GM’s Diesel Revival Hopes Start in Italy

General Motors is trying to restart diesel, and the plan begins in the home of Fiat.

GM Powertrain Torino is the facility that develops most of the automaker’s new diesel powertrains. Like the name says, the facility is located in Turin, better known as the home of Fiat. It’s one of the only GM Europe operations that wasn’t sold to PSA along with Opel and Vauxhall last year. Automotive News reports that GM is upping investment there, looking to grow diesel outside of Europe.

“We have an important strategy around diesel. We are working to keep [U.S. sales] increasing,” Pierpaolo Antonioli, head of GM’s Turin development center, told Automotive News Europe.

The facility is responsible for engines like the 3.0L inline six Duramax that’s destined for the new full-size Chevy and GMC pickups. That engine is built using a new diesel architecture that is modular. That means that the next Cruze and Equinox diesels could be four-cylinder versions of the truck engine. Or, as Antonioli said, even a three-cylinder version. The same group was also responsible for the 1.6L “whisper diesel” in the current Cruze and Equinox.

Antonioli said that he was confident diesel would bounce back from the emissions revelations plaguing other automakers. GM is also hoping to grab hold of some VW buyers as that automaker leaves the sparkless ignition by the wayside. “Everybody was caught a little bit by surprise by the scandal,” he said. “It took time to react and start to say that diesel is not the dirty guy. In my opinion its reputation can be recovered.”

[source: Automotive News]

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