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2014 Chevrolet Cruze diesel set for Chicago Auto Show debut

Chevrolet Cruze EcoFor those who want to eat up the miles, Volkswagen’s line of TDI diesel cars is hard to beat. Still, what if you want the great mileage of a diesel, but don’t want to buy a VW? Chevrolet has an answer. The 2014 Chevy Cruze diesel is set to debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February.

According to GM Authority, the diesel Cruze will wear an Eco-D badge, and will go on sale in the second quarter of 2013. That means it will be in showrooms sometime between April and June.

Details on the Cruze Eco-D’s engine and fuel economy will be released at the Chicago show, but we do know what its main rival will be: the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The Jetta has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and comes with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

The EPA rates the Jetta TDI at 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined, with both transmissions. It starts at $23,055.

Chevy will have to match those numbers, and possibly undercut the VW’s price, for the Cruze Eco-D to be a success. However, what Chevy is putting under the hood remains a mystery, because GM doesn’t have any small diesels in its current U.S. lineup.

One possibility is that the Cruze Eco-D will use the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four found in European Cruzes and the Australian Holden Cruze CDX. That engine produces 160 hp and 265 lb-ft, giving it 20 hp and 29 lb-ft more than the Jetta.

The Cruze diesel is rated at 62.7 mpg combined on the European testing cycle, but those numbers tend to be more optimistic than the EPA’s.

Will the Cruze Eco-D be a successful challenge to Volkswagen’s compression-ignition monopoly? We’ll find out when the Chevy debuts in Chicago on February 8.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Volvo S60L Petrol Plug-In Hybrid concept slated for 2014 Beijing Motor Show debut
Volvo S60L Petrol Plug-In Hybrid

For its first production plug-in hybrid, Volvo chose a diesel station wagon. The V60 plug-in hybrid remains an unusual vehicle in one of the automotive industry's newest niches.
The Volvo S60L Petrol Plug-In Hybrid set to debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show follows a more conventional route. Like the name says, this plug-in has a gasoline engine under the hood.
Based on the recently-updated S60 sedan, the S60L PPHEV features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine from Volvo's Drive-E family, which produces 238 horsepower on its own.
The engine is teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission, an electric motor good for additional 68 hp, and an 11.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
While the gasoline engine drives the front wheels as it does in a normal S60, the electric motor drives the rear wheels, giving the car all-wheel drive. There are also three driving modes that adjust the distribution of power depending on how the car is being used.
In the default "Hybrid" mode, the S60L plug-in uses both its gasoline and electric power sources for fuel-efficient cruising, while "Pure" mode switches the car to all-electric power. Volvo estimates the electric-only range at around 31 miles.
Finally, there's a "Power" mode for your inner Jeremy Clarkson. With this performance-oriented setting, Volvo says the S60L plug-in will do 0 to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds.
However, Chinese customers will most likely be the only ones who will get to experience this range of performance.
The Volvo S60L plug-in hybrid will be launched in China next year, and will be built locally at a plant in Chengdu. Plans for sales in other markets have not been announced.
However, Volvo still might put plug-in powertrains in other future models, including the next XC90 SUV.

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2015 Chevrolet Cruze conceals plenty of tech behind its frowning face
2015 chevrolet cruze photos details and specs

It's hard not to look at the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze and ask, "Why the long face?"
Unfortunately for car buyers, an elongated grille is probably the easiest way to spot the refreshed version of Chevy's compact sedan, which is set to debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show this week.
However, the slight styling changes conceal a few upgrades that tech-savvy buyers will probably appreciate.
The 2015 Cruze is the latest GM model to offer OnStar 4G LTE connectivity, including an available Wi-Fi hotspot. The system can accommodate up to seven devices, and a Chevy AppShop featuring apps for the car's onboard infotainment system will be added at a later date.
Service will likely be provided by AT&T, which has been the provider for all 4G-equipped GM cars so far. AT&T customers will presumably be able to add their cars to an existing data plan, while non-AT&T customers will have to start a car-specific one. Life in the 21st century sure is complicated.
Both Onstar and the MyLink infotainment system have been updated for more-natural voice recognition, while a standard seven-inch touch screen enhances the visual part of the experience.
The 2015 Cruze also gets Siri Eyes Free voice recognition for iOS 6 and 7-equipped devices. There's also a Text Message Alerts feature with Bluetooth (M.A.P.), which reads incoming text messages through the car's speakers.
All of those technological distractions should be pretty tempting, because the 2015 Cruze won't be any more interesting to drive.
The car is mechanically unchanged from the 2014 model, which means buyers have a choice of two gasoline engines and one diesel.
The base 1.8-liter four-cylinder produces 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, while the optional turbocharged 1.4-liter four produces 138 hp and 148 lb-ft. 
Meanwhile, 2.0-liter turbodiesel model continues to take the fight to Volkswagen with 151 hp, 264 lb-ft, and an EPA-rated 46 mpg highway.
If a raft of tech, tweaked styling, and carryover mechanicals don't sound appealing, Chevy will roll out a completely redesigned Cruze for the 2016 model year.
Until then, the 2015 Cruze should be a perfectly adequate placeholder.

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Alfa Romeo will return to the U.S. at the 2014 New York Auto Show
alfa romeo will return to the u s at 2014 new york auto show 4c  feature

Alfa Romeo is back.
That's what U.S. car enthusiasts have been waiting to hear since the storied Italian brand left our shores in 1995. It's been plotting a return for roughly a decade, and it will finally make its comeback here at the 2014 New York Auto Show next month.
Alfa will show off the 4C sports car which, aside from a limited run of 8C Competizione models, will be its first officially-imported model since the Clinton administration when it goes on sale this June.
The 4C is the perfect car for Alfa Romeo to stage a comeback with. Small and mid-engined, with a lightweight carbon fiber monocoque chassis, it's essentially a love letter to fans of driving pleasure.
The lightweight chassis is paired with a 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Mated to the mandatory six-speed TCT dual-clutch transmission, the 4C will go from 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of 160 mph.
Anyone disappointed by the lack of a clutch pedal will be happy to know that the 4C doesn't have a feel-sapping electronic power-steering system.
In fact, it has no power steering at all. That should provide the ultimate road feel, and given the 4C's low curb weight (around 2,193 pounds in U.S. trim), it should also be manageable at parking lot speeds.
Alfa Romeo may also bring with it the 4C Spider convertible, which it unveiled earlier this month at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. However, the 4C Spider has not been confirmed for production.
Right now, Alfa Romeo only has two other models, the micro MiTo and the Giulietta, which shares its platform with the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee.
Alfa Romeo was supposed to launch a new Spider sports car based on the nest Mazda MX-5 Miata, but that plan appears to be dead. There have also been rumors of an SUV based on the upcoming Maserati Levante.
Whatever its future plans, it will be good to have Alfa Romeo back on U.S. shores. The company's return kicks off at the 2014 New York Auto Show, which opens April 16.
The hardtop 4C is expected to go on sale in June with a base price of $54,000.

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