2012 Chevrolet Cruze

Last month, we told you that a diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze has been announced for the U.S., and although the oil-burning affordable small car probably won’t come to market until 2013, details are slowly starting to surface.

With the Cruze Eco already on sale, some members of the press surmise that the upcoming diesel Cruze will have to offer performance, as well as good fuel economy. “General Motors thinks a sizable segment of U.S. car buyers want more than just fuel economy from a diesel engine, making the business case for an oil-burner in the Chevrolet Cruze when the nameplate already has the high-mileage Eco variant in the market,” writes Ward’s Auto. “But just in case, plans call for the Cruze diesel coming in 2013 to achieve fuel economy in the range of 50 mpg.”

A 50 mpg highway estimate for the upcoming Cruze diesel certainly out-guns the Cruze Eco, which gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway with a manual transmission, but the diesel variant may also offer a significant boost in power. “GM has unofficially confirmed that it will indeed be based on the 2.0-liter diesel that's found under the hood of the Holden Cruze CDX,” says Autoblog. “In the Holden, the 2.0-liter mill pumps out 160 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque.”

That’s a healthy bump in power from the Cruze Eco’s 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, and sources say that the difference is noticeable from behind the wheel. Autoblog continues, “We hear that the diesel Cruze's torque will allow it to easily outrun the Cruze Eco.”

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