So last year I got the chance to bomb around in Volkswagen’s Golf GDI. Not GTi, as you might be familiar, but GDI, as in compression ignition, fill it up at a truck stop. I drove the piss out of that little three door, and I couldn’t get it under 32 MPG. That got me thinking – which is no small feat – that the 2.0 turbo oil burner in that Golf would make a mean engine for a budget sportscar – say a Miata competitor. VW must have had the same idea as they came out with a Porsche Boxster-like show car that featured that very same diesel powerplant – albeit amidships.
Of course, something that gets 40 MPG and comes in under 30 grand couldn’t possibly sell. I mean, that had to be the reason why Volkswagen didn’t put the drop top diesel into production, am I right? With gas prices jumping over $4, on their way to 5, getting the most out of each precious gallon is more important now than ever before. Well, maybe during WWII, but that was a different story. And while the goopy stuff that you typically have to pump from that lone, greasy standard out at the edge of the station might be even more expensive than the regular you’re putting in your car today, it typically lets you go twice as far per viscous gallon than the good stuff.
But is an appropriate fuel for a sporting conveyance? After all, diesels are known for Hulk-like torque, not Dremel rev levels. And the noises they make are not typically conducive to open air motoring – the coffee can of marbles being the usual comparative. Those foibles are very real, but are the insurmountable? In Europe, more of the cars they drive are diesel engined, but you don’t see Lotus dropping a smoker in the Elise, now do you? What do you think, are diesel engines and sports cars a match as perfect as peanut butter and dark chocolate? Or are they more like oil-fuel and water? What do you think?
Image source: [Gas2.org]