Chevy Cruze Goes Diesel, Cruises Further With 258 lb-ft And 42mpg

As a heavy-breathing website for all things high-performance in the Chevy world, it’s not often that we find ourselves poking around the news-heavy internet for mentions on small Chevy sedans – The Chevy Cruze. In our case, however, we can’t forget about some of our devoted readers who enjoy all things Chevy. And yes, this even means showcasing the latest Chevy Cruze.

“It is powerful, efficient and clean. It will change perceptions of what a diesel car can be while giving customers another fuel efficient choice in the Cruze lineup.” – Mike Siegrist, assistant chief engineer.

While the Chevy Cruze isn’t known for a white-knuckle driving experience, it has shown a great deal of success at the dealerships; offering the public a comfortable sedan with all the necessary amenities seen in many of the higher-priced sedans in the same class for a fraction of the cost. This year, Chevrolet has entered the Chevy Cruze into a whole new class; allowing the Cruze to cruise even further thanks in part to an all-new diesel engine.

Chevrolets 2014 Cruze will offer up the platform with the traditional gas-burner, 1.8L 4-cylinder and 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder. Moreover, Chevrolet is now offering up the same platform with a larger displacement 2.0L clean diesel with lots of low rpm twist and an estimated 42 mpg paired with the automatic transmission.

Chevys new clean diesel will generate at least 90 percent less Nitrogen Oxide (N0x) and particulate emissions when compared to previous-generation diesels. It is the cleanest diesel passenger car engine ever produced by General Motors.

Banking on much of the diesels success across the pond in the European models, the Cruze’s 2.0L turbo-diesel is a proven powerplant especially considering approximately 40 percent of the Cruze models sold feature the diesel engine.

Will it work with horsepower- and status-admiring Americans who enjoy filling their large disparagement appetites? Of course, only time will tell. GM’s diesel experts in the United States first collaborated with Italian and German engineering groups to devise and engineer an engine to accommodate more stringent diesel emission standards. This also included engineering  the standards around a wider range of driving conditions – including colder climates and higher altitudes – for the United States and Canada.

DIESEL FAST FACT: General Motors produces approximately half a million small diesel engines around the globe every year.

“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.”

While the turbo-diesel 2.0L isn’t considered a threat at stop lights, it does deliver a segment-leading estimated 148 horsepower and nearly 260 lb-ft at a paltry 2,000 rpm, exactly where you’d need it when entering a freeway onramp or passing slower vehicles.

What’s more, Chevrolet has devised an overboost feature. This feature allows an increase of torque additionally, by about 20 lb-ft, netting 280 lb-ft for stronger acceleration periods of about 10 seconds.

“With the benefit of continuous refinement in other markets, the 2.0L turbo-diesel comes to the United States and Canada with performance that will impress,” said Mike Siegrist, assistant chief engineer. “It is powerful, efficient and clean. It will change perceptions of what a diesel car can be while giving customers another fuel efficient choice in the Cruze lineup.”

At The Heart

The Chevy Cruze Diesel is packed full of engine technology that’ll make any engine-guru drool. As such, the 2.0L turbo-diesel engine provides greater fuel economy, a higher compression ratio and an unthrottled combustion process. Thought the diesel engine features a traditionally heavy iron cylinder block, Chevy planted a forged steel crankshaft for strength and long-term durability. Up top sits a lightweight aluminum cylinder head and intake manifold, which allows the engine to remain at a relatively low weight of 408 pounds. This also attributes to the Cruze’s ability to deliver great driving characteristics and better handling when the road gets twisty.

Quiet, smooth performance is enabled by a number of features on and around the engine. There are also sound-absorbing features added to the Cruze, specific to the diesel model, including a unique dash mat, hood blanket and more.

To meet United States and Canada’s tough diesel emissions regulations, Chevrolet engineers designed a precise exhaust gas recirculation control system, which features a high-capacity cooler and bypass feature. Additionally, Chevrolet engineers have developed an exhaust after-treatment system is similar to what is used on Chevrolet’s heavy-duty trucks and vans equipped with the Duramax diesel, including a diesel particulate filter and urea injection. This helps make the 2.0L the cleanest diesel passenger car engine ever from GM. To make this happen, a 4.5-gallon tank is added to the Cruze diesel models. This tank holds the diesel emissions fluid and according to GM, provides at least 10,000 miles of driving between refills and is designed to coincide with scheduled servicing for oil changes.

 Chevy Cruze Diesel Engine Tech & Specs

  • Dual overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder and maintenance-free hydraulic lifters with low-friction roller-finger followers
  • Quiet belt-driven cams/valvetrain with high-strength belt material and tensioner rated for 100,000 miles
  • High-strength aluminum pistons with reinforced top ring and integral combustion bowl design
  • Central direct injection, with the injector positioned in the middle of the cylinder, with the bowl in the piston serving as the combustion chamber. This enables a high 16.5:1 compression ratio that enhances power and combustion efficiency
  • Variable-swirl intake manifold design, which optimizes air charge mixture motion in the cylinders for a more-efficient combustion that enhances performance and reduces emissions
  • Common-rail fuel system with Piezo fuel injectors that create multiple injections per combustion for greater performance, combustion efficiency and quietness
  • Variable-nozzle turbocharger that broadens the engine’s torque curve, particularly at low rpm, and supports greater high-rpm horsepower. It is mounted close to the exhaust outlet of the engine for quicker “spool up” of the turbine and faster “light off” of the exhaust catalyst
  • Intercooling system produces a cooler, denser air charge for greater power
  • Piston oil jets that help reduce friction and optimize piston temperature for greater performance and efficiency
  • Turbocharger bearings are oil-lubricated and cooled via an oil cooler
  • Variable-displacement oil pump helps save fuel by optimizing the oil pressure, which reduces friction
  • Vacuum pump designed for lower engine friction
  • Ceramic glow plugs, which provide greater cold-start performance over conventional metal glow plugs (an engine oil heater is offered for cold climates)
  • B20 bio-diesel compatibility.

It’s painfully obvious that Chevrolet has gotten the ingredients right this time around; baking a treat that all Americans can enjoy, just like Apple pie. For more on the all-new Chevy Cruze diesel, be sure to check out Chevrolet.com or visit your local Chevy dealership.

About the author

Sean Haggai

The former Associate Editor of Chevy High Performance, joins publication Chevy Hardcore, Sean is a true blue Bow Tie guy and a core do-it-yourself technician. If it doesn't run a "mouse motor" or a big rat between fenders, Sean ain't interested.
Read My Articles

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