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Chevrolet: Cobalt/Cruze News **Diesel Engine Information (page 7)**

 
Old 07-12-2011, 07:05 AM
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Post Diesel


General Motors has decided to sell in the United States a diesel version of its hot-selling Chevrolet Cruze compact, according to an Associated Press report.

The AP says the info came from 2 people briefed on the matter and that these people say the diesel Cruze would be rated about 50 miles per gallon (21 kilometers per liter) on the highway and help GM meet tightening government fuel-economy rules.

It'll need to do at least that to sell -- the Cruze Eco model is currently the highest-mileage conventional gasoline-powered car sold in the U.S., with a 42 mpg highway, and we at Drive On were able to get nearly 50 in 1 with careful highway driving recently.

1 of the people says the diesel Cruze would not arrive until at least 2013, which would make it a 2014 model. GM's Holden unit in Australia sells there a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder diesel version of the Cruze. But so far, only German automakers have been promoting diesel cars in the U.S.: 22% of VW's sales last year were diesels.

Reluctance is in part because diesels cost more -- typically a couple thousand dollars -- and the people didn't know how much the diesel Cruze would cost. The Cruze with the Eco fuel-saving package starts at $18,425 plus shipping, $1,900 more than the regular base Cruze.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson would not comment.

Now, if we could just convince GM to give the U.S. the sleek and cool Cruze hatchback (below) that it sells pretty much everywhere else ....
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:01 AM
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As the 2016 new EPA milage rules get closer, I expect other news like this.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:38 AM
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What kind of potential does this have to be tuned?
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:44 AM
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Diesel Focus not far behind?
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Moose Muscles View Post
What kind of potential does this have to be tuned?
There's no mention of a turbo on the Holden site but the engine develops 160hp and 265lb-ft of torque.

Seems like a lot from a N/A 2.0L diesel ...
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:03 AM
  #246  
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http://content.usatoday.com/communit...vrolet-cruze/1

Is the hot streak coming to an end for the Chevrolet Cruze midsize sedan?


Cruze has been one of the brightest stars for General Motors in recent months. But now production is being slowed for the Cruze after a sudden, surprise bulge in inventories, Automotive News reports.

GM is going to shut down production at the Lordstown, Ohio, plant that makes the Cruze during the week of Nov. 28, the News quotes GM spokesman Chris Lee said. Production will resume the week of Dec. 5.

Why? Because GM found itself with a 73-day supply as of Nov. 1, up from 43 days on Oct. 1. That 73-day supply isn't far off the industry norm for inventories, but it certainly more than GM was expecting of the Cruze at this point.

Not only has Cruze received generally good marks from reviewers so far as a vastly improved midsize car compared to the Chevrolet Cobalt it replaced, the car benefitted from the supply problems of its competitors. Toyota and Honda have had trouble maintaining inventories of their Camry and Accord, respectively, the chief rivals of Cruze, because of ramifications of the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Accord was back in charge as the top selling car last month. Camry was right after it. Cruze fell to eighth among cars, 14th among all vehicles, according to Autodata.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:35 AM
  #247  
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Cruze is a Camry, Accord competitor? Thought that was the Maibu's job?
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:05 AM
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Having a car rag writer confused about his subject is not unusual.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:45 AM
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http://www.edmunds.com/auto-shows/ch...-at-25695.html

2013 Chicago Auto Show

Just the Facts:
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will start at $25,695 when it goes on sale in the U.S. in May.
The new turbodiesel is $1,910 more expensive than its closest competitor, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI.
The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will come with a two-year maintenance plan that includes such things as oil changes and tire rotations.

CHICAGO — The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will start at $25,695, including an $810 destination charge, when it goes on sale in the U.S. in May. The Cruze diesel model debuts at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.

The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is $1,910 more expensive than its closest competitor, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The base 2013 Jetta TDI starts at $23,785, including a $795 destination charge.

The Cruze diesel model is $7,755 more expensive than the base 2013 Chevrolet Cruze LS with a manual transmission. It is $5,205 more expensive than the base 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Eco with a six-speed manual transmission. The 2013 Cruze LS starts at $17,940, including an $810 destination charge. The 2013 Cruze Eco starts at $20,490, including shipping.

GM has not yet priced the standard 2014 Chevrolet Cruze.

The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will come with a two-year maintenance plan that includes such things as oil changes and tire rotations.

