These Insanely Fast Diesels Remind Us That Spark Plugs Aren’t Better

Diesel

Here’s another way to get lots of torque without succumbing to battery-powered cars.

It's easy for fans of the internal combustion engine to become demoralized after watching enough videos of Teslas utterly demolishing supercars that are supposedly the fastest in the world. How on earth is a smog-spewing machine to compete with that, especially when automakers have had a century and some change to perfect the engine while electric cars are just beginning to set tires on public roads? Instant torque, it seems, will be the death of the ICE-powered American drag car. Or maybe not.

That's because there’s another dirtier way to make a lot of torque with equally fun results. Say hello to the diesel engine. Here in the US our relationship has been strained to say the least, but this introductory reel depicting the world’s fastest oil burners do what they do best makes us want to work on the relationship.

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Turns out it's not diesels, it’s us. How else do you explain an aversion to hellacious takeoffs enabled by torque up the wazoo? Yeah, definitely our fault for turning our noses up, even if it was only to avoid black lung during burnouts. And don't think the absence of spark plugs means that these race cars sound any less fierce. If anything, that compression-ignited fuel has more bass to its roar and even with such low redlines, burnouts are made easy and send enough toxins into the atmosphere to make you queasy. So enjoy these while you can because even though diesels are endangered species in America, Europe's new scrappage programs are about to crush them into extinction.

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