Car buyers dump dirty diesels in favour of downsized petrols

Car buyers dump dirty diesels in favour of downsized petrols

Car buyers dump dirty diesels in favour of downsized petrols

It’s no surprise – in the wake of the ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal, plus anti-diesel sentiment building up in city centres, car buyers are now saying they’re more likely to buy a petrol car over an equivalent diesel.

That’s according to research carried out by What Car?, which found that more than 70% of car buyers would prefer a downsized petrol turbo to a NOx-pumping diesel.

However, it’s not for the reasons you might think. No, Britain’s motorists aren’t concerned about the environment – it’s because they’re worried about the Government slapping extra taxes on diesel-powered cars in the future.

More than 84% of those surveyed said they were worried about possible legislation changes that may affect the cost of ownership of diesel cars, such as the retail price, fuel duty and vehicle road tax.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “There appears to have been a dramatic shift in the petrol and diesel sales seesaw. In the 2000s, legislation changes resulted in a diesel boom, but after last year’s revelations and the emergence of extremely efficient downsized petrol engines, the tide has now turned.

“Buyers appear not to be overly concerned about environmental factors. Car buying is usually determined by the financial aspects of the purchase; if buyers fear a diesel crackdown and petrol engines are cheaper to buy while being almost as efficient, it’s easy to understand the changes taking place.”

In 2014 and 2015, diesel models represented a 50.1% and 48.5% market share respectively – but now just four in 10 say they’d consider a diesel car.

But don’t expect the majority of Volkswagen Golf turbodiesels to be traded in for Nissan Leafs anytime soon. The survey also found that nearly half of car buyers said they’d be ‘very unlikely’ to consider an electric car as their next vehicle.

Pirelli wide F1 tyres for 2017

2017 F1 wide tyres tested on Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari

Pirelli wide F1 tyres for 2017Ferrari F1 star Sebastian Vettel has become the first driver to test Pirelli’s wider wheels for 2017 at the Italian team’s private test track in Maranello.

The four-time World Champion will be driving on the new tyres all day today (Monday 1 August) before Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez takes over the car on Tuesday 2 August (Haas F1 uses Ferrari engines). Both drivers will be trialling wet tyres on an artificially dampened track.

The new tyres mark a big change for F1: they are 25% wider than the current rubber and, along with a series of aerodynamic changes, are being introduced to make F1 faster.

The target is a lap time two seconds faster than today’s cars.

Pirelli wide F1 tyres for 2017

The comparable figures illustrate how much wider the new tyres are:

  • Front tyres – 245-section (2016), 305-section (2017)
  • Rear tyres – 325-section (2016), 405-section (2017)

The wheel size, however, remains at 13 inches, meaning F1 cars retain their ultra-deep sidewalls. Even a base-spec Ford Fiesta has bigger wheels than a modern F1 car.

Other teams will test the new 2017 tyres as the 2016 F1 season progresses: Red Bull Racing will be the first to try out the new slick tyres, with AMG-Mercedes also getting their hands on the tyres in September.

Pirelli wide F1 tyres for 2017