Jump to content
Create New...

What If? 1978 Edition


ocnblu

Recommended Posts

WHAT IF:  GM had fully and properly engineered the Oldsmobile 5.7L diesel V8?  Where would diesel powered vehicles be in terms of sales percentage today?  I believe that Americans would have bought a lot more of them, which would have led to evolution of the technology for economy and performance.  Diesel power would have owned a very large percentage of the U.S. market to this day, as it has in Europe.

BUT... we all know how it was handled and were we are today.  What do you all think?

Delta88_sedan_brochure.jpg

Edited by ocnblu
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IF GM had gotten diesel right way back then, they would have also needed to follow up quickly with a turbocharged version.  Even the best running, problem free, Olds 5.7 diesel only has about 110 horsepower and is slower than heck  (this coming from a guy who drives a slow as heck 307).

They would have also needed to do the same to the transverse V6 diesel to bring it into more mainstream cars like the Cutlass Cierra and the eventual H-Bodies.

Even if the existing engine had worked perfectly, I think the actual performance was too bad for Americans. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, ocnblu said:

WHAT IF:  GM had fully and properly engineered the Oldsmobile 5.7L diesel V8?  Where would diesel powered vehicles be in terms of sales percentage today?  I believe that Americans would have bought a lot more of them, which would have led to evolution of the technology for economy and performance.  Diesel power would have owned a very large percentage of the U.S. market to this day, as it has in Europe.

BUT... we all know how it was handled and were we are today.  What do you all think?

It would not have changed anything. California was already against Diesel with their own emissions standards and the ability to clean up the auto's with California Emissions package would have still made it a niche power train. Europe is only now dealing with their acid rain and retention pond pollution problems from coal and diesel and as such are playing catchup to the US in trying to protect the planet and humans from toxic waste such as the Diesel produce.

I would NEVER want the US to have to deal with some of the sludge death horrors Europe has dealt with recently, from 2010 to 2014 these are some of the smaller spills that have damaged Europe.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/39618685/ns/world_news-europe/t/sludge-spill-just-eastern-europes-toxic-horrors/#.XS987OhKjuo

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/hungary-toxic-sludge-spill-reaches-danube.330264

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/08/devecser-hungary-eco-town

Toxic red mud flood of an alumina factory near Ajka, Hungary

Image: Poisoned perch on bank of Tisa River

Very happy Diesel did not get the blanket approval to poison the air and water of the US the way it has in Europe. 

Time to let Diesel die.

 

  • Agree 1
  • Disagree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

...Olds 5.7 diesel only has about 110 horsepower and is slower than heck...
Even if the existing engine had worked perfectly, I think the actual performance was too bad for Americans. 

Remember; this is an era when the base motor Corvette had but 175/185 HP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, ocnblu said:

WHAT IF:  GM had fully and properly engineered the Oldsmobile 5.7L diesel V8?  Where would diesel powered vehicles be in terms of sales percentage today?  I believe that Americans would have bought a lot more of them, which would have led to evolution of the technology for economy and performance.  Diesel power would have owned a very large percentage of the U.S. market to this day, as it has in Europe.

BUT... we all know how it was handled and were we are today.  What do you all think?

Maybe, maybe not.  The Buick 231 V6 was already spreading throughout GM's car lines by 1978 with fewer pollution issues than any diesel engine at that time.  Properly engineering a diesel V8 would have more likely found its way into pickup trucks and that engine would have done much better in an S-10 than a 98 Regency.  A turbocharger added to the diesel would have been the next big thing.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It weighed more than a Cutlass V6 tho- by hundreds of pounds. 350-D might have been pretty close.

Point is, 110 HP in the midst of an era of top-to-bottom performance malaise is not as big a deal as hindsight would imply. Dad had a '77 Safari 301, with 135 HP, that I drove 1000s of miles. No speed demon, certainly heavier than a Cutlass diesel, but it was 'fine' for regular transportation duty. I don't think the diesel's performance killed it then - it was the unreliability. 

Edited by balthazar
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...

Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search