The EPA has not announced fuel economy numbers on the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, but General Motors said the car is expected to deliver 42 mpg on the highway. In comparison, the less expensive Cruze Eco with a manual transmission returns 28 mpg in city driving and 42 mpg on the highway.

The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, the first diesel model for Chevrolet in the U.S. since the 1986 Chevrolet Chevette diesel, debuts at a time when diesel fuel prices are outpacing gasoline pricing. The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report this week pegged the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel at $3.98 versus $3.53 for gasoline.

In a media conference call earlier this week, GM officials were asked how they would sell a diesel Chevrolet under those circumstances.

"We have seen that diesel has been above gas," said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet small car and electrified vehicle marketing. "It's just something that we're going to have to work with. Customers will get past it. It's a difficult thing to predict these prices."

GM is pitching the Cruze diesel as "another fuel-efficient alternative to the portfolio."

Landy described the car as "more efficient than a hybrid and it doesn't compromise on performance."

The Cruze diesel is fitted with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that produces an estimated 148 horsepower and an estimated 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission, with no plans on tap for a manual-transmission version, the automaker said. GM said the car sprints from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds. It has an "overboost" feature in which the maximum turbo boost pressure increases for about 10 seconds for "an added burst of acceleration."

GM has not released an estimate on the range of the Cruze diesel. Diesel vehicles typically have a better range than their gasoline-engine counterparts, meaning that buyers will spend less time filling up at the pump.

GM said it will gradually roll out the Cruze diesel throughout the U.S., starting in about 13 markets, including California, Oregon, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Boston.

"A lot of them line up with where we sell (Chevrolet) Silverado diesels," Landy said. "There is some correlation between those who would drive a diesel truck and have a diesel car in the garage. We've picked a few markets that are key. But that will be the first month or two and then we'll roll out (nationwide)."

She said the typical Cruze diesel buyer is expected to be "a person who is predisposed to diesel or aware of the benefits of diesel."

"They tend to be more male, higher educated, a little older," Landy said.

The Cruze diesel will be offered in one model only. Details include 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, Aero Performance package and leather-appointed seating.

Edmunds says: GM brags that the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is the only domestic diesel passenger car in the U.S. It is also a great experiment for the Detroit automaker as it continues to study the diesel market in general, especially in terms of luxury vehicles.
$25-$26k sounds too expensive for a mainstream domestic compact sedan. I'm surprised its starting price is higher than a Jetta TDI (though the Jetta is probably less well equipped).

42mpg on the highway is not that impressive considering the Cruze Eco is rated the same. Unlike hybrids, diesel cars don't do as well in the city (i.e. city rating will be significantly lower than highway rating).

Going by GM estimates, the Cruze Diesel is slightly slower than a Cruze Eco 6MT for 0-60mph but should be faster than the Cruze Eco AT.

Considering the rather small fuel economy advantage over the regular Cruze Eco, it will take a while to recoup the extra cost (~$3k- $5k). That's not even considering the cost of urea injection.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:58 AM
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I assume GM has some study telling them that only a fully loaded Cruze diesel will sell - otherwise why wouldn't they offer it lesser trims? Like the Jetta, it's hard to do an apples-apples comparison with some other model to see if the better mileage payback is worth the higher up front cost.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:59 PM
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I guess it's similar to what manufacturers do to hybrids. Most hybrids models are pretty well equipped as well, which makes direct comparison more difficult.

I did a bit more research on this car. Car and Driver said that the Cruze Turbo Diesel is based on the Cruze 2LT Auto trim (top of the line trim is the LTZ). That trim is $2560 cheaper than the turbo diesel. This trim gets 30mpg combined. Assuming the Cruze Turbo Diesel gets the same EPA ratings as the Jetta TDI DSG at 30/42mpg (34mpg combined), there's a 4mpg improvement at a cost of $2560.

The gas price around $3.5/gal. Let's also assume that the car is driven for 15000 miles per year (41 miles/day). Using the Fuel Savings calculator (http://www.autobytel.com/car-financi...gs-calculator/), you will see that you save $205/year.

In other words, it will take over 12 years to break even the extra initial cost. This is not including the extra cost of urea injection.

Though it's important for most people, not everything is about finance. The Cruze turbo diesel isn't much, if any faster than a regular Cruze 1.4T in absolute terms. I'd imagine the extra torque would make the car feel more powerful. However, we also need to look at the handling. The Cruze diesel is over 300lb heavier than a non-eco Cruze Turbo automatic. Most of that extra weight is in the front (unlike a hybrid where the battery pack and some other parts are in the middle or rear of the car). One also has to consider the "usually more boring" engine note.

