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Goodbye, gasoline. Hello, diesel, turbos, and electric cars.

Love them or hate them, diesels, turbocharging, and electric cars will be the new norm for the automotive industry, Read writes. The shift toward smaller, tech-heavy engines has played out in family cars, luxury rides, and even performance models.

By Richard ReadGuest blogger / September 18, 2013

A Mercedes 4 cylinder diesel engine is seen during a media preview day at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters/File


By most accounts, the conventional gasoline engine's days are numbered. Long before electric cars become commonplace, automakers expect to wean themselves off gas-powered powerplants, replacing them with fuel-efficient alternatives.

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On Monday, Ford's Joe Bakaj told Detroit News that the time is coming when most Ford vehicles will come with either a diesel or an EcoBoost engine, the latter of which relies on turbocharging, direct injection, and other innovations to wring mileage from every drop of gas.

Then on Tuesday, Volkswagen said essentially the same thing, claiming that within three or four years, every vehicle in VW's lineup will be either a turbo or a diesel.

And even before these grand pronouncements, we saw this trend migrating across the entire auto industry. Have you looked for a V8 lately? The shift toward smaller, tech-heavy engines has played out in family cars, luxury rides, and even performance models. 


Obviously, turbos and diesels have a number of benefits -- otherwise, automakers would be far less enthusiastic about the switch.

For starters, they're efficient. Diesels, for example, operate at high temperatures. That means that more of the fuel that's pumped into the engine is burned, which boosts output. (Nifty bonus: diesel engines tend to last much longer than conventional ones.)

Turbochargers, on the other hand, force additional air into an engine's combustion chamber. That boost of air means an increase in combustion, which translates to an increase in efficiency: less gas is wasted and more is converted into energy.

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