Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Previewed for American Market

Stephen Elmer
by Stephen Elmer

The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel made a nice dent in the European, Asian, African, and South American markets last year selling 33,000 units. Now, the popular diesel option will make its way into the U.S., trying to ride on the success wave it is already experiencing worldwide.

The diesel engine that will power the Cruze is being developed at GM’s design center in Torino, Italy, with input coming daily from the GM engineers in Pontiac, Michigan. A truly global design team, GM engineers in Russelsheim, Germany are also working on building some specialized components for the engine like the accessory drive and acoustic cover.

The U.S. market has a different way of looking at diesels, with the notion that diesel motors are only meant for big rigs and tractors. The global design approach will help the new diesel powertrain excel in the American market says GM, as the Europeans know how to build a great diesel engine, and the Americans know how it needs to look, sound and smell to appeal to the U.S. consumer.

“The market for diesel cars in the U.S. is small at present, but is expected to grow due to Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements and expected increases in gas prices,” said Mike Omotoso, a powertrain analyst at LMC Automotive. “So far, the German automakers haven’t had any diesel car competition in North America. GM could do well with it, particularly with younger buyers who don’t have the old prejudices against diesel.”

The diesel Cruze will be available in 2013, and will be an interesting venture for GM, being the first of the big three to offer a diesel option in the USA in a family sedan. “In terms of outward appearances, the difference between the diesel and gasoline engine is going to be difficult to discern,” says Mike Siegrist, 2.0L diesel assistant chief engineer.

The American variant of the Cruze diesel is targeting the 50 mpg mark, and will likely by named the Chevy Cruze Eco-D.

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Stephen Elmer
Stephen Elmer

Stephen covers all of the day-to-day events of the industry as the News Editor at AutoGuide, along with being the AG truck expert. His truck knowledge comes from working long days on the woodlot with pickups and driving straight trucks professionally. When not at his desk, Steve can be found playing his bass or riding his snowmobile or Sea-Doo. Find Stephen on <A title="@Selmer07 on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Stephen on Google+" href="">Google+</A>

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  • Tptomtom Tptomtom on Jul 16, 2012

    Will it run on bio-diesel? Due to salestax incentives nearly all diesel sold in Illinois is bio-which won't work in my VW TDI so I am looking for an alternative.

  • BP BP on Jan 23, 2013

    Wonder why the new mpg estimate is only +/-40 instead of the 50+ they were claiming a year ago when they first announced this? 20% reduction in mileage is not a good thing. I was really anticipating getting one as soon as they came out, but now I'm not sure why I'd buy a diesel at a $3-5K premium, with fuel that's as much as$1 a gallon higher, just to get the same mileage. It says the mileage will be about the same as the gas model, but range will be more, so they're just putting a bigger tank on it. So what? I can't drive a whole tankful off without stopping to pee at least twice anyway.