January 15, 2013
The 2014 Cruze diesel fuel area may look like this unit from Audi - A supplement will be necessary for emissions purposes.
The 2014 diesel-powered Cruze model is expected to begin production at the Lordstown assembly plant in April and will likely hit showrooms in May. The engine will be manufactured in Germany, the home of successful European diesel Cruze models.
Gas mileage and torque are the factors that Landy believes will lead buyers to a diesel car.
While the company has not released diesel Cruze mpg and output stats - Landy said engineers have not yet finalized the data - she said fuel economy will be comparable to a Cruze Eco, listed at 42 highway mpg, but with added range. By comparison, a hybrid model delivers better fuel economy in the city, she said.
Due to a higher compression rate in the engine cylinders and greater density of energy in diesel fuel itself, diesel-powered engines are able to produce more power per gallon than gasoline-powered engines.
The diesel will bolster the already fuel-efficient Cruze lineup. Cruze Eco, with a standard six-speed manual transmission, is the most fuel-efficient gas-powered/non-hybrid vehicle in America.
And as far as power, a diesel-powered small car model will provide the torque of a bigger engine, Landy said,.
"It's going to be new. A lot of compact car buyers are not looking for a diesel, but we do expect a success," Landy said. "The diesel buyers that we know, and what we understand, are very passionate about diesels."
The automaker just might find its niche market in diesel truck owners, often the more educated men, who now are looking for a smaller model.