Rising gasoline prices along with the vast improvements made in diesel engine technology in the past few years mean that car manufacturers are much less reluctant to introduce oil-burning models in the U.S. market that, unlike Europe, clearly isn't too fond of them.
Chevrolet chose the Chicago Auto Show to unveil the Clean Turbo Diesel variant of its best-selling Cruze small sedan. The 2014 model that will be sold in the U.S. and Canada is powered by a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that puts out 148HP and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
According to GM, the Cruze diesel accelerates from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 8.6 seconds and returns a best-in-segment 42 mpg (5.6 lt/100 km) fuel consumption, while its emissions will be below the Tier 2 Bin 5 standards.
“The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is the most sophisticated passenger car diesel engine GM has ever produced,” said Jens Wartha, GM global program manager and chief engineer for the new diesel engine. “We merged European diesel expertise with the real world driving preferences of North American consumers.”
The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will go on sale this summer priced at US$25,695, including destination charges and a two-year service plan and comes with the Aero Performance Package, low rolling resistance tires, leather seats, the MyLink infotainment system and a five-year/100,000 mile warranty as standard.
By Andrew Tsaousis