In cooperation with engineers across the pond in Europe, GM is currently developing the latest addition to its array of hybrid motors. According to Autocar, GM’s latest hybrid powertrain will incorporate diesel engines and may be placed within various Opel and Vauxhall models sometime after 2012. Blending the two worlds of electric and diesel should land fantastic marks both in the city and on the highway.
The compelling part about this new powertrain is that, like GM’s other hybrid systems, it’s expected to work in a fully electric mode when operating at city speeds, shutting the engine down completely and therefore conserving fuel and emitting absolutely nothing. When in the open Bavarian countryside however, the diesel motor will engage and will achieve the superior fuel efficiency highway marks that diesel engines are famous for. It therefore seems to be a better engine than gasoline hybrids. Or is it?
While the diesel hybrids are expected to usurp less fuel, they will also command a premium – the price of saving money, if you will. Both diesel and hybrid versions of typical gasoline models always seem to be more expensive, usually because of higher production and development costs that go along with them. And according to Maurizio Cisternino, GM Europe chief engineer of advanced technology, the premium of the diesel hybrid is aimed at about 1,000 Euros over gasoline hybrid. That’s not too bad.
It still remains uncertain whether GM plans to bring the diesel hybrids to this side of the Atlantic, or if diesel variations of the Voltec powertrain (Chevy Volt, Opel Ampera) are under development.
We may get lucky, so stay tuned to GM Authority for more updates![Source: Autocar]