• Sep 27, 2010
Sources (i.e., email tips and a Tweet from Ward's Auto) are telling us that General Motors Vice Chairman Tom Stephens told attendees at the Directions in Engine-Efficiency and Emissions Research (DEER) conference in Detroit today that a diesel-engined passenger car is coming to the U.S. sometime in the future. Nothing has been officially decided, but Stephens indicated that GM has a portfolio of diesels to draw from, noting that it's up to the marketing department to define what engine and platform might be used, let alone what brand it would be marketed under. What might we see? Maybe something along the line of a GM Jetta?
GM has been talking up diesels in the U.S. for years, but oil-burning powertrains haven't gotten quite the attention that the plug-in Voltec in the forthcoming Chevrolet Volt has (how could it?). Now that the cat is at least poking its head out of the bag, we wonder if the German automakers, who are having a bit of success with oil-burning powerplants here, are worried. Unlikely, but at least we could get more options – and would it kill GM to make the new car officially B100-capable from the start?

[Source: Ward's Auto Twitter]


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  • 28 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      It only took how many years of requesting?
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's difficult to tell what people really will buy as opposed to what they say they will buy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As much as i praise for more diesel engines, having GM build diesel engines for consumer cars has me as, if not more, skeptical as asking the former president G.W. Bush for another chance as our president.

      I know it's quite harsh of an analogy but i just don't truly think GM is doing this in favor of consumers. They are doing this so that they won't get left behind all of their competitors at something else. Remember Klutz Lutz's comment diesel engine offerings in the US? Enough Said. I am also skeptical due to their past experience (yeah I know get over it) however if you personally dealt with these disasters by GM would you easily get turn another blind cheek? I think not. I'm happy to say I will rather wait and purchase a car with diesel technology from Ford then GM. Again it goes back to my harsh analogy.

      Now if the diesel engines are engineered, designed, & manufactured by Opel overseas then i might be inclined to retract my opinion and give them another look. If it's made in Detroit then i will continue to look the other way.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Huzzah! As a recent convert to diesel automobiles, I say this is good news indeed. I enjoy 45 MPG (highway, about 35 MPG mixed) in my new diesel Jetta wagon, no bad smell or black smoke, good passenger and cargo space, and plenty of power on tap. And no battery with declining capacity to worry about.

      I'm surprised more automakers aren't jumping on the clean diesel train.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. And hopefully GM will just bring over one of the diesels they already sell in Europe. No need to reinvent the wheel here...just go with what you know already works well. I know our Regal is little more than a rebadged Opel but do they sell a diesel version of that car?
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM and their diesels didn't work in the 70's and 80's ! Sure hope they stress low sulfer fuel, or this is gonna be a stinky world ! !
      • 4 Years Ago
      "a diesel-engined passenger car is coming to the U.S. sometime in the future. Nothing has been officially decided"

      Slow news day, eh?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm all for it how.one in next Gen malibu
        • 4 Years Ago
        Both would be nice. I'd like to see turbo diesel options for larger cars, and twin turbo diesels would be nice for the more "performance oriented" vehicles. I would like to see something like a CTS with a TT Diesel in it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There were plenty of great diesels on the road. Then GM got into the game in the late 70's. The terrible diesel engines GM produced ruined diesel sales for every other manufacturer. Ask anyone who owned a GM diesel back then and they'd probably rather not talk about it.

      I think the only exceptional GM with a diesel back in the day was the diesel Chevette, of all cars. It was purely because of the powertrain; It was an Isuzu-built workhorse!

      The Duramax diesel is a good engine but I would still be wary about buying a GM diesel passenger car. They'd have to prove themselves first.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hopes for Buick Astra Diesel.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wonder if it will be as good as the last GM diesel car.

