GM Considers diesel engine for Chevy Cruze

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Lord Blackadder, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Lord Blackadder, Feb 22, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #1
    I'm not a big fan of GM on the whole, but credit where credit is due, as the company considers selling a diesel-engined version of the Chevy Cruze in the US.

    EDIT: Another news article about the Cruze diesel from Automobile Magazine.

    The only real argument against doing it is the cost of federalizing the engine plus the lingering (and ridiculous) diesel-hate that automakers are convinced most Americans harbor. But considering that a) the diesel version of the Cruze already exists in other markets, and b) the car equals the Prius' fuel economy numbers, the case for selling it here is pretty strong IMO.

    Perhaps a successful diesel Cruze will convince GM to put a diesel engine in the Volt, further improving that car's fuel economy? I think the US is ripe for a more wholehearted embrace of the diesel engine in passenger cars and light trucks.
     
  2. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #2
    Why do Americans harbor hate for diesel? I'm not very familiar with the differences between the fuels, other than gasoline is more refined.
     
  3. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #3
    Perhaps it's propaganda from the auto makers?

    Diesel engines last longer, as they use a lubricant as a fuel, and not a solvent.
     
  4. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #4
    In brief:

    • Diesels are considered to be popularly associated with crude, sooty truck engines that can't start in cold weather, though anyone who has observed a modern diesel auto can see that this is not the case with modern designs.
    • Diesel is taxed slightly more in the US than gasoline, giving it an artificially high price. This partially offsets the fuel economy benefits.
    • The US only recently adopted Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel fuel used in Europe, so that up till 2006 or so US diesel was 'dirtier'. That has now been rectified.
    • Last but certainly not least, GM's early 1980s flirtation with diesels produced some disastrously bad designs that left a bad taste in the mouths of consumers and have been cited ever since as a factor, though it can be called into question whether this is really germane anymore. I think the continued impact of the Olds diesel debacle is overstated.
    Against this, the benefits are the general robusticity of the diesel along with its increased fuel economy over gasoline engines, and its ability to accept a much wider variety of fuels (biodiesel being one popular example)

    EDIT: As a further point, it is worth noting that while diesel costs more than gas, a diesel-engined Cruze that can match the Prius' fuel economy has the advantage of being cheaper to maintain (no huge battery pack to mess with).
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    A bit off-topic, but why haven't car manufacturers created hybrid cars that use a diesel engine + battery? There are lots of petrol-electric hybrids, but not diesel. :confused:
     
  6. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #6
    The lesson everyone learned that day is you don't make a diesel engine from a gasoline Small Block V8.
     
  7. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #7
    I don't think the Oldsmobile thing has that big an impact on current buyers. It was 30 years ago, after all. I do think diesels do have an image problem, though, in that most people here associate them with loud, smoke belching semis, and heavy-duty pickups.

    I also think cost is a big problem. There is an increase at the pump, and on the sticker. The VW Golf TDI, for example, starts at almost $4k more than the 2.4L 5 cylinder (four door models here). You would have to put a lot of miles on that thing to get that money back. I do agree with you on diesel vs. hybrid, as I like diesels, but it will be a hard sell here in the US. Hybrids have really taken off in this market.

    I personally like diesels and would like to see more of them, but I don't see many of them coming. This is a good step, and I have read that Mazda will be bringing their new Sky-D diesel engine here, which should be a great engine. I also don't know why nobody has a diesel-electric hybrid. In theory, it would be a great pairing.
     
  8. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #8
    The vexing part of that is that the cost is largely artificial - i.e. taxes. Popular pickups like the Ford F-250 have been available in a diesel for years, and because they are trucks they are allowed to use diesel engines that are far more polluting and sooty than they need to be, and are tuned for torque rather than economy - meanwhile Volkswagen has to jump through flaming hoops in order to certify a diesel in its passenger cars, meeting stringent emmissions standards. And yet how many huge displacement V6/V8 diesel trucks are sold in the US each year vs diesel VWs? It's all about arbitrary regulatory nonsense.

    It's a small thing, but also in diesel's favor is the increased range you get from a tank of fuel. So while the cost savings isn't much because of the fuel tax, you still get to go farther.

    As I said above, I question that also. It happened thirty years ago - automotive journalists might know about it, but most car buyers don't, and the memory is continually fading.
     
  9. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #9
    The heavy duty pickups are generally exempt from light-duty emissions and noise standards, so that's how they get away with it. I agree that it is an unfair advantage. I'm not saying that heavy duty trucks should meet the same standards as cars or light duty trucks, but to have them largely exempt and not counted toward the manufacturer's CAFE standards is a bit extreme.

    Anyway, here is my point on the diesel vs. hybrids: After a quick glance around the web, I see the Toyota Prius stats at $23,050 and is rated at 51/48 MPG. The 4 door Golf TDI starts at $23,885 and is rated at 42/30 for the auto. Given the differences in mileage and difference in fuel prices, it is really hard for the average buyer to justify buying a diesel. Yes, I have read all over the internet about people getting insane mileage out of the diesels, but most people are just going to look at the ratings and compare that.
     
  10. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #10
    That has changed. The Cummins, Powerstroke, and Duramax now have to meet the stringent emissions regulations. Why do you think they cost $8K now compared to the $3-4K before the new emission laws?
     
  11. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #11
    I thought anything with a GVWR of over 10k lbs was exempt from those standards. I know they are exempt from CAFE fuel economy standards.
     
  12. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #12
    They are exempt from CAFE( since HD's are supposed to be work trucks and all), but they are required to meet the new diesel emissions laws.
     
