Renault's senior engineers suggest further investment into diesel engines for smaller cars won't be viable by the end of the decade
7 September 2016

Senior automotive engineers are hinting at a bleak future for diesel engines over the next few years, especially in smaller cars and non-premium models, as the engineering cost of meeting new ‘real-world’ pollution testing rockets.

According to a Reuters report last week, Renault’s senior management held a meeting  at the beginning of the summer where it was suggested that further major investment in diesel engines for superminis and most Mégane-sized family hatches would be forced to come to an end before the end of the decade.

It’s thought that a new testing regime due in 2019 would mean ‘super-clean’ diesel engines would no longer be financially viable for the less expensive vehicles that make up the majority of the brand’s European sales.

These cost pressures make it likely that suitable diesel engines could only be fitted into the most expensive Mégane models and other higher-priced brand vehicles such as the Espace, according to Reuters.

Autocar has also spoken to a hybrid engineer working on electric turbocharging technology who also predicted that the diesel engine would eventually "become a premium drivetrain".

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In the latest edition of Audi’s internal technology magazine, technical development boss Stefan Knirsch seems to hint at a similar outcome.

Asked whether Audi diesel engines "are gradually approaching the end of development options", Knirsch says he is "still convinced diesel has great technical potential". However, he makes a clear hint about less expensive four-cylinder diesels being under threat. 

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19

7 September 2016
And this is coming from a French company who were at the forefront of pumping out diesels on the European market. I still can't believe people paid £1,100'ish over the odds for a small diesel and only ended up doing 9,000 miles a year. Anyhow it sounds like the start of a death rattle (no pun intended) for diesel, RIP (that's Rattle in Peace)

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

7 September 2016
Like that. People were herded into buying diesels thanks to diesel friendly taxation both for private and fleet buyers much of that is still in place. Now rising cost is threatening to see diesel out in addition to rising awareness thanks to Volkswagen dirtier than conceivable diesel scam.

7 September 2016
xxxx you get most if not all of that extra £1,100ish back on resale through better residuals, so with the lower road tax and better fuel economy you are quids in with the diesel no matter how many miles you do.

7 September 2016
lamcote wrote:

xxxx you get most if not all of that extra £1,100ish back on resale through better residuals, so with the lower road tax and better fuel economy you are quids in with the diesel no matter how many miles you do.

Residuals-not any more you don't (especially for smaller cars). Lower road tax - the difference for most cars is usually between £20-£40 a year. e.g. A3 1.4 cod £40'ish a year A3 150hp diesel £20'ish a year. You were grasping for straws on that last point

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

7 September 2016
When I looked to change my car recently diesel prices were noticeably higher for equivalent models.

7 September 2016
"There's not much in it, but the best power option to go for is a petrol/electric hybrid, as these cars retain 39.3 per cent of their value, compared to 38.9 per cent for diesels and 38.3 per cent for normal petrol cars. However those are CAP’s averaged-out figures across the industry, and the differences can be far bigger between diesel and petrol variants in the same model range. Nobody wants a thirsty petrol people carrier when there’s a super-frugal oil-burner available, for instance. "

Auto Express 2016...

7 September 2016
lamcote wrote:

When I looked to change my car recently diesel prices were noticeably higher for equivalent models.

This has always been the case, which is why it has always been recommended that you have to do the mileage to make the extra initial cost worth it.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

7 September 2016
So that is exactly why you don't actually need to do many miles at all, that's my point.

7 September 2016
The last couple of sentences in the Auto Express which I quote are the real key. When you are comparing residuals for cars which have equivalent diesel and petrol models, just as xxxx has in his/her posts, the retained value of the diesel model will be higher than the petrol version ie its depreciation will be (probably significantly) lower, just as Auto Express highlight strongly in their quoted text. So let’s do some numbers, incorporating xxxx’s tax and diesel cost increase figures: Petrol car £20,000 new with 50% retained value after 3 years and £40pa road tax, total cost £10,120 over three years. Equivalent diesel car £21,100 new with (a conservative?) 52.5% retained value after three years and £20pa road tax, total cost £10,082.50 ie £37.50 cheaper than the petrol version before any of the fuel economy savings are factored in.

7 September 2016
xxxx wrote:
lamcote wrote:

xxxx you get most if not all of that extra £1,100ish back on resale through better residuals, so with the lower road tax and better fuel economy you are quids in with the diesel no matter how many miles you do.

Residuals-not any more you don't (especially for smaller cars). Lower road tax - the difference for most cars is usually between £20-£40 a year. e.g. A3 1.4 cod £40'ish a year A3 150hp diesel £20'ish a year. You were grasping for straws on that last point

£40 per year? What planet did you magic that figure from?


"Work hard and be nice to people"

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Our Verdict

Renault Captur

The Renault Captur, the sister car to the Nissan Juke, offers an appealing ownership package especially after its mid-life facelift, but it isn't the last word in driving engagement

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week