Imagine that: replace the gas engine in a Honda Insight gas-electric hybrid with a Diesel engine, and the mileage soars.
That said, a comment on Slashdot echoes my inner feelings on the matter: “The current model VW’s that have diesel options (Jetta, Golf, Beetle) can average 50mpg all day long with 4 adults and the AC turned on. The first generation Honda Insight, by comparison, barely fits two grown adults (no back seat at all), and has a much smaller fuel tank. If they did this with the new Insight (their web page seems to have gone up in smoke so I can’t tell which Insight they used) it would be a little more impressive, though they would still be dealing with the technical issues that face hybrids that do no apply to diesel.”
While I am impressed with the project and its accomplishment, I must agree with the above comment. As a happy owner of an ’06 VW TDi, I often drive over 400 miles while using just one-half tank of fuel. And as it uses synthetic oil, the oil doesn’t need changing all that often (8,000-10,000 miles), which makes the going long even easier. It’s quieter than the ’70s and ’80s Diesel cars and trucks, and it looks awful purty on top of that. It’s great!