Options: 4-Wheel Drive, Leather Seats
Power Options: Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Seats, Power Windows
New Paris, Indiana, United States
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.
General Motors has announced a large investment in its Spring Hill, Tennessee facility. The former home of Saturn production will be getting a $167 million addition to a previously announced $183 million, to cover a pair of new midsize vehicles. The investment is expected to create 1,800 jobs at the factory.
That $350 million is being divvied up for a pair of programs at Spring Hill. The first will take the bulk of the money ($223 million) and create 1,000 of the 1,800 jobs, while the other will take the remaining $127 million and generate the leftover 800 positions. But GM says the investment will cover "midsize vehicle programs." So what could they be?
The leading candidate in our minds is a new crossover for Buick, called the Anthem, that will slot between the Encore and Enclave, but will be slightly smaller than the Equinox and Terrain. As we've explained, the new model will likely be the first product to sport GM's new D2UX platform, which will eventually replace both the Delta and Theta platforms. Spring Hill is already building the Equinox, so there could be some credence to this theory.
Chevrolet showed off the new 2014 SS in an airport hangar last night, its first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan in the US since the Impala SS from 1997. We'll have more to say about the SS later today, but this is the sedan that Chevrolet sees as the final piece in restoring its performance credentials. For those of you looking for a manual transmission, however, that wish will go unfulfilled - at least for now: the only two options buyers will have are the color and whether or not they want a sunroof.
We'll work on getting some more angles (in better light) today at Daytona International Speedway, but with fans seeing the car for the first time, we don't hold out much luck of getting a clear shot. So for now, enjoy the high-res gallery above.