For Sale By:Dealer
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Roscoe, Illinois, United States
The last time General Motors had a diesel passenger car in the US, it was the 1.8-liter 1986 Chevette. At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show today, GM is unveiling the much-anticipated 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel. The compact bows with a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that boasts 148 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, with full twist coming on at just 2,000 rpm. What's more, the common-rail, direct-injection diesel features an overboost function that allows the engine to deliver up to 280 lb-ft of torque for 10 seconds at a time. Even with 10 more horsepower and 110 more pound-feet of torque than the available turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder in the Cruze, the 2.0-liter diesel engine can return up to 42 mpg (highway) bolted to its six-speed automatic transmission.
If you're counting, that figure meets the less powerful Cruze Eco with a six-speed manual transmission. More importantly, the auto transmission Cruze Diesel matches its main competition, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, in highway fuel economy. The Cruze 2.0 TD (as it will be badged) can also handle up to 20 percent biodiesel (B20), whereas the Jetta is rated only for B5. General Motors has not released city fuel economy for its newest diesel, but we do know how much it will cost you to jump behind the driver's seat.
GM will kindly ask for $25,695, plus an $810 destination fee. That marks a $2,115 premium over a loaded Cruze LTZ Auto and $2,640 more than the Jetta TDI, though the MSRP will net you a leather interior, 17-inch alloy wheels and an Aero Performance Package, as well as a two-year maintenance plan and five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Compared to the gas-powered Cruze, you also lose a couple cubic feet of rear cargo space thanks to a 17-liter diesel emission fluid tank. That urea fluid, which helps put the clean in clean diesel, will need to be refilled at least every 10,000 miles.
What's in a name? This cliched phrase probably gets tossed out at every marketing meeting that happens when a new car gets its nomenclature. We know the answer, though: everything. The name of a car has all the potential to make or break it with fickle customers that are more conscious than ever about what their purchases say about them.
That's giving headaches to marketing folks across the automotive industry. "It's tough. In 1985 there were about 75,000 names trademarked in the automotive space. Today there are 800,000," Chevrolet's head of marketing, Russ Clark, told Automotive News. Infiniti's president, Johan de Nysschen, echoed Clark's sentiment, saying, "The truth of the matter is, across the world, there is hardly a name or a letter that hasn't already been claimed by one car manufacturer or another. You can go through the alphabet - A, B, C and so forth - and you will quickly see that almost all available letters are taken."
What has that left automakers to do? Get creative. In the case of Infiniti, it made the controversial move to bring all of its cars' names into a new scheme, classifying them as Q#0 for cars and QX#0 for SUVs and crossovers. So the Infiniti G, which was available as the G25 and G37, is now the Q50. The FX37 and FX50 are now the QX70.
The wheel ranks right up there with the telescope and four-slice toaster in the pantheon of inventions that have moved humankind forward. But what if a circle in three dimensions had never occurred to anyone, and we all had just moved on without it? Perhaps we'd be driving around in Lucas Motors Landspeeders with anti-gravity engines. Or maybe we'd have the same cars we do today, just without wheels.
That's the thought experiment that seems to have led French photographer Renaud Marion to create his six-image series called Air Drive. The shots depict cars throughout many eras of motoring that look normal except for one thing: they have no wheels. The models used include a Jaguar XK120, Cadillac DeVille (shown above), Chevrolet El Camino and Camaro, and Mercedes-Benz SL and 300 roadsters.
Perhaps one day when our future becomes our past, you'll be able to walk the street and see with your own eyes the rust and patina of age on our nation's fleet of floating cars. Until then, Monsieur Marion's photographs will have to do.