Five seriously cool diesel powered future classics, no really......
Audi Q7 V12 TDI
Before you do a double take on the title, yes, Audi did have a moment of madness by giving the world a V12 diesel-powered Q7. Power came from a massive 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 diesel engine producing 493bhp and 737lb-ft of torque.
All of this power and fury propelled the Q7 to 62mph in just 5.5 seconds. In 2009 this was a swift time for a car that weighed in at some 2635kg. Now for the downsides, starting with the 25mpg (if you were lucky) and the £90k plus price tag, meaning Audi didn’t sell very many. For those brave enough to take on the depreciation the V12 powered Q7 came equipped with every single option including a much-needed set of carbon-ceramic brakes as standard.
BMW 535d M Sport Touring (E61)
During the BMW Bangle era that were a few things that came out of Dingolfing that looked spot on, the E61 touring in M Sport trim being one of them. The 535D variant was the most potent oil burner of them all with its ingenious 3.0-litre straight six twin-turbo motor.
This setup produced 282bhp and 428lb-ft of torque giving the big Touring a 0-62mph time of just 6.5 seconds. Top speed was a gentleman’s agreed 155mph. Back in the mid-2000’s the 535d was one of the first seriously quick diesels, proving that burning oil needn’t be dull. In Touring form though, the whole M Sport styling package really came together along with that storming engine making it a performance bargain by 2017 standards.
Volkswagen Phaeton V10 TDI
You may be slightly confused with this next choice, but the reason for the Phaeton’s inclusion is that VW’s halo car project is one of the coolest cars ever to pack diesel power. Originally conceived by VW chairman Ferdinand Piech, the Phaeton was meant to be the very best of the best that the company could produce.
In a never to be seen again moment, the Phaeton got its power from a 5.0-litre V10 turbocharged diesel engine. It pushed a reasonable 309bhp to all four wheels with 553lb-ft of torque to carry all of that considerable 2566kg of kerbweight onto 62mph from standing in just 6.7 seconds. Out and out speed though was not the point of the Phaeton. It was instead intended as an Autobahn eater that could carry both driver and passengers in supreme comfort at high speed without breaking a sweat.
Alfa Romeo 159 Ti Sportwagon 2.4 JTDM
Now, this choice is more than a little bias on my part – because I own the saloon variant of this very car. Truth be told, I did indeed yearn after the Sportwagon version based merely on the way it looks. In all of human history, I cannot think of a better looking oil-burning estate car (sorry E61). From the treble headlight array and off-set number plate arrangement at the front to the gorgeous flowing lines at the back. When the Italians’ do estates, they do them very well indeed.
To match those stunning looks, the oil-burning model came with a 2.4-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine good for 210bhp and 295lb-ft of torque. All of this power was good for a 0-62mph dash of 8.0 seconds or so and 142mph of top speed. Not that anyone cares about these numbers the 159's main focus is in the visuals department.
Skoda Fabia VRS
If you’re slightly confused by this choice, then let me explain. Back in the early 2000’s Skoda tried to convince the world that diesel-powered hot hatches were the way forward. They were literally the first car maker to the line with this one. In so much that no petrol powered vRS was available at the time.
What early adopters got was a 1.9-litre turbocharged diesel motor producing 130bhp and 229lb-ft of torque that could happily live with many of the petrol-powered hot hatches of the period. OK, so the interior was a bit on the rubbish side, and some of the construction was debatable. But there was no denying the way it drove, as in it was the one of the first genuinely fun to drive diesel powered hot hatches.
What are your thoughts on these choices for future diesel-powered classics? Let us know in the comments.