Here’s another smartly-designed Euro car that gets 125 mpg we’ll probably never get to buy in the United States

We first saw Volkswagen’s plug-in petrol-electric hybrid Cross Coupé concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Now there’s a new Cross Coupé concept to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show this week that use a turbodiesel direct injection engine (TDI) and two electric motors to achieve 1.8 liters per 100 km (around 125 usmpg) with CO2 emissions of just 46 g/km.

The Cross Coupé is proof that achieving 125 mpg is not just the realm of asthmatic shopping trolleys as the 225 kW Cross Coupe has a top speed of 137 mph and a curb weight of 4,096 lb.

The article is from the UK so it notes over 150 mpg. Those are imperial gallons and I’ve converted it to US gallons.

Unfortunately, everyone who builds diesel anything still suffers from the few years that GM offered cars with the worst diesel engines ever made in the history of motor vehicles. They leaked, smoked and drove like crap. German manufacturers have slowly overcome the lousy history – and still only bring in a fraction of the diesel power they’re capable of, that demand requests.

Yes, they sell out everything they offer – but, like everyone else – they don’t have a boatload of confidence in American consumers figuring out the difference.

7 thoughts on “Here’s another smartly-designed Euro car that gets 125 mpg we’ll probably never get to buy in the United States

  1. Richard says:

    Have the German engineers overcome the aspects of diesel emissions that are associated with more severe harm to health than other liquid carbon-based fuels? See, for example, http://arb.ca.gov/research/diesel/diesel-health.htm . Perhaps they have, but if not, then at this stage diesel is not a panacea (though one could understand at European fuel prices and disposable-income levels why it might be attractive to accept the tradeoff in favor of more economy at the expense of somewhat greater health risks).

    • moss says:

      To start, you reference an article a couple years old. Based on data from 1998 – if I’m reading it correctly.

      Since then, the US and to some extent Europeans have changed the formulation of diesel available to the public. Mostly dealing with sulfur content. Since 1998, it’s been upgraded a couple of times.

      While I agree that health effects of diesel can be measurably a degree more damaging than petrol engines, it’s still not a significant number compared to the other measures affected by smog control devices. Which is why it’s not a high priority in the US – and Europe – and in fact Canada.

      From my point of view, reducing the quantitative amount of pollution is at least as important as reducing every component of that pollution.

      • Richard says:

        I think you are misreading the timeliness of the several analyses presented on this current environmental web page prepared by the California state government. While the text notes that the consequences of diesel use were first identified in California as generating pollutants, the estimate of 1,500 to 2,400 premature deaths in California is based on the 2006-2008 period, and some of the linked documentation is more recent than that. Also, as you indicate below, the main problem in the United States with diesel is attributable to trucking — but that is because of the paucity of cars using diesel. More cars would add incrementally to the problem, and every gallon used in a car would be as harmful as a gallon used in a truck (unless there is a technological means of better addressing combustion in cars).

        • Richard says:

          correction: . . . the consequences of diesel use were first identified in California as generating pollutants IN 1998, . . .

          • moss says:

            And you’re failing to factor in passenger miles per gallon v. motor freight miles per gallon. Those trucks are getting 10-12 mpg of diesel. The VW in the article is getting 10 times as many miles traveled per gallon of low-sulfur diesel which was NOT being used in any of the tests you reference.

    • moss says:

      You might note further, the question of particulate pollution from diesel is one of motor freight transportation. The trucking ndustry has been generally unregulated in the US – as I believe it is in Canada. Even so, cost is motivating conversions to diesel-hybrids.

      More significant would be the efforts to convert the motor freight industry to natural gas as a diesel replacement. Easier to do and more dramatic an effect than fiddling with automobiles. At this time.

  2. Mark says:

    225 kW is a pretty massive achievement for a hybrid.

    I drive a VW Golf GTI, which goes like stink and is pretty fuel efficient. This thing steals its pants and handcuffs it to a lamp post.

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