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Old 05-04-2011, 08:26 PM   #42 (permalink)
50 mpg Fiat 500 Project
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'99 Ford ZX2 S/R - zonker - '99 Ford Escort ZX2 S/R
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Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
That's because it doesn't really make sense and doesn't hold up.

Many Euro cars are just as crash-worthy if not more so than US cars or the next Korean import.
Then there's the models that do get exported to the US.
While we mostly buy them with the smaller engines, often 2L and less, these aren't even imported in US - you get the top-of-the-range power/displacement engines, and only those.

Lets take the BMW 3 series Sedan.
It gets sold in the US, so it does meet the US crash requirements.
US : 28 mpg at best, in the 2.8i , 3L, 230 HP version
EU : 37.3 mpg , 316i 1.6L, 122 HP petrol version; and if they would let you have them, the 52.3mpg 316d 2L diesel with 116HP

Clearly, it's not really a matter of crash requirements.

Next there is the protectionist ways to keep out diesels in quite a few states, under the guise of environmental protection - while big pick-up trucks with diesels can freely be sold despite polluting far more.

Yes, there is additional NOx and soot (filtered out these days) output with diesels, so it isn't the optimal solution in the long run, but it can help solve part of the problem for the time being.
I too think we could go a long way in making things easier by standardizing goverment standards across the board, however it still would keep a number of the better diesel alternatives from reaching our shores.

our grade of diesel fuel is not as refined as the diesel sold in EU. The US has/is in the process of upgrading the quality of diesel here but so far only to a cost effective point.

Higher quality diesel means higher priced diesel, and the US trucking industry is not a happy camper with that scenario since it will price themselves uncompetitive with rail. Now you know why Warren Buffet invested heavily in rail ;-)

To allow for direct injection diesel motors to reliably work here (direct injection is the key to those wUnder-diesels), more refining and even higher cost is required. This even has to do with the quality of the crude oil itself... part of the reason Libya (higher quality crude) is more important to the welfare of EU than to the US.

Theres also the question of whether the US public would jump ship to an oil burner, due to it's lower likelihood of finding a diesel station than a gasoline one. Women find the odor nasty, and the truck stops that sell them equally so.
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