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Photos: New production diesels

Amid all the speculative talk of alternative fuels and advanced drivetrains, one fuel is making a definite comeback in the United States. Carmakers used this year's auto show season to unveil a number of clean diesels that will be making their way to showrooms. Check out the next generation of production diesels.

Kevin Massy
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Mercedes-Benz bills its ML320 BlueTec as the cleanest diesel in the world. It uses AddBlue technology, a urea solution which, when injected into the exhaust stream, converts nitrogen oxides into ammonia. Mercedes-Benz will also launch BlueTec versions of its R-Class and GL-Class.
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Shown at both the Detroit and Frankfurt auto shows, the S300 Bluetec combines an economical 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel engine with a small, 15kW electric motor for extra boost. Mercedes says it will be compliant in all 50 states, but don't expect it to arrive here before 2012.
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Having knocked the auto world's socks off with the gasoline version of its twin-turbo-charged 3-liter engine in the 335i, BMW is planning a diesel sequel with the 335d. The new engine, which won the 2008 International Engine of the Year award, dishes up a whopping 425 pound-feet of torque at just 1,750rpm. The 335d will be launched in all 50 U.S. states in the fall of 2008.
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The 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 comes with the option of a massive 5-liter V-10 diesel, serving up 310 horsepower and 553 foot-pounds of torque. Its 15mpg city/20mpg highway mileage is disappointingly low, but what do you expect from a car that can tow a Boeing 747 jumbo jet?
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Audi also claims the title of the world's cleanest diesel for its new diesel engine, found in the A4 TDI. According to Audi, the diesel A4 achieves a 35 percent improvement in fuel economy compared with the 3-liter gasoline model. Already on sale in Europe, the A4 TDI is slated to make its way to the United States later this year.
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Although it wasn't officially announced during this year's auto show season, a diesel version of the Acura TSX is likely bound for U.S. showrooms in 2009, possibly as a 2010 model. Similar to the diesel version of the Honda Accord currently on sale in Europe, the diesel TSX will probably be powered by Honda's 50-state-compliant 2.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder iDTEC engine.

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