I don't know about the others, but looking at the above facts, I'd be hesitant to consider the Cruze Turbo Diesel.

Last edited by iforyou; 02-08-2013 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:05 PM
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My bad, I assumed both gas price and diesel price are $3.5/gal right now.

That is incorrect.

Although gas price is $3.5/gal, diesel price is over $4.0/gal (http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/).

If this trend is to continue, then the break even period would be even longer (i.e. actual fuel saving per year will be less than $200) assuming fuel prices stay relatively stable.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:55 PM
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^ in the real world the mileage diff will likely be higher but at a $2500 premium it's still not worth it. For diesels, in an apples-to-apples comparison the diff should be $1000 or less (like the E class Benz diesel) the get real sales traction.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by biker View Post
^ in the real world the mileage diff will likely be higher but at a $2500 premium it's still not worth it. For diesels, in an apples-to-apples comparison the diff should be $1000 or less (like the E class Benz diesel) the get real sales traction.
I guess for the real world mileage part, it depends on which car we are talking about.

In Canada, the E350 4matic starts at $66.3k while the E350 Bluetec starts at $65.6k. So it's actually cheaper to get the diesel trim here!

However, in Canada, we also have the E300 4matic model that has 248hp and it's priced at $58.3k. IMO, the E350 isn't quite in the same league as the E350 bluetec as the E350 has an extra 100hp.

I think it's difficult for affordable cars to have diesel engines. After all, the cost of a diesel engine is significantly higher than a gasoline engine. In a premium car, the added cost is around the same in terms of dollar amount, but percentage wise, it's not as much (i.e. $3k premium in a $20k vehicle vs $4k premium in a $60k vehicle).
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:13 AM
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^ the significantly higher cost of diesel may have been true some years ago, but a diesel these days is very close to a DI gas engine. When designed and built from scratch the diesel engine and DI gas engine are probably within a few hundred $ (the diesel is actually simpler and has fewer parts). The added cost these days comes from the exhaust (thank you tree huggers ) .

Last edited by biker; 02-09-2013 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:13 PM
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I guess so. The main point is the whole diesel powertrain system is in general more expensive than an equivalent petrol powertrain.

Just a quick thought, the Cruze 2LT is already at 3143lb (probably 6MT model), adding over 300lb to that is around 3500lb. For comparison, the base Jetta petrol is 2804lb. The base Jetta TDI is 3161lb (which also represents a 300+lb weight penalty).
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by iforyou View Post

.....

I think it's difficult for affordable cars to have diesel engines. After all, the cost of a diesel engine is significantly higher than a gasoline engine. In a premium car, the added cost is around the same in terms of dollar amount, but percentage wise, it's not as much (i.e. $3k premium in a $20k vehicle vs $4k premium in a $60k vehicle).
VW diesel cars are still affordable.

The Golf TDI starts at $24K, and the Jetta TDI starts at $23K.

For these econo cars, the premium for diesel engines over gas engines is not that hefty. Only that for the luxury brands is.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:10 PM
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The Cruze in person is not a bad looking car.

The Cruze will probably cost slightly more than the Jetta but have leather, BLIS, Park Assist, etc as well. Plus the same free maintenance as VW but for one less year.

If I really stopped to think about it and got away from my bias, would I take a solid-rear axled Jetta TDI over a Cruze if they were the same price (about $27k)?

If I did buy the Jetta, what would that say about me? I'm afraid it would make me a narrow-minded idiot for not considering what might be the better car because of the badge.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward'TLS View Post
VW diesel cars are still affordable.

The Golf TDI starts at $24K, and the Jetta TDI starts at $23K.

For these econo cars, the premium for diesel engines over gas engines is not that hefty. Only that for the luxury brands is.
When you look at VW website, you will notice that the Jetta TDI is similarly equipped as the Jetta SE with convenience package (TDI is slightly inferior in terms of features but close enough). The TDI is at $23k, and the SE with convenience pkg is $20.3k. Just like the Cruze 2LT Auto vs Cruze Diesel Turbo, there's still over $2.5k difference. This brings back to the argument earlier which concludes that it would take over 12 years to break even. That's assuming fuel prices stay the same and both diesel and petrol fuels cost the same (which obviously is not the case right now).

