The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze
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The 2013 diesel powered Chevy Cruze will be built in Lordstown, Ohio

General Motors will become the first American automaker to offer a diesel powered passenger vehicle when the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze debuts with the new diesel engine option and when those new oil-burning Cruze sedans reach dealerships, they will all be built in the company’s Lordstown, Ohio Assembly Plant.

The diesel option is already available in European markets for the Chevy Cruze but in 2013, it will mark the first time that American consumers can buy a diesel passenger car from a US automaker. There was originally some speculation as to where the diesel powered Chevy Cruze would be built but according to multiple sources, these new highly fuel efficient sedans will be built at the same Lordstown, Ohio plant that builds all of the gasoline powered Cruze models for the US market.

The Lordstown Assembly Plant currently builds the variety of Chevrolet Cruze sedans for the US and the plant is currently running three shifts a day Monday through Friday so there has been speculation that it would be hard to meet the added demand for the diesel Cruze. However, Lordstown will benefit from a $5.5 million dollar investment for retooling of the body shop and assembly line; presumably increasing the capacity of the always busy plant.

While General Motors hasn’t offered up any specifications on the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, it is expected to very quickly become one of the most fuel efficient non-hybrid passenger cars on the American with an expected rating around 50 miles per gallon. This will likely be achieved with help from GM’s 2.0L diesel engine that offers 147 horsepower and 235lb-ft of torque – figures that would make it the most powerful engine in the Cruze lineup in terms of both engine measures.

There has long been a stigma in the United States about diesel engines being smoke-spewing, noisy mills that will turn heads with their foul smell and soot but the modern era of diesel technology is a far cry from the smokey diesels that power your local garbage trucks. Volkswagen has long offered diesel passenger vehicles in the US with growing success and other European companies like BMW have recently expanded their oil-burning lineup but with the 2013 Chevy Cruze, GM looks to usher in the era of the diesel powered American sedan. If the new Cruze can reach the 50mpg mark while also offering anywhere near the expected figures of 147hp and 235lb-ft of torque would certainly give it a great chance of success in the US.

Other GM News:
Full information on the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is here
GM announces $325 million investment in MI transmission plant
TorqueNews review of the 2011 Chevy Volt: 109mpg and endless range
GM says no 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer for the US market
GM introduces the incredible 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible
Video of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 tearing up the Nürburgring

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It will be enlightening to run the Cruze diesel against the Chevy Volt using the new DOE cost calculator.