Sometimes an engine can make or break a car. It might look stunning, be better built than anything else on the market and have more toys than a toy shop but if the engine isn’t a good one, the car will quickly be forgotten. With that in mind, here are Diesel Car‘s top three legendary diesel engines.
1. Austin Rover Perkins Prima 2.0 Turbo
As the end of the 80s drew near, diesel engines were at last on the cusp of finally becoming an viable alternative to petrol. When the 2.0 turbo-charged Maestro and Montego arrived in 1988 it quickly proved a hit for the Birmingham-based firm. Parts for the engine came from Longbridge with assembly by diesel specialist Perkins, in Peterborough. The engine developed an iron-clad reputation for reliability and durability with cars like the seven-seat Montego Countryman become legendary for the sheer mile-munching ability.
2. Peugeot XUD
The Peugeot XUD engine range played a huge part in diesel’s emergence during the 1980s. Offered in sizes ranging from 1.8 litre to 2.2 litre it powered a huge range of vehicles, including the trio of 80s Peugeot icons – the 205, 309 and 405. Sister firm Citroen got in on the act too, slotting the XUD under the bonnet of the BX, ZX and XM to name just three. Its success wasn’t just limited to PSA cars though, it would also go on to power the Rover 200 and 400, the Suzuki Vitara and even the likes of Lada’s Niva and FSO’s Polonez.
3. Volkswagen Audi 1.9 TDi
Like the XUD engine, VW’s 1.9 TDi became almost the default diesel engine of its time and as a VW Audi Group engine, it found its way under the bonnet of millions of vehicles. Capable of developing anything from 74 to 158bhp it powered everything from Polos to Sharans to Leons to A8s. It went further than just VW Audi cars though, finding a home in the Chrysler Sebring, Jeep Compass and Mitsubishi Outlander to name just three. A true diesel legend.