If Darwin himself were alive today I say say that he would be driving a diesel. No other engine out there has more perfectly illustrated his theories of evolution than the diesel. Now as true as it might be that diesels were once known for being the "slow and smelly" vehicles on the road car makers as well as some performance companies have set out on a mission to put an end to that reputation. With the additions of a turbo or multiple turbos (ie '08 Powerstroke) and intercooler (s) as well as intakes, chips / modules and exhaust systems the reputation once held by diesels is now evolving, Darwin would be so proud.
So why diesel performance? In the past there never really was a question as to which "species" was more dominant when it came to performance. It has not been until recently that there is even needed to be a debt as to which is better, gas performance or diesel performance and even today you will have people try to argue that gas performance is where it is at but I am here to say that not only is there more horsepower available for the money when it comes to performance products for diesels but you will have longer engine life as well as maintain if not increased fuel mileage.
One of the strongest points in the argument for Diesel Performance is the fact that you can add engine mods to a diesel engine and it will not harm the engine or make it burn hotter to the extent of damaging the engine permanently. Do not get me wrong you can still fry your engine but diesel engines are built much stronger and much more durable. One of the main reasons that diesel engines are so durable or will last longer in general is the way that combustion occurs in the engine. Diesel engines "fire" or "combust" differently than gas engines mainly because of the type of fuel that is used. In gasoline engines a spark plug is used to combust the fuel but in a diesel combustion incident mainly due to the temperature of the compressed air which causes the fuel to ignite. Because of this diesel engines are built more durable because they have a higher compression ratios (20: 1 for a typical diesel vs. 8: 1 for a typical gasoline engine) it is being built to withstand this higher compression that makes these engines more ready for performance modems straight from the factory.
As the diesel engine has evolved over the years turbo chargers have been added to increase power as well as efficiency, this has made way for huge increases in horsepower both stock as well as with the addition of after market products. One of the main reasons that diesel performance is so much more viable is the fact that because the engine is built for a higher compression ratio anyway so it is going to be able to withstand the boost that is much better than a gasoline engine, also allowing the addition of performance modifications without shortening the life of the engine as typically happens with gasoline engines when performance mods are added.
Like it or not diesel performance is here to stay, and whether or not you believe in evolution it's happening and will continue to happen in the diesel performance market. Do not be surprised when you see good old Darwin himself roll over you on the street in his tweaked out diesel.