North American Chevrolet Cruze to get diesel engine by 2013

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 21, 2011

Sources say that the North American market will finally get a Chevrolet Cruze diesel model. The Cruze, which represents Chevrolet’s first truly global vehicle, was launched in the North American market a few months ago. The Cruze is available in more than 60 countries worldwide and it is offered in both gasoline and diesel powered engines.

But in North America, the Cruze has only been available with gasoline power. Numerous sources say that the North American Cruze will be offering at least one diesel option. The Cruze diesel model for the 2013 model year is expected to start production next year, according to GMI’s sources at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant that builds the Cruze.

A confirmation came from sources familiar with GM engineering who said that the diesel option is slated for the 2013 Cruze. It was also confirmed by the engineering sources that the engine is a 2.0-liter with the RPO code of ‘LUZ.’ It has yet to be revealed what the power output or fuel economy figures are.

Notably, the test mules of the Cruze diesel are currently operating in metro Detroit. In Australia, the Holden Cruze CDX is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine, which has an output of 147hp and 235 feet-pounds of torque.

If the Australian fuel economy figures are converted, the Cruze CDX is rated at 34 miles per-gallon in combined driving. It has yet to be determined if the same 2.0-liter diesel will power the North American Cruze, but this is likely to be the case.

GMI was also told that the 2012 Cruze will get push button start. The Lordstown sources said that keyless ignition will be an option on mid-level LT models and standard on the high-end LTZ trim.

Chevrolet has been known worldwide for its signature look which comprises the two-tier grille with the infamous Bowtie logo. This look and the addition of a bold face result in the design of the Chevy Cruze standing out from the rest. The Cruze has coupe-like and sporty proportions due to the fast-sloping pillars in the rear which is connected to the steeply raked windshield through an arching roofline.

This sporty look is also seen in the pronounced headlamp housing that manages to wrap around its corners and then sweep to the sculpted hood and fenders. Like many sports coupes, it also has a short rear deck.

Its wheels have been placed at the corners allowing for minimal overhangs on the front and the rear. These different elements combine to gives the Chevrolet Cruze that aggressive look complemented by the confident and wide stance. Compared to most of its rivals, the Chevrolet Cruze is longer and wider. By limiting the use of exterior trim, there’s a luxurious feel as a result. The car also displays a solid stance especially with the tightly drawn and taut bodywork.

Overall, it has a look that shows purposeful precision. This precision is apparent in the build quality of the Cruze. To make sure that the manufacture of its solid body structure is optimized, the body shop assembly plant in Lordstown was improved by fitting it with the latest and newest welding and body-framing equipment.

This particular strong structure helps minimal production variance and even ensures repeatable gap tolerances at most 3 mm in between majority of its exterior panel. What this means for the customers is that they get a new and better looking car that remains to be solid even years later.

The attention to detail done on the Chevrolet Cruze as well as its bold design cues is apparent on its interior. This is where the twin-cockpit motif, one clearly inspired by the Chevrolet Corvette, is complemented with the use of high-quality materials and the excellent assembly tolerances.

Its low-gloss trim panels and the soft-touch grained components project a quality that is rarely seen in this class. Meanwhile the instrument panel on the Cruze provides a good example that defies what customers expect from compact cars.

The panel has richly detailed instruments that have been backlit using light-emitting diode technology. This LED lights allow for an ice-blue illumination of the vehicle’s analog instrument, which is also what it does for the other controls in the interior. It has a driver information center that provides a variety of data for the driver, another standard offering in the Cruze that is rare in its segment.

The instrument panels are complemented with the integrated center stack where the radio controls, climate controls, and even infotainment display, are fitted in. The different flush-mounted components housed in the center stack show a gap tolerance that does not even reach 1 mm.

The gaps between the instrument panel and the door panel are around less than 5 mm. These tolerance values are considered as the best in its segment. It also helps with the air of precision and refinement in the Chevrolet Cruze. Craftsmanship is also present and observed in the pillar trim and headliner.

Composed of knit material, the headliner cover also acts as one of the five different layers of the acoustically designed headliner that offer a quieter compartment. The interior pillar and the different moldings have been grain-matched and color-matched to its headliner. The seat inserts meanwhile have the same color as the accent trim on the instrument panel. These result in the cabin bearing the appearance of upscale sedans.

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