Insider sources have told GM Authority that the much-awaited diesel-powered Chevy Cruze will enter the validation stage of production as early as Monday, October 24, 2011.
The validation stage encompasses producing a small fleet of a vehicle to assess how well the plant — GM’s Lordstown Assembly, in this case — assembles the car and how the production line handles certain variations compared to the non-diesel-powered Cruzen. Usually, validation takes place less than a year before the vehicle is made available for final production and sale to the general public, meaning that we should expect to see the most efficient Cruze of them all sometime before the end of 2012, most likely for the 2013 model year.
Additionally, we expect the turbodiesel variant will use a 2.0-liter common rail diesel engine. Such a powerplant produces 160 horsepower and a very healthy 265 lb.-ft. of torque in the Holden-badged Cruze in Australia.
Last month, sources told GM Authority that the diesel-powered Cruze will wear the Eco-D nameplate, suggesting the vehicle’s positioning as a fuel-efficient Eco model set to do battle with VW’s Jetta TDI. Recently, GM CEO Dan Akerson called the Cruze diesel “great” and “quiet”.
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