Steane Klose | May 26, 2007

You have to hope that the Australian consumer starts to ‘get’ that diesels are a sensible green alternative to the over-complicated and over-priced hybrid options currently available. Ok, diesels generally carry a premium over their petrol engined equivalents but if you are planning on keeping the car for any reasonable length of time the benefits will generally out-weight the added upfront cost. With petrol now sitting at a ridiculous $1.40 per litre and our ACCC AWOL as usual, the diesel option is looking continually more attractive.

Mini have recently announced it will fit some of its ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology to Minis fitted with its new PSA diesel engines. The already fuel efficient diesel is able to achieve an astounding 3.25 litres/100km when making the use of hybrid-like technologies as follows:

• engine stop/start function for when vehicle stationary

• intelligent alternator - only charges battery under low load conditions

• indicator that advises most efficient gear change-up point

The Cooper D as it will be known has a carbon emission figure of 104g/km which is equal to the far more complicated Toyota Prius.

minicooperdbadge.jpg

Given the increasingly tough emissions legislation being introduced in many countries we should expect to see these types of technologies increase significantly over the coming years.

We do not know if the Mini Cooper D will ever see the light of day in Australia. We would like to think that it would but we currently miss out on many diesel alternatives, examples include the new 2007 Toyota Corolla and Nissan Micra to name but two. As we have mentioned in other articles, efficient diesels make so much more sense than the overly complex petrol-electric hybrids. We hope the recent interest in diesels in Australia continues to gain momentum.

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