particular Rabbit. And how it helped carve indelible memories into my life’s storyboard throughout the two years I owned it.
Let me start at the beginning.
It started off tongue-in-cheek.
It was a joke between Dave and I. “We should go on a trip”, he demurely proposed at one of the High Holidays this past fall. It sounded like a reasonable enough idea; Dave and I, once bosom pals, hadn’t seen much of each other since he moved to Saskatoon for a job 9 months earlier.
His pitch: Fly to Vegas. “Uhhh, I’m not convinced…” I replied. I figured that Vegas was the last place in the world that two former poker addicts, who supported each others’ habits for a destructive number of years, should travel. It would be like giving Charlie Sheen a pound of fluffy Colombian snow and telling him to use it responsibly.
Plan B: I would drive 600 km from Edmonton to Saskatoon, sleep on Dave’s couch, we’d drive 800 km to Winnipeg the next day, sleep on his friend Jess’ couch for 3 nights, then back to Saskatoon for a visit with Dave’s couch, before heading back to Edmonton the following morning. This pie-in-the-sky idea was supposedly a way for us to relive our glory days, minus the poker.
And then it actually happened.
Let’s first establish why this is my kind of camionette. Pininfarina design, pistachio gelato paint, French joie de vivre, a reputation for durability (strange, but true), and a four-cylinder under the hood that might even sip diesel. I could go on, easy, but I’ll stop before I work myself up into too much of a frenzy. There is simply nothing more I could want from a camionette (or “pick-up truck”, in case you can’t find a Babel Fish to stick in your ear), other than to own one rather than look at one, of course.
This ode to functional simplicity was found not far from the dusty black Citroën DS, just across the Tagus river that separates Almada from Lisbon, in fact. I stumbled across is just as I was leaving the Theives’ Market. The only thing that was stolen was my heart.
People who know me know I have a problem. I collect old BMWs, specifically the models fewer people care about. I have had E3 (the Bavarias) and E12 (the first 5 Series) sedans, as well as one garden-variety 1985 535i. Anything with an ‘M’ prefix? Nope. A beautiful CS coupe? Not yet. The iconic 2002? One, briefly, in ‘tii’ form though I never drove it because the burning oil fumes would get sucked into the cabin through the rotted spare tire well.
I don’t care, because the cars that have stuck around are like family members. Like Max the 1972 Bavaria and Chuck the 1981 528i, owned 12 and 10 years, respectively.
Relatively recently, we shipped the 528i from California to its new home in Minnesota. While it is straight and rust-free, and sports a freshly-rebuilt 3.5-litre engine, Chuck has lots of needs. And those needs, apparently, required a donor. Enter one 1976 530i, also known as Sam the rusty parts car, purchased over the summer and driven around since.
Recently, however, Sam shuffled off his mortal coil due in no small part to the liberal application of wrenches and sockets. Yes, it was time for him to donate his remaining worthy bits for the potential betterment of the other children. Kind of like the Donner party, but with a transmission and dashboard instead of legs and a spleen.
The Rabbit is dead. Long live the Golf. The MkVI (sixth-generation) is finally here in Canada and we’re even getting the diesel engine! Yes, it’s the same engine you could find in the MkV Jetta, but now you can have it in the more compact Golf package. The previous generation Golf (a.k.a. Rabbit) wasn’t available with the 2.0TDI engine, so it’s been six years since Canadians could buy a diesel Golf. The rest of the line-up carries over the 170hp 2.5L five-cylinder.
Also refreshed are the Golf Wagon (formerly Jetta Wagon) and the GTI. Unfortunately, Canadians won’t be getting the more powerful 210hp GTI engine the Europeans get. Instead, we get the carryover engine from the last few years with 200hp.
Ok, that’s enough ranting and raving about engines, what about the other models? And how do the prices stack up?
Hmm. It seems that in the last 70 years, the Dutch have reneged on their once noble proclamation of neutrality. For where they would previously stand by and let the Germans march through their territory towards France and Britain, now, they’ve sent their own citizen soldiers East to conquer Germany. Not militaristically, of course, that just wouldn’t do, but with designers.
Exhibit A: Adrian von Hooydonk, Dutch designer for BMW. Exhibit B: The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept designed by Exhibit A.
Now that we’ve placed everything in the perspective of history, I’d like to ask you to please put in your earplugs. You’ll need them for what’s below.
By Kevin Harrison
There are a lot of things about North Americans that I really don’t get. For instance why do we like Walmart enough that it has to be open 24 hours? Have you ever bolted up at 4 am wanting to buy a new set of silverware?
Likewise, why are we so opposed to diesels? For some reason we’ve asphyxiated them with a bad reputation, and as a result, North Americans have not responded well to them.
This attitude is in complete contrast to Europe where selling a car without a diesel option is like ordering a hamburger at a Chinese restaurant – it just doesn’t make sense.
VW has been trying for decades to make diesels more mainstream in our market but they hit a bit of a snag in 2007 when stricter emission standards forced them to axe their diesel and revamp it. During that period TDI’s were missing in action in our market.
But they’re back for 2009, and VW promises them to be even more powerful yet more efficient than before.