Until now, there wasn't much official information about the upcoming diesel version of Chevy's Cruze compact sedan beyond the fact that it existed.
Lots of reporters--us included--covered the diesel Cruze model that's been sold in Europe for a while now.
We described that car's 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, power (161 horsepower) and torque (266 pound-feet), and where the U.S. diesel Cruze will be built (Lordstown, Ohio).
Now, we have a very small amount of additional information from General Motors. It's not much, mind you.
But then, advance product promotion is all about dribbling out little bits and pieces of info to keep early fans wishing and hoping, planning and dreaming, isn't it?
Boiled down, here's what Chevrolet says about the diesel Cruze model:
- TIMING: It will be "introduced in 2013," which likely means it'll be a 2014 model
- ENGINE SIZE: 2.0 liters (same as the European model)
- OUTPUTS: Not discussed
- ENGINEERING: Done jointly by engine designers in Pontiac, Michigan; GM's diesel specialists in Torino, Italy; and vehicle engineers in Russelsheim, Germany
- APPEARANCE: It will be "difficult to discern" any difference on the outside between diesel and gasoline engines
- HOPED-FOR RESULT: "Cruze [drivers will get] great quality, torque and fuel economy in a car that’s both fun to drive and practical at the pump," in the words of diesel assistant chief engineer Mike Siegrist.
'Diesel fuel only' caution on Audi Q7 TDI
As for GM's goals for the diesel Cruze model, the release includes a quotation from a third party--powertrain anlyst Mike Omotoso of LMC Automotive--that likely reflects the hopes of Chevy marketers.
He calls the U.S. market for diesel cars "small at present," but notes that it is "expected to grow" due to stricter fuel-economy rules and rising gas prices.
“So far, the German automakers haven’t had any diesel car competition in North America," Omotoso points out, accurately.
"GM could do well" with the Cruze diesel, he says, particularly among "younger buyers who don’t have the old prejudices against diesel.”
Our question: What kind of real-world fuel economy will a diesel Cruze deliver, and how will its gas mileage be rated by the EPA?
Drivers of VW Jetta TDI diesels report real-world mileage higher than EPA ratings for the car.
2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, New York City, March 2011
If that's true for the Cruze too, how will buyers assess a diesel Cruze--which is likely to carry a price premium, and use fuel that can be more expensive than gasoline--against the Cruze Eco (six-speed manual) model rated at 28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, for a combined EPA rating of 33 mpg?
As soon as there's more information on the Cruze diesel--and given the level of interest, there will be more--you'll see it here.