Now keep in mind I'm not talking about whether these cars (VW TDI or Cruze Turbo Diesel) are affordable or not. At $20-$30k, I think it's fair to say these are affordable. The question is, is the diesel option worth the $2.5k premium with a 12+ years pay back period, the extra 300-350lb weight, and truck-like engine sound. I'm leaving straightline performance out of the equation since for the Jetta, the TDI has 30 less hpm 350lb weight penalty, but with a lot more torque.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:21 AM
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http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dl...#axzz2QohpRq00

DETROIT -- General Motors said the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel will deliver an estimated 46 miles per gallon on the highway, besting the company's initial target by four mpg.

The estimate is also good enough to top the rival 2013 Volkswagen Jetta diesel, which achieves 42 mpg on the highway.

The Cruze's 2-liter turbo diesel engine produces 148 horsepower, compared with 140 hp for the Jetta diesel.

After its February introduction at the Chicago auto show, GM engineers continued to make adjustments to the Cruze diesel to improve its fuel economy.

It emits 90 percent less nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions than earlier diesel models, according to GM.

"We were still testing at the time, but wanted to be clear that we would be at or better than Jetta," a GM spokeswoman said. "The engineering team did a lot of incremental changes to the Cruze diesel from the Eco model to gain efficiency."

The Cruze diesel will be GM's first diesel car sold in the United States since the 1980s.

It is also a bellwether for diesel demand in the country as more automakers weigh the technology to comply with stricter U.S. fuel economy rules.

Volkswagen is the only nonluxury brand now selling diesels and dominates the U.S. market with its TDI offerings in the Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Golf.

Last year, 20 percent of U.S. Jetta sales were diesel versions.

The Cruze diesel, featuring a six-speed automatic transmission, has an estimated range of 700 highway miles.
The starting price for the Cruze diesel is $25,695, including shipping. It will go on sale in select U.S. cities this spring, and nationwide and in Canada in the early fall, GM said.

Chevy Cruze sales have slipped 2 percent this year through March to 55,731 and GM is counting on the diesel variant to spark new interest in the compact sedan.

Since its mid-2010 launch, Cruze sales have eclipsed 2 million units globally, with more than 33,000 of them powered by diesel engines.

Gary Altman, chief engineer for the Cruze Diesel, said: "We harnessed generations of diesel expertise to adapt our world-class global engine for the North American market.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:23 AM
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Like hybrids, the issue is whether the added up front costs can be recouped by the increased mileage in the typical ownership period. At that $26K price, I doubt it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:10 PM
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Yea that's $3-4k more expensive than the equivalent Cruze that runs on gasoline.....besides, what's the mpg rating for city driving?
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:28 PM
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To make it feasible, cost wise, the diesel mark up has to be less than about $1500. The only one that I think is like that is the E class.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by iforyou View Post
....besides, what's the mpg rating for city driving?
According to this: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...i-mpg/2091633/ it's only 27 and 33 combined. Worse than the Jetta. Something doesn't sound right with such a huge spread in the numbers.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by biker View Post
According to this: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...i-mpg/2091633/ it's only 27 and 33 combined. Worse than the Jetta. Something doesn't sound right with such a huge spread in the numbers.
Whoa that's ridiculous if true. 27mpg city is the same as a Nissan Altima. I think we should wait for official EPA figures for confirmation. The Cruze Eco 6MT is also rated at 33mpg combined for reference (31mpg for AT).
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:17 AM
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http://www.autonews.com/article/2013...#axzz2UhP0olNV

HELL, Mich. -- General Motors' passenger-car diesel program has, quite literally, been to Hell and back.

Chevrolet chose this out-of-the-way and ironically named destination for journalists to test drive its Cruze diesel, which began arriving in dealerships this week.

Of course, GM soured the U.S. market for diesel passenger cars in the 1980s with sluggish, noisy, unreliable engines.

But the 2.0-liter turbodiesel that we drove straight to Hell this week should exorcise those demons.

The powertrain is smooth, with ample torque available at low- and mid-range speeds.

Inside, it takes a while to get used to the diesel engine chattering away under the hood of such a small vehicle. But I'd bet most U.S. car buyers would find it quieter and more refined than anything they imagine a diesel car to be.

You can always tell how confident an automaker is in a new model by whether it makes the rival car available for the media drive. And yes, Chevy's event planners had Volkswagen Jetta TDIs on hand for comparison tests.

