Can Diesels be Fun?

In 2002, Opel announced the Eco-Speedster, based on the Opel Speedster, which was little more than a Lotus Elise. Nothing wrong with that; it was a car ahead of its time and was one of the best drivers’ cars.

I diverge; the Eco-Speedster built on an aluminium space frame with what was then very aerodynamic carbon fibre bodywork.

The engine was a turbocharged 1.3-litre common rail diesel. It produced 110 horsepower but only weighed 1,350 pounds with a drag coefficient of 0.20.

Opel Europe built and introduced the Eco-Speedster to the Geneva Motor Show in 2002 when the diesel boom was at full tilt.

Can you remember the government encouraging diesel as the way forward? How have things changed?

They will be saying electric is next!

The slogan of the day was ‘Can Diesels be Fun’.

Having seen a market opportunity not to be missed, Opel using the perfectly circular track at Dudenhofen to show that diesels can be fun.

The results are fascinating:

The little coupé ran solidly for 24 hours at full throttle, stopping only to refuel and change drivers.

The 1,300cc Eco-Speedster had an average speed of 141mph, a top speed of 161mph and a fuel consumption of 111.2 mpg.

Perhaps making a diesel more efficient may be the way forward 😀.