Diesel Power

From a purely practical, economical — here and now real-time fuel savings standpoint — new clean diesel continues to emerge as the most compelling solution to the US vehicle energy dilemma.

If one-third of all vehicles in America were Clean Diesel — the US would save 1.4 million barrels of oil every day.

The tipping point was 2009 when Volkswagen and Audi got the approval of the California Air Resources Board — the most stringent watchdog of air quality in the world — to sell TDI diesel models in the nation’s leading car buying state.

Today nearly a third of the Volkswagens sold in the US are delivered with the high efficiency diesel engines posting mileage stats well north of 40 mpg. Yes that includes the newly muscled- up but still quintessentially cute 2013 VW Beetle — which comes equipped with a high torque 2 liter 140 horsepower 4 cylinder TDI diesel.

And while there was no breaking out into a spontaneous Jamaican creole — the new VW Beetle is a happy little entry into the resurgent small car segment. With electro mechanical steering, electronic stability control and electronic brake force distribution — the Beetle handles smartly on stylish 17 inch wheels and costs about $28,000.