Business: Detroit's Diesel

New Olds saves fuel—but...

To most Americans, the diesel engine calls to mind a smoke-belching locomotive or 20-ton truck. But in Europe, diesels also power some Mercedes sedans and Peugeots—and this week those cars will get a U.S. rival. General Motors will bring out the first U.S.-made diesel passenger car. It plans to offer the diesel as an optional engine on 50,000 Oldsmobile 88s and 98s in the 1978 model-year.

Detroit engineers long shunned diesels for cars because of their comparatively sluggish performance, noise and weight. But the energy crisis that started with the...

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