Lordstown will display new diesel Cruze today

By Jamison Cocklin



Just weeks before General Motors Co.’s new Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is expected to go on sale in the U.S. and Canada, the Lordstown complex will put the model on display for local media today.

Though the model has appeared at auto shows across the country since it was formally announced in February, today’s display at the welcome center of the Lordstown East Plant will mark the first time the diesel Cruze has appeared publicly in the Mahoning Valley.

The diesel engine is built in Germany, and asembly takes place at Lordstown, where about 150 prototypes have been built for the company to review.

Tom Mock, communications manager at the plant, said the model is expected to begin arriving at dealerships across the country in two to six weeks. GM announced in February that the diesel Cruze would go into production in April and hit the market sometime this summer, which it is on track to do.

The model will launch with a six-speed automatic transmission. Its 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine is estimated to produce 148 horsepower and an estimated 258 pounds per foot of torque, with a performance capability of 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.6 seconds — all features that either match or beat the segment-leading Volkswagen Jetta TDI.

With an engine expected to produce 90 percent less nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions, combined with a drivability that has been compared to a larger V6, the diesel Cruze is expected to sell well.

“I think if you look at the pricing of the vehicle — around $25,000 and 42 miles per gallon — and you put the two together, it makes sense from an owner’s cost perspective,” said Jesse Toprak, a senior analyst at the automotive information website TrueCar.com.

The diesel Cruze will retail for approximately $25,695. It will be the first diesel sedan made by an American automaker since the 1980s.

New technology in the diesel Cruze will make it especially appealing to younger buyers, especially with purchasing incentives, Toprak said.

Last year, clean-diesel sales in the U.S. increased by 25 percent. GM chose to debut its clean diesel with the Cruze because the regular-grade model has been a worldwide sales leader.

“If this vehicle does well, it can sell in large numbers and that can only be good news for [Lordstown],” Toprak said.

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