Ready to stake out its claim for a chunk of the burgeoning North American diesel market, the new 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel made its debut in Chicago. Officially designated the Cruze 2.0 TD, this super-efficient variation on Chevy's best-selling model will arrive this summer in the U.S. and Canada boasting impressive performance numbers as well as a stellar 42-mpg projected EPA highway mark.

The latest addition to the Cruze lineup is powered by a sophisticated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel that's based on well-proven architecture already in use on European Cruze diesel models. It uses an aluminum head and intake manifold to help reduce weight but relies on an iron block and forged steel crankshaft to ensure long-term durability. Output is a segment-leading 148 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of peak torque at just 2,000 rpm. However, it also has an overboost feature that allows torque to hit 280 lb-ft for up to 10 seconds to further improve acceleration.

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Backed by a standard 6-speed automatic transmission, this potent motivator can send the new Cruze 2.0 TD from 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds. In addition to being squeaky clean, it's also capable of operating on B20 biodiesel, where its chief rival-to-be, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, can only burn B5. To help ensure the engine remains the lowest-emissions diesel ever produced by GM, the Cruze 2.0 TD uses a particulate trap and also is fitted with a rear-mounted 4.5-gallon urea tank that will permit the car to travel over 10,000 miles before it needs refilling - although it does reduce trunk space by 1.3 cubic feet.  

"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."

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Based on a 2LT trim level, the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 TD will start at $25,695 -- roughly $2,100 beyond a fully optioned Cruze LTZ and over $4,000 beyond an autoshifted Cruze Eco that offers 39-mpg highway EPA stats. However, that price of entry does bring a rich feature set starting with leather-appointed seating, Chevy's MyLink infotainment system, the Aero Performance Package, a rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in ultra-low-rolling resistance all-season tires. Other 2.0 TD-specific items include a heavy duty alternator and battery, 3.20:1 final drive ratio and additional sound-attenuation materials under hood and in the dash mat and a 2-year maintenance plan

Although its turbodiesel engine will be produced at a GM facility in Kaiserslautern, Germany, final production of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 TD will take place in Lordstown, Ohio, on the same line that turns out gasoline-powered Cruze models. Ultimately destined for all 50 states, initial rollout of the new Cruze 2.0 TD will take place in 13 regional markets including California and Oregon as well as the Baltimore, Boston and Washington D.C.


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