General Motors has just released the first images of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel sedan. The launch of the Cruze Diesel is quite a momentous occasion in GM’s history given the fact that this car marks the American car maker’s re-entry into the diesel car space after more than two and a half decades. The Cruze Diesel comes 26 years after the last diesel car that GM sold in the USA, the Chevette. After being showcased at the Chicago Motor Show which opens today, the Cruze will take another 4 months to reach US showrooms. So, June 2013 is when car buyers would be able to drive away their Chevrolet Cruze Diesels from GM showrooms.
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze sedan that is sold in the USA is slightly different from the India-spec car in that it comes with slight changes to the front bumper, a different alloy wheel design, taller 17 inch wheels and non-chromed door handles. Apart from these changes on the outside, the US-spec Cruze is very similar to the one sold in India in terms of styling. Under the hood though, the US-spec Cruze gets a 148 Bhp-350 Nm power and torque output from its 2 Liter turbo diesel motor. These outputs are lower than the 165 Bhp-380 Nm produced by the 2 Liter motor in the Indian Cruze. To make amends though, GM USA says that the US-spec Cruze Diesel’s engine will get an OverBoost function that boosts torque-on-demand to 380 Nm for about 10 seconds.
Power transmission on the US-spec Cruze is by means of a 6 speed automatic gearbox. In the USA, GM hopes to sell about 25,000 Cruze Diesels each year, which is about 10% of all Cruze variants’ annual sales in the United States. The Cruze Diesel sold in the US market only in LT trim, will get the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment package, a two years scheduled maintenance package and heated leather seats. Airbags, ABS+EBD and 4 kph impact proof bumpers will come as standard. The Cruze Diesel will compete with the diesel powered Volkswagen Jetta in the US market. The Cruze Diesel is priced at $25,695, which represents an $8,000 bump up on the base petrol version of the Cruze.
GM USA will be betting on the 17.8 Kmpl fuel economy figure of the Cruze Diesel to tilt the scales in favour of the diesel powered model. Despite good fuel economy numbers, GM could have a tough time convincing car buyers in the petrol happy US market to jump onto the diesel brigade given the fact that diesel is more than 10% expensive than petrol. All said, even if GM USA manages to sell about 25,000 examples of the Cruze Diesel each year in the US market, the car maker would have almost doubled the Cruze Diesel’s global volumes.