Currently reading: Renault predicts death of diesel models before 2020
Renault's senior engineers suggest further investment into diesel engines for smaller cars won't be viable by the end of the decade
News
2 mins read
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".

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. 

Advertisement

Read our review

Car review

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

Join the debate

Comments
19
Add a comment…
Marc 7 September 2016

I'll be glad to see the back

I'll be glad to see the back of the fuel in passengers cars, particularly in busy town-centres. Turbo charging of small petrol motours means the torque gap is closing, if not the economy. It will be interesting to which European manufacturers are the first to start phase them out and who can subsidise them in search of a few additional sales. Central Europe will be a hard market to convince to give up the diesel, they are still 'relatively' new in the UK market but have been fairly common in larger cars for decades in France. Fond memories of all our family piled into the trunk of my Dad's 504D Break for summer holidays in the 70's, 37 deg heat, no aircon, trunk full of diesel fumes and a 6 hour drive to San Sebastián.
catnip 7 September 2016

Lets not forget the big part

Lets not forget the big part the motoring press played in encouraging everyone to buy diesel, no matter what size of vehicle. Until recently, you hardly read any reviews which didn't conclude that the diesel version was preferable.
Shrub 7 September 2016

Hallelujah

It is the fuel of heavy industry, not 21st century light passenger transport. Good riddance filthy muck.
Mini2 7 September 2016

What then?

Shrub wrote:

It is the fuel of heavy industry, not 21st century light passenger transport. Good riddance filthy muck.

So what IS the fuel of the 21st century then, clever clogs?