That made sense. GM engineers benchmarked against the Jetta, and the Cruze diesel beats it in almost every category: More horsepower (140 hp); more torque (258 pounds-feet); a bladder-challenging 700-mile range for one tank of gas.

Even so, I wouldn't expect Chevy to go poaching a bunch of import-biased diesel aficiandos with the Cruze diesel. Those buyers are different breed.

But after driving it, I think Chevy has a much broader opportunity: anyone who wants really good fuel economy that actually meets or exceeds the EPA rating.

The Cruze diesel is rated at 27 in city driving and 46 mpg on the highway. On my 35-mile drive through a mix of country roads and highways, I averaged 43 mpg without really trying.

Even with the steep price premium -- $25,695, including shipping, about $5,200 more than the gasoline-powered Cruze Eco -- the Cruze diesel should reap plenty of incremental sales for Chevy.

And if gas prices spike? Well, then Chevy could -- wait for it -- really raise some hell in the compact segment.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:01 AM
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GM Facing Federal Criminal Investigation for Ignition Switch Recall

The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation of General Motors to determine what laws the automaker may have broken leading up to last month’s ignition switch recall. According to Reuters, Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is collecting evidence against the automaker, which admitted it had taken at least 10 years to fix defects that led to cars shutting down without warning.

At least 13 people have died in 31 crashes in part because of safety equipment that was disabled when the engine shut down. No official documents or specific legal charges are known to be filed. The federal case piles on top of a separate investigation into GM by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, forthcoming subpoenas to GM and NHTSA from a Congressional committee, and GM’s internal investigation.

Bharara is finishing a four-year criminal case against Toyota that could potentially cost the automaker more than $1 billion. The Justice Department brought Toyota to court alleging the company misled federal agencies against potential defects with floor mats and unintended acceleration, despite the government’s conclusion that the 10.2 million recalled vehicles in the U.S. had no technical faults.
The media crucified Toyota for its safety issues last decade, but now GM has been covering up Cobalt issues for years.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:00 AM
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Chevy pulls the covers off 2016 Cruze | Autoweek

hevrolet pulled the wraps off the second-generation Cruze to reveal more stylized sheetmetal, a host of new safety and tech features, more interior room but fewer pounds at the curb.

The Ohio-built 2016 Cruze includes a slate of new technology and safety features, including 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as the newest version of Chevy MyLink; Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay will also be available.

Alan Batey, GM executive vice president and president, North America, said, “We retained all the attributes that made the original Cruze a hit around the globe and built on them to make this car more sophisticated, more fun and more Chevrolet.”


-- New Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engine turns out 153 hp and 177 lb-ft.

-- Turbo-four returns 40 mpg on the highway, with a highway range of 530 miles.

-- Choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission remains.

-- All Cruzes get standard stop/start technology.

-- Diesel engine option returns in 2017.

-- The new car sheds 250 pounds over the previous model.

-- Overall addition of 2.7 inches in length and an inch reduction in height; wheelbase grows by half an inch, with added length benefitting rear leg room.

-- Front passenger-seat occupant sensing system and rollover sensing and protection system added.

-- Modified hot-stamped steel structure is 27 percent stiffer and 53 pounds lighter than the current Cruze.

Other Cruze Highlights

-- Available safety features include side blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist and forward collision alert.

-- New version of Chevy MyLink with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay optional.

-- Standard heated front cloth seats, and when equipped with leather, the rear seats and steering wheel get heat, as well.

--Wireless phone charging available.

-- Ten airbags standard.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:03 AM
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:04 AM
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:51 AM
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First thing I thought when I first saw the images yesterday is that it looks like a Chrysler 200.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:22 AM
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^I saw the new 200s and totally thought it was an import. they did a good job on them!
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:11 PM
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I think it looks pretty good. The 1G Cruze was a huge improvement over the Cobalt. I think this is a step forward on the 1G Cruze as well.
Now offer the LTZ with a 6MT!
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RPhilMan1 View Post
First thing I thought when I first saw the images yesterday is that it looks like a Chrysler 200.
First thing i thought, that is a Civic... with much better execution.
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:27 AM
  #275  
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http://www.autonews.com/article/2015...312079974/1221

You'd think the words "German diesel" would kill a U.S. marketing campaign, but General Motors disagrees. Despite VW's woes, Chevrolet intends to play up the German origins of the diesel engine scheduled for the new Cruze in early 2017.

