When the new Astra goes on sale at Saturn dealers this fall it will initially only have 1.8L gasoline engines available but it may not stay that way. A lot of the Astras on the road in Europe are equipped with diesel engines including a new 1.9L turbo-diesel. The new clean diesel from GM Europe could supplement the hybrid lineup in the Vue and Aura in coming model years.
The big problem they have to deal with is the $1,000 cost premium of a diesel compared to a gas engine. On the other hand the 37mpg could help pay for that especially as gas prices rapidly approach $3 and more per gallon. In addition, trunk space isn't lost to a battery pack, and complicated systems like regenerative braking aren't needed to achieve similar levels of efficiency.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]