DETROIT - Ford's Land Rover division will start testing four diesel-powered SUVs in the United States this fall.
Two Range Rovers and two Freelanders will be put into Land Rover's test fleet, spokesman Bill Baker said. The vehicles will be used to demonstrate how well modern common-rail diesel engines perform compared with older, smoke-belching diesels, he said.
Journalists, politicians and Ford employees are able to drive these test vehicles.
The test does not mean Land Rover plans to offer diesels in U.S. models, Baker added.
The Range Rover diesel delivers 22 mpg on the highway, compared with 14 mpg for the gasoline-powered model. The compact Freelander SUV with a diesel engine delivers nearly 30 mpg on the highway, Baker said, compared with about 20 mpg for the gasoline model.
Diesels account for a large part of Land Rover's European sales, but none are offered in North America.