Whenever we post a story about a new hybrid that is coming
to the market, there are usually the inevitable comments from readers claiming
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
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
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.