GM expects Chevy Cruze Diesel to surpass 50 mpg

The redesigned model only needs an extra four mpg to hit the 50 mpg benchmark on the highway.

General Motors appears confident the next-generation Cruze Diesel is capable of reaching the 50-mpg benchmark.

The outgoing Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel achieved a 46-mpg EPA estimate for highway operation, "better than any non-hybrid passenger car in America" at the time, requiring just four extra miles per gallon to reach the higher echelon.

The revamped model takes advantage of GM's new 9T50 nine-speed automatic transmission, adding three more gears than its predecessor. In the Malibu, the gearbox is said to bring a three-percent increase in fuel efficiency. A six-speed manual will be available to woo former Volkswagen owners.

The new Cruze also benefits from a newly designed 1.6-liter turbodiesel mill with a lighter aluminum cylinder block. It will deliver 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque,

GM has not announced specific figures for the new Cruze Diesel's EPA-estimated highway rating, but development chief Mark Reuss told Automotive News "I think it will start with a five."

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