New diesel tech gives gas-guzzlers real competition.
In the 1970s, Americans had a love/hate relationship with diesel cars. Though more fuel-efficient than their gas cousins, the cars were noisy, underpowered, smog-belching reminders of just how badly the fuel crisis had crippled the nation. By the mid-’90s, lower gas prices all but banished them from U.S. showrooms.
Meanwhile European carmakers, spurred by diesel-friendly tax structures, kept at it. They traded sloppy mechanical fuel injection for high-pressure electronic systems that better atomize fuel.