Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Not Your Grandmother's Diesel

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Not Your Grandmother's Diesel

Article excerpt

2009 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA SPORTWAGEN

RETAIL PRICE (MSRP) $23,000-$25,000 STANDARD ENGINE 2.0-LITER TDI DIESEL HORSEPOWER 140 TORQUE (LB-FT) 236 FUEL ECONOMY, CITY (MPG) 40 HIGHWAY (MPG) 55

(ALL NUMBERS ARE ESTIMATES)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In gay parlance, words can have multiple meanings. Take diesel: It could be a brand of sunglasses, an action-movie star, or a surly gal whose wardrobe consists mainly of tank tops and motorcycle boots. And beginning this year, diesel could also mean the eco-friendly, fuel-efficient car parked in the driveway.

In the past 20 years diesel cars have fallen out of favor in the United States. They tended to be slow, make a lot of noise, and burp foul-smelling black smoke. That last quality caused the cars to fail the strict emissions standards in New York and California. In 2006 a new ultralow sulfur diesel fuel--which removed the rotten-egg smell and lowered the emission of soot and nitrogen oxides--paved the way for resurrection. And now, thanks to a big push from Germany's automakers, new diesel technology, including particulate filters and a diesel version of a catalytic converter, is making the engine even cleaner and more refined. …

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