All posts by JJ

Renault set to be first with diesel hot-hatch

French car maker Renault is introducing Australia’s first genuine hot-hatch powered by a diesel engine in the form of the Megane RS dCi.

Renault will launch a diesel-powered version of its Megane RS hot-hatch in October.

The move to bring diesel performance to the hot-hatch market is indicative of heightened environmental awareness and an increased focus on reduced running costs.

The RenaultSport Megane RS dCi will come in five-door guise only and will be powered by a 127kW, 360NM 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine.

The engine is the same unit that will debut locally on Renault’s Koleos softroader in September 2008.

Renault claims the RS dCi will complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 8.3 seconds, nearly two seconds slower than the turbocharged petrol version. But what it loses in straight-line performance, it makes up in fuel economy, sipping just 6.5 litres of diesel per 100km.

The new model is the latest in a rash of sporty diesel hatches from European makers, although the Megane RS dCi would become the first genuine hot-hatch with diesel power to reach Australia. Volkswagen sells a diesel version of its Golf GT sporty hatch but not its GTI hot-hatch. Continue reading Renault set to be first with diesel hot-hatch

An amazingly timely quote by Rudolph diesel. The inventor of the Diesel engine

In 1912 he stated: “The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it” and that “The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time.”

A brief history of diesel begins with Rudolf Diesel the inventor. Rudolf Diesel was born in 1858 in Paris, France and educated at Munich Polytechnic. After graduation he became a refrigerator engineer, but didn’t enjoy it as much as his true love of engine design. Continue reading An amazingly timely quote by Rudolph diesel. The inventor of the Diesel engine

BMW 535d. A headbanger of a diesel. PistonHeads review.

Nick Hall reckons the bi-turbo 535d, the 530i’s evil twin, is faster, stronger and has more torque than the high-revving M5

We all know that diesels have come a long way from the rattling tractors of days gone by, but somewhere along the line they have quietly usurped the petrol-powered alternatives. That was the shocking conclusion a few of us faced after testing the sublime BMW 535d on the highways and byways of Southern Spain. Continue reading BMW 535d. A headbanger of a diesel. PistonHeads review.

Sneak review of the Audi R8 V12 TDI: By PistonHeads.

Audi is serious about making a diesel supercar. Kevin Hackett finds out what it would be like…

Speed, as we say at PistonHeads, matters. There’s simply nothing quite like it to make a driver feel alive; the sensation of dropping a gear, flooring the loud pedal and being pinned into your seat is what it’s all about for many of us. And what is the fuel we need for these thrills; the lead we need in our pencils; the blood we must have in our veins? Petrol. Continue reading Sneak review of the Audi R8 V12 TDI: By PistonHeads.

Ford Mondeo TDCi Auto review. By CarPoint.

By: Ken Gratton.

Coupled to a six-speed automatic, the 2.0-litre turbodiesel from the Focus is horsepower of a different colour in the medium segment Mondeo

RRP: $37,990
Price as tested: $40,340
(includes Tango metallic paint $350 and Napoli leather $2000)
Crash rating: five-star EuroNCAP
Fuel: diesel
Claimed fuel economy (L/100km): 7.3
CO2 emissions (g/km): 193

Overall rating: 3.0/5.0
Engine/Drivetrain/Chassis: 3.0/5.0
Price, Packaging and Practicality: 4.0/5.0
Safety: 3.0/5.0
Behind the wheel: 3.5/5.0
X-factor: 3.5/5.0

There’s a magic number that appears to be ideal for peak torque in midsize diesel cars — 320. Ford’s Mondeo TDCi develops that output (in Nm) between 1750-2240rpm, according to Ford’s own stats.

And every other diesel that even comes close to competing with the Ford in the VFACTS medium car segment also develops 320Nm. Just to add fuel to this twisted conspiracy theory, all the diesel Mondeo’s competitors hail from Europe (at least until the latest Mazda6 gets a diesel under the hood) and they’re all five-star NCAP rated for safety. Suspicious, non?

But there the parallels end. Compared with its competitors, the Mondeo is up to almost $10,000 cheaper (and about $4500 cheaper than the competitor closest in price). It’s larger in every dimension than its competitors and tends to be better equipped, across the board. Where a competitor has a feature the Mondeo lacks, the Ford can be specified with that feature as an option and still undercut the competitor on price.

So right about now you’re thinking the Mondeo represents good value and offers known-quantity chassis dynamics. Must be a lay-down misère, qui?

Well, it’s not quite that cut-and-dried. One of our fraternity regards the Mondeo TDCi as the best variant in the Mondeo range. With all due respect to our comrade, we don’t necessarily subscribe to that view. The XR5 tested a few months ago is still the pick of the bunch for its sporting orientation, in the opinion of this reviewer. Continue reading Ford Mondeo TDCi Auto review. By CarPoint.

CarAdvice.com.au reviews the 2008 Peugeot 207 Touring HDi

2008 Peugeot 207 HDi

 

Model tested: Peugeot 207 HDi Touring

Recommended Retail Price: $29,790

Options fitted: CD stacker ($590); alloy wheels ($900); cruise control and speed limiter ($250).

plus.jpg Handling; brakes; fuel economy; easy to drive; looks brilliant; panoramic glass roof.

minus.jpg Underpowered when loaded; air conditioner on hot days

CarAdvice rating: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gif(3.50)

– Review and photos by Paul Maric & Alborz Fallah

Read the full road test here: http://www.caradvice.com.au/12378/2008-peugeot-207-hdi-touring-review/

Paul:

I’ve sampled quite a few different diesel Peugeot variants and up until this point, I was convinced they had it right. They hit the perfect mix between economy and power – that was until I drove the new 207 HDi Touring.

2008 Peugeot 207 HDi

In theory, the car works very well. It’s spacious enough to fit a small family and its belongings, and on paper it’s frugal enough to keep the finance manager happy at the end of the month. But one area it lacks – and quite noticeably – is when the car is loaded full of people and expected to perform. At certain times, it felt as though Peugeot had focused on getting the best fuel efficiency out of this engine, opposed to building it for drivability.

After loading five people into the car with some luggage, the 40-degree day required the added assistance of air conditioning. Coming onto the freeway onramp, I progressively increased the throttle from a standing start and received next to nothing in return. The lack of power was daunting at times. Plenty of forethought was required before even attempting any overtaking manoeuvres or pulling out in busy traffic.

2008 Peugeot 207 HDi

In a way, the engine shouldn’t be the sole determinant of a car’s abilities. But, in this case – seeing as it’s built as a family car – the engine is the car’s Achilles heel. Continue reading CarAdvice.com.au reviews the 2008 Peugeot 207 Touring HDi