New GM Diesel Sportscar Beats Camaro Z/28

You may have noticed I’m fond of comparing highly-efficient diesel engines to sports cars. Two years ago I was writing comments on security blogs

I mean a four-door all-wheel-drive station wagon made by Volvo is expected to be available next year that delivers better horsepower than a Ferrari 308 and a Camaro Z28, yet will also provide 100 mpg. That should have been an American made vehicle.

And I was shamelessly plugging the same example into my security presentations (red cars at the bottom are the Ferrari and the Camaro)

In short, it seemed pretty cool to me that a modern Volvo diesel station wagon could get over 100mpg yet give better performance than a Camaro Z/28.

I see now that GM has actually delivered on this performance level themselves with their new Cruze Diesel. GM announced it as Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel Delivers Classic Muscle Car Torque.

Similarly, Jalopnik has run the headline “New Chevy Cruze Diesel And ‘72 Camaro Z/28 Are Basically The Same Car

…better than a 350z, an Esprit Turbo (but not an Esprit V8) and a Ferrari F355. And it gets better fuel economy!

Cruzen on a Tractor
Cruze’n on a Tractor

That’s what I’m talking about! No, wait. Cruze beats the Z/28. What do they mean same? A Z/28 would spend way more dollars and hours at a pump. In any race over distance Cruze wins.

258 ft-lb torque, 46 mpg, 717 miles/tank
(horsepower is dead)

Jalopnik is being facetious. I’m not. If Cruze was a diesel-electric hybrid, like the Volvo, it would beat the Z/28 on 0-60 also.

That shadow image comes from GM…dislike. The shadow should be a bald eagle flying, a running wolf, something that shows American freedom and performance. The shadow is meant to look like “classic muscle” but instead looks to me like a dirty, smelly tractor. And that would be exactly the wrong image to sell a diesel sportscar. Classic muscle? It doesn’t even sound good.

Incidentally, if you get the gasoline version of the same car they’ll tell you it can get almost 40 mpg. You have to search the fine-print to find that gasoline gets 100 ft-lb less torque. NO thanks on the gasoline engine.

Engine: Diesel Gas
Torque 258 148
MPG 46 36
Cost $25K $18K


The Cruze site points out that it outperforms the VW, which (surprise) is priced the same. Makes sense they’re going head-to-head with another diesel in the market and price-matching but here too, dislike.

Instead they should have a number of vehicles to compare against. Where’s my selector so I can do head-to-head with Ford, Kia, Toyota, Subaru…?

And let’s see an ad with a Cruze Diesel versus a Prius pulling five people plus bags off the line. THAT would be funny.

Or GM could poke a little fun at itself and show a race between a Cruze and a Z/28 that includes fuel stops.

Or they could FOCUS on hitting Ford hard (pathetic 36 mpg max, no diesel option) and they could put up a fleet vehicle calculation engine that shows how you can save $20 million.

I mean let’s talk about an easy buy decision. Do you want 46 mpg in a hotrod turbocharged clean diesel from GM versus a slow and thirsty Ford? BOOM, done. Do you want your city to save millions every year in staff time and cost, and reduce pollution? BOOM, done.

Going in a stock white sock up against a sexy dark grey VW with a long-standing following…mmm, not such a good idea.

2 thoughts on “New GM Diesel Sportscar Beats Camaro Z/28”

  1. Going H2H with Toyota in the US is not an option at this time, otherwise I would have a 4Runner in Diesel. If GM would go the diesel hybrid route, that would even be more of a plus since it would also allow them to compete (as Opel) with Volvo and others in the zero emission zones popping up in EU.

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