Honda has canceled plans to develop new clean diesels in favor of new hybrid powertrains. The news makes us sad pandas, but makes sense given the US market proclivity for leafy green hybrid badges.

Honda originally planed to equip future generations of large cars like the Accord and Acura TL, TSX and RL models with diesel engines capable of returning higher fuel economy than the gas-powered engine lineup and cleaner emissions than many. Combine that with excellent drive-ability thanks to gobs of torque, and they'd have had a winner on their hands. Honda Europe's current 2.2 i-CTDi is widely considered one of the best diesel powertrains on the market. Last year, we tested it in a Honda Civic, getting 72.4 MPG in the process. Now, future generations of that engine will be dropped in favor of gas/electric hybrids as fitted to the 2010 Honda Insight.

The company officially cites the difficulty involved in getting diesels through current US and Japanese emissions test, but we think that's a bunch of hot air. Or at least we'll let our oil-burning love cloud our vision enough to see it that way. [via Automobile]