  13. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #13
    They will, but VW rated its mileage conservatively, because they wanted to make sure their new diesel didn't promise more than it delivered. I think that VW may revise those numbers in the future.

    A diesel is still simpler, cheaper and potentially more reliable than a hybrid, and gives better fuel economy than a gasoline-engined car. So there is a definite market there, one that is likely to grow in the near future.

    True, that's a good point. But my original point was that the "Americans don't want diesels" argument doesn't hold water if people are buying diesel trucks in healthy numbers.
     
  14. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

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    #14
    It's funny because neither GM nor Ford in Europe use their own Diesel engines, instead GM use Fiat engines and Ford use a Peugeot-Citroen engine.

    Wonder if this will be the case in this? Chevy in Europe is a very cheap and nasty brand of car, much like Kia (they are re-branded Daewoo's).

    I also wonder if Auto's v's Manual gears make a difference seeing as 90% of cars in Europe are manual v's the opposite in USA.

    Adanvtages of diesel here are: Better mileage, longer range on a tank, lower tax due to lower CO2 emissions, higher resale value, longer life.

    IMO European manufacturers have had much longer to perfect the technology (i.e. Common Rail Injected Diesel) so GM are up against it here.

    I wonder how it will fare against the likes of the VW Golf's Blumotion that gets 74mpg! Much more than the crappy Japanese cars.
     
  15. Mousse macrumors 68000

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    #15
    So when will automakers sell a compact pickup with a 2 liter diesel in the US? I want a diesel pick up. But I don't want a behemoth that requires a ladder to enter and hogs 2/3 of a 2 car garage.:p

    I prefer diesel in a work truck for three reasons: torque, torque and torque.
     
  16. Lord Blackadder, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #16
    The current Cruze is a "world car", but if you plow through the marketing jibberish it appears that the car was engineered mostly by Daewoo with help from Opel. It's being built in Russia, China, South Korea and the USA (Ohio).

    The diesel is an Italian (VM Motori) design, and on paper the numbers are pretty good: 150hp and 240 ft-lbs from a 2.0L I4. It's a common rail direct injection turbosiesel.

    The beauty of this move for GM is that the car is already being built in this configuration everywhere except in the US, so minimal design work needs to be done - all that is required is to get the diesel federalized (made US emissions-legal), and that will probably only involve a few small modifications.

    We almost got such a truck, but the whole project fizzled.

    I don't see any similar vehicle coming to the US soon. For now, if you want a small diesel pickup you either have to buy an old 1970s-1980s Japanese pickup (a few were made as diesels) or do-it-yourself.
     
  17. localoid macrumors 68020

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  18. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Hold it right there! The Kia models sold in Europe actually nowadays borrow from the current Hyundai Motor Company parts bin, and as such are way more civilized cars. Anyone who's driven the Kia Cee'd hatchback in Europe know it's a way better car than people think.
     
  19. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #19
    I did not wade thru all the posts here as to "why not diesel" - but as an American that has watched cars across "The Pond" I wondered why not here in the US. Based on a quick search of prices here in the Reston Va area.... diesel is about 15% higher than the gas price.... the added cost of a TDI Golf vs a gas model makes it hard for low milage drivers to make the switch.....

    Much of our US based concerns seem to be on power vs economy....
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #20
    As a driver of a diesel 1994 GMC suburban, I've noticed a ton of people really don't even know what diesel is or where to get it. It simply just doesn't have the market penetration like gas does.

    I don't like how polluting my car is, but todays "clean diesel" engines are far more considerate in this regard.
     
  21. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #21
    on a random note just so you know switching to diesel you need to improve your MPG by around 30% for the switch to be carbon neutral. Remember Diesel as a lot more carbon in it per unit volume than unleaded.
     
  22. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #22
    Because it's more crude. The carbon is sapped out through a refining process, meaning all that crap sucked out of the earth still ends up somewhere it's not supposed to be -- meaning diesel is just as carbon neutral as gasoline.
     
  23. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #23
    Too lazy to do the research on that.... but in Europe - they seem to be far ahead of the US on many matters when to fuel economy and emissions in regards to diesel....

    To be honest it may be more that those in Europe aren't looking for pure horse power as we seem to be wanting here in the US...living very well with the power of my "base" 4 banger 2003 Subaru Baja...
     
  24. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #24
    well you have to remember they use nearly ever part of the oil. It would get used for something else instead of diesel.

    Diesel over problem compared to Unlead is it has a much dirtier burning process and not much they can do to fix that problem. Unleaded advatage is the fuel and air are evenly mix when makes for a much cleaner burn. Diesel that can not be done.
    There are idea on how to mix the 2 techs were the air would be evenly mix like unleaded but inginited under compression. That would give a huge boost in return but the problem you run into is it is a very fine range that works and we can not make the timing and everything that dead on easily. Plus ramping up RPM is a lot harder.

    That is the problem with Diesel vs gas is people get wrap up in the MPG but forget that diesel engery per unit volume is much greater. Diesel biggest boost comes from how we ingited it.
     
  25. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

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    #25
    Your using Hyundai to make Kia/Chevy seem a good car?! hah, the ONLY good Hyundai is the Coupe, all the others are pretty nasty.

    Most of the dealerships here lump Proton, Hyundai and Kia... why? they are cheap cars for mums and old people that goto the supermarket, they are no where near upto the quality of the big german cars. Even most jap cars are pretty rubbish to be honest, even Honda dealers are shutting down left, right and centre, GM (Opel/Vauxhall's) new Astra's and the other bigger horrible thing, seem to have just styled them on the Japanese cars... yuk! World cars do not work, different markets want different things.
     

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