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While early rumors suggested GM would bill the diesel model as a performance option, due in part to it’s impressive torque, this latest bit of info signifies the automaker will instead promote diesel as a fuel-efficient alternative its gasoline counterpart. Currently Chevy offers a special Cruze Eco gasoline model, capable of achieving 42-mpg on the highway when equipped with a manual transmission. An Eco-D model could offer up to 50-mpg highway as the flagship of the Eco line.
Current diesel-powered Cruze models, like the Australian Holden Cruze, are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine making 160-hp and 265 -lb-ft of torque. Look for the Cruze Eco-D to hit the market in late 2012 as a 2013 model year car.