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Auto blogMon, 28 Jan 2013 13:30:00 EST
It's been a little over a year and a half since General Motors first confirmed plans to offer a diesel-powered Chevrolet Cruze here in the United States, and we've now learned that the oil-burning compact will debut under the lights of the Chicago Auto Show in February. According to GM Authority, the Cruze Eco-D will be introduced as part of the entire 2014 model year Cruze range, set to go on sale in the second quarter of this year.
Earlier reports have indicated that the diesel Cruze will be able to achieve fuel economy numbers in the range of 50 miles per gallon. For comparison, the similarly sized Volkswagen Jetta TDI is rated at 30/42 mpg city/highway, but as we found out in our long-term test of the 2011 model, hitting 50 mpg was a piece of cake.
Official specifications will be released at the time of the 2014 Cruze's unveiling, though reports have stated that the sedan will be powered by a reworked version of the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-four found in the Holden Cruze CDX overseas. In that application, the four-pot oil-burner produces 160 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque - increases of 20 hp and 29 lb-ft over the 2.0-liter engine used in VW's Jetta TDI.
What's in a name? This cliched phrase probably gets tossed out at every marketing meeting that happens when a new car gets its nomenclature. We know the answer, though: everything. The name of a car has all the potential to make or break it with fickle customers that are more conscious than ever about what their purchases say about them.
That's giving headaches to marketing folks across the automotive industry. "It's tough. In 1985 there were about 75,000 names trademarked in the automotive space. Today there are 800,000," Chevrolet's head of marketing, Russ Clark, told Automotive News. Infiniti's president, Johan de Nysschen, echoed Clark's sentiment, saying, "The truth of the matter is, across the world, there is hardly a name or a letter that hasn't already been claimed by one car manufacturer or another. You can go through the alphabet - A, B, C and so forth - and you will quickly see that almost all available letters are taken."
What has that left automakers to do? Get creative. In the case of Infiniti, it made the controversial move to bring all of its cars' names into a new scheme, classifying them as Q#0 for cars and QX#0 for SUVs and crossovers. So the Infiniti G, which was available as the G25 and G37, is now the Q50. The FX37 and FX50 are now the QX70.
With all of the attention given to the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray lately, you could be forgiven for thinking that it's already well along in production, yet tooling up for the new C7 has only just begun. In fact, production of the outgoing C6 generation in Bowling Green, Kentucky just halted on Thursday.
As the C6 has aged, production numbers have predictably ebbed along with demand, but this year, the addition of the 427 and 60th anniversary models resulted in an uptick in vehicles built - this, despite a model year shortened by around 25 percent to accomodate the new model changeover. The final C6 Corvette ever, No. 13,466 built this year, was a white 427 Convertible destined for the General Motors Heritage Center museum. The car's 7.0-liter V8 heart was assembled by Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter himself.
In total, Bowling Green pushed out 215,100 C6 Corvettes over nine years. If you're still a C6 fan at heart and are hoping to get a good deal on a phase-out model, step lively - Chevrolet reportedly had about 6,100 unsold units, which Autoweek suggests is good for around five and a half months of supply at the model's current sales rates. Given that demand will likely slacken even further as the C7 draws closer, that should be a big enough stockpile to keep dealers satisfied until 2014 Stingrays begin showing up on their forecourts in December.