If There Is a Car God, He Hates Diesels

Atlas 1 photo
Photo: xandernatas/deviantart - edited by autoevolution
A common fallacy states that Atlas was a Titan that was forced to carry the weight of the Earth on his shoulders. This is a misconception that snowballed from older times until today and was probably born from how the so-called Farnese Atlas, a second-century Roman sculpture, looked to most people.
Technically a marble copy of a Hellenistic statue, the Farnese Atlas depicts the mythological figure kneeling with a globe on his back. Contrary to popular opinion, that globe is actually the night sky as seen from the outermost celestial sphere, which is concentric with Earth, not the Earth itself.

Apparently, Atlas was condemned by Zeus to hold up The Heavens on his shoulders, preventing them from reuniting with Gaia, which in Greek mythology was the creator and Birth-giver of the Earth and the Universe.

What does this improvised history lesson have to do with cars, I hear you muttering? Bear with me for a moment.

There's no way that you have an Internet connection and haven't yet heard about the infamous emissions scandal that has surrounded Volkswagen in the last few months. There's also no way that you don't already have a firm opinion about Dieselgate and who is to blame (if any) for the emissions tomfoolery.

That said, if we look at the extra NOx particles that our lungs have to endure because of diesel cars in general, maybe we could all use an Atlas to keep them away from our cities, engulfed in a giant globe of pollution. In that regard, we could say that if a car God existed, he or she would probably try and help our lost ways. Our car God would make us renounce the invented diesel God we've been all forced to follow by most European carmakers.

Environmental laws would need to be changed and take into account NOx particles more than CO2 emissions, which are mathematically related to fuel consumption and less harmful in the short term anyway.

Our Atlas would keep all those impurities engulfed in a giant sphere, which wouldn't be allowed by our car God to embrace Earth ever again, just like the Titan held The Heavens and Gaia apart from each other.

Now, those of you who've been reading this far will probably start wondering if I just got back from the dentist and I'm still under the influence, but I assure you this is not the case.

The truth is, it all started with Volkswagen and its Dieselgate scandal, but that was just the beginning, apparently. More and more European carmakers have been drawn into this shebang, albeit everyone is screaming that they're innocent. But are they?

The latest to come under the public's watchful but also paranoid eye are Renault and Opel, although neither of the two admitted to using those abominable “emission defeat devices,” like Volkswagen did.

After some real-world NOx emission tests had revealed some inaccuracies among a bunch of Renault models, the French carmaker decided to recall over 15,000 Captur crossovers to fix “the issue.” Oh, and it will also provide a voluntary emissions-system software update for around 700,000 more diesel cars from its stable.

Opel, GM's only surviving European branch, may not be doing very well either when it comes to its diesel engines. It's an entirely different situation in Russelsheim, though, since only a Belgian journalist is accusing Opel of trying to cover up a yet unproven emission problem with the Opel Zafira in 1.6-liter diesel guise.

BMW's shares dropped like a lead balloon last fall when a malicious Auto Bild article talked about an overly polluting BMW X3 diesel, while Mercedes-Benz has had its fair share of paranoia regarding its own diesel models.

Do you see a pattern yet? If I were a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, I would say that someone or something started a global battle against diesel cars. Heck, who am I kidding? I'm not exactly pro-diesel either, quite the contrary.

Still, that doesn't mean I don't find this newly born crusade against this type of engine a bit on the peculiar side of things. Was the Dieselgate scandal all it took for Government agencies to wake up? Really? It's almost like all the diesel lobbyists out there disappeared overnight and left us with promises of electric cars that don't come with range anxiety, make flowers bloom and hug trees with their hippie attitude.

What is your say in all of this? Are we actually witnessing the death of diesels, happening right before our eyes?
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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