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How Diesel Engines Create So Much Torque While Maintaining Great Economy

How Diesel Engines Create So Much Torque While Maintaining Great Economy

You either have a friend that goes on and on about the benefits their diesel-powered vehicle has to offer over the main-stream gasoline counterparts or we are that friend. The first question that leaps to mind is: do diesel engines really make a difference if we do a side-by-side comparison?


Yes they do.

While diesel engines do carry an infamous history it's almost as tragic that these qualities have continued to be considered facts into modern day. The truth of the matter is that the various advancements in engine design have resulted in a diesel engine that is cleaner and more fuel efficient than gasoline - add to the list that they offer more torque - and you have a product that is ready to impress.

Just how impressed should you be?

Up to 30% more effective than gasoline.


Up to 15% more energy dense and more straightforward in the manner that the energy is utilized thanks to a significantly higher compression ratio with gasoline engines clocking in between 8-12:1. How do diesel engines compare? At a compression ratio scale that starts at 12:1 and can easily exceed 20:1 or higher, well, you can see where we're going with this.

Because of the higher compression, diesel engines can operate without spark plugs entirely - extracting more power from the fuel and offering improved efficiency ratings as well as performance.

Thanks to a stroke length and, in some cases, turbocharged boost features, diesel engines are able to provide more immediate torque to the vehicle than gasoline options with less loss thanks to the increase of pressure - connecting with the crankshaft pin from the centerline and sending energy to move the vehicle forward - with the greater the offset of the crankpin from the centreline offering more perpendicular distance and encouraging more force to be created - often requiring a limitation feature on diesels to keep it the energy consistent.


When we get into turbo-vehicles we find that the fuel inlets allow for a safely timed push of additional fuel into the piston chamber. This increases the length with which fuel interacts with the stroke beyond the normal period and increases the torque output - with more energy being recycled into future feedback loops.

The longer the feedback loop the more efficiency and use of the low RPM, with modern diesel engines really getting a huge boost thanks to electronically-programmed features that can time the process in such a manner that conventional and traditional diesel engines simply lacked. More than this, thanks to improved efficiency there is less environmental impact - which has resulted in automakers electing to add terminology to their diesel engines such as can be seen on the 3.0-litre EcoDiesel present on the recent RAM 1500.

Really, the important thing to recognize is that while diesel many not be as readily available as gasoline across North America, it remains to be more effective and, if we are to believe the forecast for automotive futures, will likely be seeing a renaissance as we move away from clunky and less-effective gasoline options. Whether you're looking at the RAM 2500 and 3500's Cummins Turbo Diesel option or the latest developments across the board, there's no question that vehicles with these qualities have started to remind drivers of what diesel can do for them.


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