1. Modern turbo-diesel engines

What sets today’s 4x4s most apart from those of not just 60 years but those of even 20 years ago, is the modern turbo-diesel engine and its outstanding trifecta of performance, economy and refinement. This revolution in engine technology was born 30 years ago in Europe off the back of EU government policy that favoured diesel-engine development over petrol engines due to a diesel’s lower production of carbon dioxide, so-called greenhouse gas. Yes, there was a time when diesel engines were at the forefront of being ‘green’.

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4x4s have come a long way since WWII-era vehicles

Before the diesel revolution arrived, if you wanted decent performance in your 4×4 you had a petrol V8 or a big (plus 4.0-litre) petrol six. If you wanted economy, you had a diesel. Trouble was the big petrol motors were thirsty and the diesels were dead sluggish if naturally