In the U.S., the 1.6-liter engine will be known as the Flustern diesel, using the German word for "whisper," GM head of powertrain Dan Nicholson said.

"We use the German word because even in the U.S., it shows our German heritage."

The engine was developed by GM subsidiary Opel in Germany and in GM's powertrain facility in Turin.

"Having worked in Germany for five years, I don't think this latest incident from VW disparages all of German engineering. I think quite the opposite," Nicholson said.

The Cruze diesel already powers several European models, including the Opel Mokka subcompact SUV and Astra compact. Nicholson believes customers will be reassured the engine comes from the epicenter of diesel technology. "We want people to know two things: one, it's European; two, it's quiet," he said.
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:27 AM
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...three, we won't cheat.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:44 AM
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Arrow Diesel

http://www.autonews.com/article/20170220/OEM06/302209945/how-chevy-coaxed-cruze-diesel-to-52-mpg

How Chevy coaxed Cruze diesel to 52 mpg

February 20, 2017 @ 12:01 am
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2017 Chevrolet Cruze dieselSend us a Letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.To earn the EPA's rare 50-plus highway fuel economy rating for the 2018 Cruze diesel sedan, Chevrolet engineers didn't just drop a fuel-efficient engine and transmission into the Cruze and call it done.

"There is no one silver bullet," says Craig Weddle, Cruze chief engineer. "There were a lot of little things we had to do to make it all add up."

It was a significant technical feat.

Last week when the EPA confirmed the Cruze diesel's 52-mpg highway fuel economy rating through its own testing at the agency's Ann Arbor, Mich., labs, the Cruze became one of only 4 non-hybrid cars to punch through the 50 mpg highway barrier since 1990.

And after the EPA revised its fuel economy test procedures in 2008 to better reflect real-world fuel economy, only one non-hybrid car since 1990 -- the Geo Metro XFi, also sold by Chevrolet -- has retained a 50-plus mpg rating. (The EPA has revoked certification and mileage ratings for all VW diesels affected by the emissions cheating scandal).

"Fuel economy is the reason for purchase, and we were looking for a wow factor," said Dan Nicholson, GM's vice president of Global Propulsion Systems.

The Cruze's results took a total General Motors team effort that drew in aerodynamicists, electricians, powertrain engineers, lightweighting specialists, friction gurus, calibration engineers and others.

The Cruze diesel, on the way to dealers now, even has a chief energy engineer, Eric VanDommelen, whose goal was to make sure every pound-foot of torque sent to the wheels delivered maximum efficiency and that few, if any, electrons were wasted.

Much of the technology used to boost the car's fuel economy, such as the smooth underbody, low-drag brakes and active grille shutters, came straight from hybrid cars.

GM will have its challenges marketing the fuel-sipping diesel. The car is part of a big push at GM to attract Volkswagen buyers leaving the brand in the wake of the diesel emissions cheating scandal there. That won't be easy. Gasoline is cheap and consumers are deserting cars for SUVs, crossovers and trucks. Diesel engines, thanks to VW's controversy, now have image issues.

It's also not a given that VW buyers will consider switching to Chevrolet.

Nicholson said in August that GM would be going after VW's diesel faithful, who once accounted for about 20 percent of the German brand's U.S. sales. A diesel version of the Equinox crossover is also on the way, and by the end of 2018, GM will offer 10 diesel models in North America. Nicholson said last week diesel vehicles represent a growth opportunity for Chevrolet.

But none of that mattered to the engineers who tuned and tweaked and prodded the Cruze diesel until it rolled over the 50-mpg goal line.

Not the '90s

Unlike the cramped, stripped-down '90s-era cars that got 50 mpg or close to it, the Cruze diesel sedan is smooth, quiet, comfortable and fully equipped with safety features and electronic gear.

"Certainly having a number that started with 5 was enticing, but we didn't sacrifice the rest of the car to get that," Weddle says. He added there was no pressure from upper management to hit 50 mpg.

"It was really about producing a great car with fuel economy that we thought would excite our expected diesel customer base," he said.

AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan calls the 52-mpg highway fuel economy rating for the Cruze diesel impressive. He notes engineers struggle for every 10th of a mile fuel economy gain and that the new Cruze diesel not only beats the old model by 6 mpg, but it bests the highway rating of the 2015 Cruze Eco, a gasoline-powered model built for high fuel economy, by a full 10 mpg.

