The U.S. will have the most stringent diesel emissions rules in the world when new laws go into effect next year. Automakers have already had a tough time reintroducing the diesel engine to the American market, despite improved performance and the increased gas mileage of modern diesels — often 30% better than gasoline engines. Honda today announced it has developed a new diesel engine that will meet all the new U.S. standards and turn harmful nitrous oxide into harmless nitrogen.
Mercedes-Benz is developing a similar program, but Honda says its version is superior — big shock — because it is less complicated. Even if the engine doesn’t spur new American interest in diesel engines, it will be a selling point for the rest of the world, where diesel cars are much more popular.