Compact car will feature diesel engine for US market in 2013

By Luke Geiver | July 27, 2011

Chevrolet has plans to offer a new engine option in the Cruze for improved fuel efficiency and use, but forget about electric hybrids because starting in 2013 the automaker will offer the U.S. a diesel version of the popular compact car. Already the most fuel-efficient gas-powered nonhybrid vehicle in America at 42 miles per gallon during highway driving, the Cruze was the best-selling car in America for the month of June, according to the Diesel Technology Forum. Since February, more than 20,000 vehicles in the Cruze lineup, which features a standard six-speed transmission, have been sold.

Allen Schafer, executive director for DTF, said the announcement by Chevrolet to sell a diesel version of the Cruze will be a “huge step forward” in the growth of clean diesel automotive availability in the U.S. And, according to Chevrolet, there should be no issue with a diesel version of the vehicle as these are being sold in Europe.

Schafer says while 22 diesel cars or light-passenger cars on the U.S. market today, “more are on the way.” Volkswagen will begin producing a Passat featuring the TDI diesel at a new Chattanooga, Tenn., plant soon, and Mazda has also signaled that it will be the first of the Asian car makers to offer a diesel passenger vehicle in the U.S., called the SKYACTIV-D. And, Schafer said, “There are also a number of reports that Nissan and other car makers may be planning to unveil new diesels in the U.S.” While diesel autos account for roughly 50 percent of all new auto sales in Europe, the number is drastically less in the U.S. at only just about 3 percent. 


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