"Other cars need two powertrains to hit anything in the 50 mpg range -- I'm talking about hybrids," says Sullivan. "Now you can get hybridlike fuel economy without the stigma of being seen in an oddly styled hybrid."
The exclusive 50-mpg club

Until the Cruze earned its 52-mpg highway rating, only three non-hybrid cars had earned 50 or better since1990. 2 were later revised out of the club.Shown below (clockwise): The Geo Metro XFi, Honda Civic CRF HF and the VW Jetta Wagon


2018 Chevrolet Cruze diesel: 30 mpg city, 52 highway, 37 combined (6-speed manual)
1990-94 Geo Metro XFi (5-speed manual)
Original: 53 city, 58 highway, 55 combined
Revised: 43 city, 52 highway, 47 combined1990 Honda Civic CRX HF (5-speed manual)
Original: 49 city, 52 highway, 50 combined
Revised: 40 city, 47 highway, 43 combined2002-03 Volkswagen Jetta Wagon diesel
Original: 42 city, 50 highway, 45 combined
Revised: 35 city, 45 highway, 39 combinedNotes: The EPA revised its fuel economy rating method in 2008 and published new ratings for vehicles alongside the old ones. Also, the EPA has removed certification from VW diesels from the 2009 to the 2015 model years.Source: EPA Fuel Economy Guide
The biggest parts of the Cruze's 52-mpg highway rating came from three areas: weight reduction, aerodynamics and the powertrain.

To start with, the current-generation Cruze, introduced last year, weighs about 250 pounds less than the 2015 version, mostly because of increased use of lightweight high-strength steel in the body, and aluminum in the suspension components.

"We put the mass where it matters to get the stiffness in the structure, but thinned it out anywhere where it is not absolutely needed," Weddle says.

Engineers also booked a 33-pound weight reduction under the hood. The old car's 2.0-liter diesel engine had a cast-iron block and weighed 368 pounds installed. The 2018 diesel's 1.6-liter engine has an aluminum block with cast iron liners and weighs 335 pounds.

Another key piece of the Cruze's fuel economy puzzle is its manual transmission, which requires less energy from the engine to power the wheels than the available nine-speed automatic. The six-speed manual also weighs less than the automatic.

Slippery shape

Improved aerodynamics were another important part of the equation. Many of the aerodynamic tweaks GM engineers made to the car carry over from the gasoline version.

In front of each tire, for example, a black plastic deflector pushes air away from the wheels. The Cruze also has active grille shutters, which adjust to the engine's cooling needs. When the shutters are closed, the aerodynamic efficiency is improved as air is routed over, under or around the car. Headlights, taillights, door handles and exterior mirrors saw plenty of wind tunnel time.
Engine testing involved 50 cars over more than 1 million miles.

The 2018 Cruze diesel's aerodynamic drag coefficient -- a measurement that quantifies aerodynamic efficiency -- is 0.28, down from the 0.30 of the 2015 Cruze diesel. The lower the number, the less energy it takes to push the car through the air.

VanDommelen, Cruze's chief energy engineer, said other tweaks, including using low-friction bearings in the drivetrain and wheels, tires that have lower rolling resistance than those used on the 1st generation Volt, and managing energy usage also helped attain the 52-mpg rating.

Even though GM's internal testing showed the Cruze well over 50 mpg on the highway, the champagne corks stayed in the bottles, VanDommelen said, until the EPA confirmed it.

"We had some hopes, and we're looking forward to hitting that goal. But I didn't want to really believe it until I saw it from the EPA. Once they confirmed it, we felt pretty good," he said.

Nicholson, GM's powertrain boss, said engineers weren't sure the Cruze would attain the 50-plus rating until late last year, near the end of the car's development cycle. "We were careful not to put pressure on the team," he said, "We wanted them to focus only on delivering the best car for the customer."

VW diesel owners had routinely beaten the EPA label numbers in their actual driving. And Sullivan thinks Cruze diesel drivers can get even higher than the 52 mpg highway rating.

"Most consumers have been able to beat the EPA numbers with small displacement diesels," Sullivan says. "If Cruze owners can beat the EPA number, it might make GM the new diesel leader in a market that has been leveled to nothing."
You can reach Richard Truett at [email protected]


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Old 02-20-2017, 07:47 AM
  #278  
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Yeah, my parents have a Cruze. If the Cruze is a mainstream contender, the Civic is upscale.

