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A diesel engine will output much more torque than a gas engine. With cars you may find a diesel and gas that are the gas has 50 more HP, but the torque is nearly the same or more on the diesel. Even though the gas has more HP, because the diesel has more torque, it will feel like it has more hp and will be peppier. And, the diesel will burn less fuel than a gas engine.

Dawgannit, Brian beat me to it!
 

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Rob its not really the fuel that gives you more torque but the operating principals. The diesel operates totally different than a gasoline engine just like a 2 cycle gas operates different than a 4 cycle gas engine.

Stroke and compression are typically very different. If you are wondering why everything isnt just diesel to start with its because a diesel is very heavy duty and was cost prohibitive in most applications. But now things are changing and they are becoming cheaper to build so you are seeing them in smaller applications.

I often wonder if we are going to start seeing cheaper built diesels that will have similar longevity to a gas.
This is the best answer to your second question. Without going into the physics behind how the engine actually works, it's near impossible to explain. If you'd like, I'd doe some research/googling on how the engines actually work. A lot more info than what can be put in a single post:thumbup1gif:
 
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