Cruze Diesel Will Build on GM’s Euro Expertise
U.S. engine being co-developed with diesel center of excellence in Torino, Italy
DETROIT – When it came to developing a diesel-powered 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, General Motors powertrain engineers adapted a proven powertrain already used by GM in Europe, where approximately 40 percent of all Cruze models sold feature a diesel engine.
Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, available now in select markets and nationwide and in Canada in late summer, leverages global powertrain expertise that has helped make GM’s fuel-efficient diesel engines popular options around the world.
Cruze Diesel beats its rivals in performance, with a segment-leading, SAE-certified 151 horsepower (113 kW) and 264 lb-ft of torque (358 Nm), and can go from 0-60 in about 8.6 seconds. Its advanced 2.0L turbo-diesel engine produces at least 250 lb-ft of torque (339 Nm) between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm and has an overboost feature capable of increasing torque to an estimated 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) for short bursts of stronger acceleration when needed, such as merging onto a busy freeway.
GM sold more than 400,000 diesel-powered cars globally last year, including 35,000 Cruzes.
“The market for diesel cars in the U.S. is small at present, but is expected to grow due to Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements and expected increases in gas prices,” said Mike Omotoso, powertrain analyst at LMC Automotive. “So far, the German automakers haven’t had any diesel car competition in North America. GM could do well with it, particularly with younger buyers who don’t have the old prejudices against diesel.”
Diesel engines have long been known for their fuel efficiency and power. 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.
For Cruze, powertrain engineers at GM’s diesel center of excellence in Torino, Italy, worked daily with counterparts in Pontiac, Mich., to develop a world-class engine that delivers outstanding fuel efficiency and torque while providing a smooth, quiet ride. In addition, GM engineers in Russelsheim, Germany, supported the program by developing the accessory drive, acoustic cover and other specialized components.
Engineers at GM’s Global Powertrain Engineering Development Center in Pontiac designed parts needed to modify the engine to meet U.S. requirements for emissions, fuel economy, diagnostics, altitude and cold and hot starts. They also completed dynamometer development and validation in Pontiac, and conducted vehicle calibration at GM’s Milford Proving Ground.
Future diesel engine development will benefit from GM’s recent commitment to invest 20 million Euros ($25.9 million) to add five new dynamic benches at its Torino facility for climatic, noise and vibration and chassis dynamometer testing. These additions will speed development time.
“U.S. customers are going to be pleasantly surprised when they get a chance to drive the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel,” said Mike Siegrist, 2.0L diesel assistant chief engineer. “Our global team is providing diesel engineering expertise that will give U.S. Cruze customers great quality, torque and fuel economy in a car that’s both fun to drive and practical at the pump.”
Climatic tests simulate temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees Celsius) up to (158F) (70C) and altitudes as high as 10,000 feet (3,000 meters). Noise and vibration tests help minimize engine vibro-acoustic response. Chassis dynamometer tests measure emissions.
“We’re able to put the diesel engines through rigorous testing to ensure they operate optimally under a wide range of conditions and also can be integrated seamlessly into the production vehicle,” said Pierpaolo Antonioli, managing director of the Torino Powertrain and Engineering Center. “We’ve pushed these engines in the labs so that the customer can depend on them in real-world driving situations.”
The latest generation of GM diesels has resolved drawbacks associated with the previous engines. Precisely controlled direct-injection fuel systems create a smooth-running engine. Particulate-capturing filtration systems dramatically reduce tailpipe emissions.
“In terms of outward appearances, the difference between the diesel and gasoline engine is going to be difficult to discern,” Siegrist said. “GM’s advanced technologies provide a seamless transition from a gasoline to a diesel car. You get the benefits of the fuel economy and power while preserving a smooth, quiet ride.”
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
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