Despite VW’s legal problems of late, there are still die-hard TDI fans happy to promote and run the prolific common-rail platform. The little TDI diesel engines are some of the most efficient internal combustion engines to power common cars. Rivaling even the most efficient hybrids and electric vehicles, TDI engines boast some of the best MPG numbers, emissions aside.
In this short self-promoting clip we meet Dr. Volks, more commonly known as Bob Mann of Pembroke Massachusetts. A road racer at the grassroot level, Mann fields a stripped-out and tuned up VW Beetle in road race events. Running on diesel and natural gas, Mann promotes the advantages of an efficient powerplant when it comes to pit strategy, “What we are trying to prove here is by using a diesel fuel, we can extend our mileage. We use about four gallons per hour, which means that we can go for a whole stint without having to stop for fuel for a good two-to-four hours.”
Mann’s decision to run a diesel car benefits him in more areas than just fuel efficiency. The tune-ability, and flexibility of diesel to run a multitude of fuels means that he can introduce CNG (compressed natural gas) for power outputs up to 400 horsepower. That’s no small feat considering the engine in this little car is less than 2-liters. According to Mann, “When we add the natural gas it’s a whole different game. We go from 200 horsepower to 400 horsepower, to 500 lb ft of torque, and it’s a rocket ship.”
Mann’s car may not be the most intimidating vehicle on the track, but that’s part of it’s persona. Bringing the element of surprise to all the sports cars may just be the ticket to make them re-think passing this little car.