Posted By RichC on April 11, 2010
Although the cost to bring a diesel Subaru to the US is high (new model, service training and parts inventory, etc) but knowing how Volkswagen diesel buyers love their little diesels, the fit for Subaru and their loyal following seems perfect. Who driving a Subaru doesn’t want 40 mpg in a solidly build 4 wheel drive utilitarian vehicle?
Its hard to believe that we first reported that Subaru could bring its much-anticipated diesel engine here to the U.S. over three years ago. Between then and now, the company has remained indecisive due to high diesel fuel prices and stringent emissions requirements here. Needless to say, the diesel boxer is still nowhere to be found stateside, but this might change soon.
The company’s first horizontally-opposed boxer diesels have rolled out in Europe, and Subaru’s executive vice president Tom Doll said the diesel engine is a hot seller over there, so much so that Subaru total sales are increasing. Doll tempered our excitement by saying Subaru is not confident that the U.S. is ready for the oil burner just yet and that bringing the powerplant here will require a lot of things to fall into place perfectly. Doll told Ward’s Auto what will need to happen:
The emissions requirements in the U.S. are significant. And given the price of diesel fuel, where it is right now, it really does not pay to bring the vehicle into the U.S. We’re trying to see what happens. As the market sorts itself out, we’ll get ready, and then look at bringing the car (here).
Our chance of getting this powerplant seems slim but new CAFE regulations requiring upwards of 35 miles per gallon by 2016 could convince Subaru that the time to offer Americans a diesel is now.