New Zealand driver to push VW TDI to limits

Posted By on July 21, 2006

NZ TDI speed recordCorrection: On September July 29th New Zealand’s car owner and driver Maurice O’Reilly is going to attempt to show just what is possible with a diesel tuned for perfomance. He will attempt to break a speed record for a 1.9 liter turbocharged diesel in a 2001 Volkwagen Jetta TDI. The car is coupled to a 6 speed transmission and has successfully raced in Germany’s 24 hour race in Nurburgring.

The VW factory tweaked TDI has a prototype engine and uses a high quality diesel fuel refined to European standards, but the real secrets is something diesel owners already know: Torque. Diesel torque is the key to keep a vehicle accelerating in high ratio gears and this combination of high torque and appropriate gearing should provide Mr. O’Reilly the chance to achieve some very high speeds. I’ll try to report back after the September July run — stay tuned.

Maurice O’Reilly belongs to the Tauranga Mount Car club in New Zealand who is sponsoring the challenge. O’Reilly has ad a long career in motorsport driving most classes of vehicle including GP single seaters. He was the Bruce McLaren Champion in 1995 and now drives with international teams in 24 hour endurance events around the world.

*** Tauranga Club secretary corrected my post and informed me that the speed run is scheduled for July 29th or 30th depending on weather.


  • Tim

    is the record really as specific as “1.9 liter turbocharged diesel in a 2001 Volkwagen Jetta TDI”?

  • Yes — but the 1.9 liter is not necessarily the stock engine that you and I have in our vehicles … nor is the gearing.

  • India is almost 50times than US in Population.
    US consumes 70times fuel than India.
    Yet Indian currency is hardly 1/50 of USD!
    The fact is US stands firm to maintain its sustainity in Agri.
    Then India as usual is very far away in Self Reliance in fuels in spite of Billions of Hectares of waste lands.
    No Hybrid car so far in India……
    No Biodiesel pump so far ………..
    Rich! we salute TDI clubs and people of US like you involved in green fuels.

  • Bhadrinath,

    I’ve always enjoyed your intelligent participation over at biodieselnow and your desire to develop ag-based ‘micro’ plantations in India. I only wish there were a way to speed up the ‘algae-to-biodiesel’ technology and production cycle. It is truly the one bio-feedstock that could lead clean carbon neutral renewables and change our petroleum dependence. Keep up your advocacy in India.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.