It sounds crazy, perhaps even impossible, but according to sources in the Associated Press, GM is planning to sell a diesel-powered Chevy Cruze right here in the U.S. And it could achieve up to 50 mpg…with a healthy dose of torque to go with it.
This is basically the same story that made its way around the Internet back in February, only this time, with a date attached. The AP points to 2013 as the likely launch date, and that there is a 2.0 liter diesel powering the Holden Cruze down in Australia. That engine uses 5.6 liters of fuel for every 100 km of travel, which equates to about 42 mpg (combined) rated, as long as you opt for the six-speed manual transmission. Selecting the automatic drops the combined mileage down to 6.7 L/100 km, or about 35 mpg.
With the manual option, GM could get close to a 50 mpg rating here in the U.S., as under the Australian standards the 2.0 diesel-powered Cruze uses just 4.8 L/100 km during “extra urban” (highway) driving. That equates to 49 mpg highway. In the city, the rating drops to 7.0 L/ 100 km, or about 34 mpg. What with all the recent and impending changes to EPA ratings, CAFE standards, so on and so forth, who knows what the final numbers will be. But if GM squeezes a combined rating of 42 mpg out of a diesel Cruze, that could go a long way towards meeting the proposed 56.5 mpg CAFE standard that the White House is considering for by 2025.
The best part though, is that the new diesel engine makes 161 horsepower and 360 NM/266 ft-lbs of toque. That is considerably more than anything GM currently offers in the U.S. Cruze, and if they do the suspension just right, this could prove a fun little car to drive.Right now the Cruze is selling well in the states, overtaking the long-dominant Toyota Camry in sales last month.
But will younger Americans embrace diesels? There is only one main competitor for this market, and that is Volkswagen, who has cornered it with the Jetta TDI ( starting MSRP $22.995.) If GM can bring a diesel Cruze in for less than that, then they might have more than a few takers. Combined with some of the technology found on the 42 mpg (highway) Chevy Cruze Eco, and who knows what kind of MPG’s might be possible.
Source: AP via the Detroit News
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.