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In Development: Detroit Diesel

July 19, 2011

So far American car manufacturers have been hesitant to adopt diesel for small cars. That might start to change as technology for clean diesel improves, the US continues to set high fleet standards for MPG, and the efficiency of diesel can sometimes far outdo that of petrol.

GM is planning to bring diesel into the US by having a diesel version of it’s Chevrolet Cruze. It’s rumored to be capable of 50 MPG and might hit showrooms in 2013.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2011 3:32 pm

    Part of the issue is the discrepancy between US and EU standard for diesel emissions, and the US being slow to adopt lower sulfur limits for fuel to make it possible to meet those emissions standards. Hence, even those manufacturers who already make very good diesel engines have little incentive to find out what the US market demand for them is really like. (Dear Subaru, I want the Boxer Diesel in the US. Please?)

  2. July 19, 2011 7:41 pm

    Are you sure about that, Miss MSE? The US wasn't any slower to adopt the lower sulfur limits than the EU. If I remember correctly, the US made a complete changeover to ULSD before the EU did. I'm not as familiar with diesel emissions as I am with gasoline emissions. However, if the standards are anything like the gas engine emissions standards, the US probably has tougher standards.I think that there are two reasons that we don't see much in the way of diesel sales in the US.1. The cost. Diesels are significantly more expensive manufacture than gasoline engines. Between the base engine components, and the additional components (turbo, DEF/SCR system, particulate filters, etc.), the price tag increase pretty steeply.2. Other options. Auto makers have found several ways to significantly increase the fuel efficiency of late model vehicles with systems like cylinder disabling, GDI, VVT, HCCI and ETC. Most modern engines already have VVT and ETC, and some of the trucks have cylinder disabling. HCCI is not in production yet, but GM has been working for years on it. GDI looks to be the most promising though. GM, Ford, VW, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, Kia and many others are already making the change to GDI.


  1. Continuing Draw of Diesel | Engineer Blogs

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