General Motors Co. is expanding its diesel lineup to 10 Chevrolet and GMC vehicles by the 2018 model year. It says the clean-diesel powertrains will help it meet carbon dioxide emissions levels and fuel economy requirements.
Automakers are pressed to meet federal fuel economy mandates that call for corporate average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
The Detroit automaker said it sold 757,000 diesel vehicles globally last year. It now is rolling out a new 2017 Cruze Diesel, which gives consumers another choice, said Dan Nicholson, GM’s vice president of global propulsion systems.
The Cruze Diesel is powered by a new Ecotec 1.6-liter turbo diesel engine that has been estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 52 miles per gallon highway fuel economy with a manual transmission. That big number, which Nicholson called a “wow” factor and a reason for purchase, is the highest highway fuel economy of any nonhybrid or nonelectric vehicle. Mike Siegrist, assistant chief engineer for the Cruze Diesel engine, said customers may exceed the EPA highway figure.
GM and Chevrolet see an opportunity to win some Volkswagen AG diesel customers in the wake of the German automaker’s emissions cheating scandal.
“The outlook for diesel in the U.S.A. is actually promising,” Nicholson said. “We definitely see certain segments reaching 10 percent penetration and yes, an upside potential of 10 percent overall.”