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Diesel engines are a bit like soccer.

Soccer is the most popular game in the world. But the prospect of Monday Night Football stepping aside for men in shorts is about as likely as U.S. auto companies ever replacing their gasoline engines with diesels.

The soccer thing is a matter of taste. But diesels offer clear benefits over gasoline. So at a time when automakers have to gear up for stringent fuel-economy rules — and clean-diesel technology has cleaned up diesel emissions — you might think that diesel’s moment has come.

And, in fact, a few more diesels appear to be headed to the United States. But, for perspective, consider Honda Motor Co.

Honda’s gasoline-engine Civic sedan is one of the best selling cars in the United States and also delivers respectable fuel economy, averaging 32 mpg for city and highway driving.

But last month in Tokyo, Honda gave reporters a sneak peek at a new fuel-efficient turbodiesel engine for the Civic. The new clean-burning 1.6-liter engine is physically smaller than Honda’s other popular engines, lighter in weight and delivers the horsepower of bigger gasoline engines. Honda intends to start building the engine in late 2012 in hopes of improving the 2013 Civic’s efficiency.

Read the entire article at: Automotive News

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