At the Chevrolet “Powered by Innovations” workshop in Detroit, sessions covered a range of fronts upon which Chevrolet is working to evolve the brand both in North America and globally. There were many speakers, an abundant supply of experts, lots of cars, vehicle reveals and hints and confirmations of things to come. While much was learned, details in some key areas were not provided. This is typical of such events, where much of the information is tightly scripted and managed by vigilant public relations specialists.
For instance, over the past few months, I’ve heard suggestions that Chevrolet would drop the diesel engine from the Cruze. Questions have been asked about its long-term viability given that apparently sales numbers haven’t been that strong, with greecarreports.com reporting that Cruze diesel sales are “mediocre at best.” GM Canada executives point out that they’re selling as many as they can get and that supply of diesel engines is the problem. If they had more supply, they’d have more sales!
It’s all moot, as it turns out, as the latest iteration of Chevrolet’s most popular car will certainly be available with diesel power in the form of an all-new “Flüsterdiesel” developed in Germany, Italy and the US. “Flüstern” is German for “whisper,” suggesting that this 1.6L turbo-diesel is “whisper quiet.”
Chevrolet has a range of diesel engines in its global portfolio, including three and four-cylinder engines from 1.0L to 2.2L displacement, 2.5L and 2.8L four-cylinder engines for the Chevrolet Colorado and a 6.6L V8 for the Silverado and Express. The company plans to “aggressively go after the diesel passenger car market in the US,” according to Dan Nicholson, Vice President GM Global Powertrain. Diesel fans in Canada, where diesels cars sell very well indeed, will surely be pleased!
While specification details (horsepower, torque, estimated fuel consumption) are not yet released for the North American Flüsterdiesel, this engine is currently available in Europe. Expect to see the new Cruze Diesel in early 2017.
Chevrolet plans 30 powertrain product launches in 2016 and 2017, representing a billion-dollar investment at its eight global engineering development centres. In addition to the diesel engines, Chevrolet will offer a suite of gasoline engines including three and four-cylinder Small Ecotec engines from 1.0-1.5L, Large Ecotec engines from 2.0-2.5L, a 3.6L V6 with Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and start/stop capability, and small-block V8 engines from 5.3-7.0L, also with cylinder deactivation.
More on Autos.ca: GM set to launch diesel versions of Colorado, Canyon pickups for 2016
Chevrolet has also been working on transmissions, offering a range of units for specific applications. Included are six-speed, eight-speed and CVTs for front-wheel drive vehicles, five, six and seven-speed manuals for front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles, a seven-speed, high efficiency Dry Clutch Transmission (DCT), and six and eight-speed automatics for rear-wheel drive vehicles. Coming soon are nine and 10-speed automatics.
In case you’re wondering, these multi-speed automatics simulate, in a sense, the smooth and precise operation of a CVT gearbox, and will be used in vehicles whose power exceeds the operational parameters of CVTs.