J.D. Power: Diesels to help GM, others to meet strict fuel-economy regulations

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze is in the works to get another model released in the form of a diesel.  The purpose in the change is to raise fuel efficiency, which it should, up to 50mpg on the highway.

Chevrolet’s new diesel will be fitted with a clean diesel, common-rail direct-injection system. Although Australians and Europeans are already cursing around in diesel Cruzes.

Engineering for the U.S. standards of this system is going to push production back to about two or three years from now. Overseas models come with a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter engine. Power output is 160-hp at 260 lb-ft of torque. Versions are also available at 148-hp and 123-hp.

Bringing the diesel to the states will give Chevrolet a full line up for the U.S., offering a wide variety of vehicles, including a diesel, an extended-range electric, and a gas-powered car. A competitor for the Nissan Leaf would round out the line up.

Several years ago a v-8 with a 4.5-liter displacement was scheduled for addition but never made it to production with the hit of the recession.

In the future GM will most likely begin releasing 4- and 6- cylinder versions for Cadillac models like the ATS, CTS, and SRX, putting them in a better place to compete with the German luxury line up.

Diesel versions are expected to expand well beyond GM, to most automakers in the next few years due to their high rate of fuel efficiency. Another reason for the change over is to help automakers meet the inevitable new requirements that are currently on the table.

Selling over 25,000 new compact Chevrolet Cruze cars, the new version should do well. and keep it as one of the US’s best selling models.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: J.D. Power