Although the LeMans winning cars from the last few years are a bit of a giveaway ... it still might come as a shock to our friends in America that small turbodiesel engines can be very performant.
Diesel cars (with small engines, 4 or even 3 cylinders, and mostly not more than 2 or 2,2 litres) are very common here in Europe (Germany, France, Belgium, ...), and even if they're mainly built for fuel economy, they can become nasty fast cars when used properly.
Sure, the driving fun is less than in a good petrol car: first of all the noise is close to horrible, and moreover the response to the gas pedal isn't that much yeehaa. For drifting, for instance, they're close to no good, exactly because of the lag on the throttle input.
Treat'em right and you get back a lot. Which I experienced yesterday on the Zolder Racetrack (Belgium). I fitted semislicks to my 2-piece forged BBS/BMW rims, fueled her up, fired up the cameras and on we went, messing with loads of other (faster) equipment.
This is the result :
(or download it in higher quality at http://rapidshare.com/files/126778271/fastlaps_0001.wmv
It was fun!