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Auto blogThu, 07 Feb 2013 00:01:00 EST
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.
It won't be long before we see the official, production-ready Chevrolet SS sedan (hint: it will be revealed this weekend). And to tide us over until all of the official details are released about the US-spec version, we have this: the Holden VF Commodore SS V show car, a performance-oriented brother to the Calais V that debuted earlier in the week.
What we really want to know about the SS V is what lies underhood, but General Motors' Australian arm is keeping that under wraps until the Chevy model breaks cover this weekend. Nevertheless, it's obvious that the SS V will be a serious performer, with all sorts of aggressive cues driving that home on the car's exterior. Take a look at those 20-inch billet aluminum wheels that hide big Brembo brake calipers up front, the sculpted hood and front fascia, the wide air intakes with LED running lights and the quad exhaust pipes out back. It's like the Pontiac G8 GXP never even left us.
Inside, there's a sporty-looking interior with aluminum accents that mix in with black leather and suede surfaces, all tied together in the middle with an eight-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system. It looks great, and again, while we don't know anything regarding powertrain details, it makes us oh-so happy to see a manual shifter smack dab in the middle of the center console.
Chevrolet Cruze EV - Click above for high-res image gallery
The Chevrolet Volt hasn't yet gone on sale, but General Motors is looking at ways of expanding its electric vehicle lineup. Chevy, along with partner LG, is employing a group of all-electric cars in the form of the Cruze. The sedans are part of a demonstration fleet which is located in Seoul, South Korea and is being used to provide data in an electric vehicle research project. The goal is to gather information on driving patterns and charging behavior in addition to consumer acceptance.
The Cruze EVs, along with some Daewoo Lacetti Premieres EVs, are the first fleet of full-size electric vehicles and should provide invaluable information for The General. Staying full-size means not sacrificing cargo space, so the battery pack is mounted to the underbody, leaving the trunk area open for plenty recyclable, canvas grocery bags.