Chevrolet Cruze Eco
Turbodiesel Cruze would join the "Eco" model when it comes to fuel sipping

Whenever we post a story about a new hybrid that is coming to the market, there are usually the inevitable comments from readers claiming that hybrids are poor interim solution for manufacturers. They argue that using a turbodiesel engine, 1) would result in higher fuel economy than its gasoline counterpart, 2) would be cheaper than using a hybrid powertrain, and 3) wouldn't require costly electric motors and heavy batteries.

If the latest report coming out of GM Inside News (GMI) is to be believed, it appears that General Motors is looking to bring a turbodiesel engine to its all-new Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan for the 2013 model year instead of a fully-fledged hybrid model. The Cruze already gets decent fuel economy from its 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (24 mpg city, 36 mpg highway). Stepping up to the Cruze Eco boosts fuel economy ratings to 28/42 city/highway.

GMI's sources at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant say that the 2.0-liter diesel engine will go into production next year. The current 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine used in global variants of the Cruze produces 147hp at 4,000 rpm and 235 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. 

A turbodiesel Cruze would have to get significantly higher combined fuel economy than the existing Cruze models (28 mpg combined for LT, 2LT, LTZ; 33 mpg combined for the Eco) to make it worthwhile for potential customers to make up for the cost differential between gasoline and diesel fuel. Currently, U.S. gasoline prices average $3.14/gallon while diesel prices average $3.53/gallon.

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