2014 Chevrolet Cruze
2014 Chevrolet Cruze. Click image to enlarge
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Preview by Justin Pritchard, photos courtesy GM

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2014 Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet is about to give Volkswagen some serious competition in the diesel-powered compact-sedan marketplace with an upcoming model that’s launching for 2014. Canadian car shoppers interested in diesel power will soon have more options—thanks to the confirmed introduction of the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. GM officials say the new Cruze variant builds on the award-winning platform of the standard car, and is fitted with the cleanest diesel passenger car engine they’ve ever built.

“This Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel represents a new era in diesel performance for American cars,” said Jens Wartha, GM chief engineer. “We’ve adapted a proven engine from Europe, the world’s diesel capital, and married it with the emissions-reducing technology that was perfected in the United States. It’s a great example of how Chevrolet’s global resources work harmoniously to produce the right product at the right time and for the right market”.

In days gone by, diesel engines smelled like a dirty ashtray and had exhaust emissions that could be harvested for chemical warfare. Today, Chevrolet officials are hoping to get plenty of ‘butts into seats’ for test-drives, where the benefits of modern diesel engine technology will be instantly apparent. Today’s diesel engines are quieter, more refined, and as smooth, or even smoother, than a comparable gas-powered engine.

2014 Chevrolet Cruze
2014 Chevrolet Cruze. Click image to enlarge

With some 90 percent lower emissions than diesel engines of days gone by, today’s diesel powerplants are cleaner than ever, too. In the case of the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, that’s thanks to proven engine technologies honed in Europe, alongside proven exhaust emissions control systems perfected in North America. Like the Jetta TDI, the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will emit virtually no soot.

Diesel engines have to stand up to a lot of heat and pressure—so they’re built tough. Cruze’s diesel powerplant gets an iron cylinder block and forged crankshaft for toughess, and an aluminum head and intake manifold to help keep weight relatively lean.

“The market for diesel cars in the U.S. is small at present, but is expected to grow due to Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) 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.”

That European-derived engine is a two-litre DOHC unit that will best the Jetta TDI’s output with an estimated 148 horsepower and nearly 260 lb-ft of torque. Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel’s emissions will be below stringent U.S. environmental standards, including Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions standards.

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