The biggest problem is the wear on these interiors is awful after a short period of time. It's cool they can get 50 mpgs.

Last edited by kurtatx; 02-20-2017 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 02-21-2017, 12:32 PM
  #279  
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Originally Posted by TSX69 View Post
"If Cruze owners can beat the EPA number, it might make GM the new diesel leader in a market that has been leveled to nothing."
Anything x 0, is still 0. Great engineering, but bad timing. It will be interesting to see if GM separates out diesel sales in the monthly numbers.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:20 AM
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I got about 42 mpg indicated driving the Chevy Cruze diesel, and I wasn’t trying to conserve fuel at all. That’s what a few expressway stints will do to this diesel -- the overall average was 45.7 mpg! The 1.6-liter turbo-four acts more like a strong six with plenty of power in the midrange and more passing ability than John Stockton on methamphetamine. Once this car hits 2,000 rpm, it’s gone. The tires will spin up at slower speeds and on the expressway; you’ll be at 90 mph in no time. At 75 mph in sixth gear, the revs sit at about 2,750, which is where primo passing possibility exists. I don’t think I shifted out of sixth once on the highway over the weekend. It pulls strong everywhere except for right off the line.

If you put your foot to the floor, it gets out of its own way, but driving normally, nothing much happens until 2,000 rpm. In fact, you’ll find your head moving forward to get ready to cope with the gs at 1,250, but they don’t come until 2K. Stopping is easy -- the brakes have a tiny, 2-inch stroke and they bite hard. That plus the torque make this car feel super spry.

Our Cruze diesel was equipped with a manual as God intended; clutch weight is decent, a little light for my taste, but not too soft. Shifter action is good, though I’m not a fan of the big, plastic knob. I do like its attached button that gets you into reverse. I hate when you just have to yank really hard.

I think this Cruze now suffers from what the V6 Accord does: It’s too quick for its soft suspension. Like the Accord, the Cruze lifts its nose on acceleration and dives on braking. Corners are about the same. I know this isn’t meant to be a street racer, Civic Si competitor, but I want it ... 33 percent stiffer.

The steering ain’t great either. It’s a little numb on center, kinda lightweight, though it gets more heft at speed. It also suffers from the tires, I think -- they’re tall, regular all-season Goodyears. There’s a good bit of tire squeal, too, at normal speeds. Some of that is the torque, surely, but it’s the tires, too.

I don’t love the look of the current Cruze sedan and prefer the hatchback Cruze, both for its profile looks and its extra utility. Put this diesel in there, find a slightly stiffer suspension and I guarantee you’ll sell one -- to me, at least.

--Jake Lingeman, road test editor


The Cruze's interior offers connected technology and available premium features including heated front cloth seats, heated rear outboard leather-trimmed seats and a heated, leather-trimmed steering wheel.
OTHER VOICES: This manual, diesel Cruze -- one of probably five in the entire United States -- is more of a road warrior’s budget-machine than a sporty sleeper. It’s quick enough, once you get past first gear, but there’s the matter of the hyper-boosted steering, for one. And the light clutch pedal. And the comfort-mode suspension…
These aren’t shortcomings: They reflect that this is an essentially standard-issue Cruze with a really efficient motor. Where Ford dropped a three-cylinder into its Focus, this diesel powerplant is apparently GM’s approach to creating a fuel economy special. The timing is tricky, what with the Volkswagen diesel scandal thing, but it does work as advertised.

I didn’t push the 1.6-liter as hard as Jake did, but I wasn’t hypermiling it either. Instant fuel economy readings were well north of 40 mpg, so exceeding the 37 mpg combined should be a cinch if you’re doing a fair bit of highway cruising (cruzing?). I was curious as to what the real-world fuel economy was, but I never needed to actually fill it up. Not a bad problem to have.

Every car has a use case. Hybrids seem to make the most sense for people who fritter their lives away stuck in gridlock. This thing, by contrast, is perfect for people who spend a lot of time criss-crossing the continent on a regular basis, getting as close as you can to that stated 52 mpg highway fuel economy.

Any fun that can be extracted from the little turbocharged oil-burner under the hood, while welcome, is incidental. Whether or not the writing is on the wall for diesel in Europe, this Cruze does a good job demonstrating its potential in America -- so long as you don’t mind filling up your compact sedan along with the big rigs.

Read more: Chevy Cruze diesel: An eco-commuter with few drawbacks
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