      "Oldsmobile's engines, the 5.7 L LF9 and 4.3 L LF7 V8s and the 4.3 L V6, were notoriously unreliable. Although over one million were sold from 1978-1985, the failure rate of GM's engines ruined the reputation of diesel engines in general in the United States market. Eventually, a class action lawsuit resulted in an arbitration system under the supervision of the Federal Trade Commission where consumers could claim 80% of the original cost of the engine in the event of a failure."

      http://tinyurl.com/dalseu
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's been over 30 years since the GM diesel debacle... GET OVER IT! I think it's great to have more diesel options in the US; both import and domestic.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I hate to say it but it came to my mind as well when GM Diesel was mentioned. I think a portion of the current car buying public will remember these. However since even the Oldsmobile brand itself isn't around anymore I don't think it will effect perception of the new vehicles that much. It would help though if it is mentioned if they actually own up to it and say we got it wrong last time. This time we got it right. I remember speaking to someone at GM in the 90's about Diesel and they refused to admit there was anything wrong with their previous offering. They insisted that the only reason it was pulled was that people didn't want Diesels. No matter how many VW sells or how badly Diesel owners had been treated by GM. It may be considered ancient history but those buyers might as well have taken their money and just burned it in a field. Thankfully I wasn't one of them.

        I really wish it was the engineers and designers who were getting to choose which GM model gets a diesel not Marketing. This is a company that still could use some restructuring if the Marketing department is making these calls.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why not reference steam engines and flat head Fords while you're at it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is a matter of history that greedy and foolish GM used modified gasoline engine block V-8 as diesel engines that blew up under the higher stress demand of diesel engines. These GM V-8 diesels were available on Oldsmobile and Cadillac models. I never heard of GM installing at V-6 diesel in a passenger car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am a huge fan of diesel, but these new direct injected engines are putting out some really impressive numbers. I am thinking about the new Fiesta rated at 40 mpg with a regular non-turbo engine, but I am not sure how easily obtainable that is (our TDI Jetta is rated at 40 mpg, but we can easily go above that).

      The higher cost of diesel fuel and the up charge for the engine is making it a harder choice, at least here in the States.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Diesel is MORE EXPENSIVE THAN PETROL in the US??? WTF???
        I'm that shocked because over here it's about 10% or so cheaper than petrol. And i don't understand the reason because diesel is a cheaper to produce than diesel.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The reason is twofold:
        Diesel isn't cheaper than gas to produce.
        And Diesel contains more energy and fuels are generally taxed roughly upon energy content because it's the only way that's at all fair. If a gallon of a fuel contains 12% more energy than a gallon of gas and thus you can go 12% further on a gallon of it, it only makes sense to tax a gallon 12% higher than you do gas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cadillac ATS/CTS/Rear-drive flagship, please! You've temporarily lost me to love for
      Audi TDI, Mercedes Bluetec, and BMW Blue Performance for now; I'll jump ship in a heartbeat if this comes to past!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think you meant "Comes to pass".

        Right now I am looking for a mid-sized and mid-priced diesel, every one seems to be concentrating on either the 2.0 TDI (Audi A3 & Jetta) or big (BMW 335D & Audi Q7)... Need to get marketing types out of over thinking it and just give us what sells every where else (330d please?).
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Cruze and Aveo would be perfect to highlight GM superiority in the mileage wars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        dan9868:
        That engine is a lot taller than a small block Chevy. X and Y it may be the same size, but not height.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I beleive you are correct as their already are versions of the cruze in deisel available in Australia and Asia. It has a 2.0l Turbo Diesel with 147 hp & 236 Lb Ft with a 0-60 under 10 seconds. Compared to the VW Diesels, its a little slower but I think alot of that has to do with gearing and making sure 1st through 5th are setup for staying under boost, and 6th gear for fuel economy.

        I think an Aveo would also be a smart option with a diesel as it would benefit greater from a small diesel then a hybrid.

        Otherwise, I think its a tough sell for any other car in their line up unless its a truck (compact-full tons, don't matter.)
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