The coming Chevrolet Cruze diesel engine for the US market (earlier post) will leverage GM’s global powertrain expertise. GM sold more than half a million diesel-powered cars across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America last year, including 33,000 Cruzes. GM expects that the introduction of a diesel option for Cruze—one of the top-selling gasoline-powered cars in the United States in 2011—will fuel its diesel car sales.
For Cruze, powertrain engineers at GM’s diesel center of excellence in Torino, Italy, are working with counterparts in Pontiac, Mich., to develop a world-class engine that delivers outstanding fuel efficiency and torque while providing a smooth, quiet ride. In addition, GM engineers in Russelsheim, Germany, are supporting the program by developing the accessory drive, acoustic cover and other specialized components.
Future Cruze diesel engine development will benefit from GM’s recent commitment to invest €20 million ($26.5 million) to add five new dynamic benches at its Torino facility for climatic, noise and vibration and chassis dynamometer testing. These additions will speed development time.
Climatic tests simulate temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees Celsius) up to (158 °F) (70 °C) and altitudes as high as 10,000 feet (3000 meters). Noise and vibration tests help minimize engine vibro-acoustic response. Chassis dynamometer tests measure emissions.