General Motors (GM) has officially announced that production of the Chevrolet Beat’s 1.0 litre diesel engine will commence June 2011 onwards at its Talegaon plant. The company will launch the Beat diesel in the second-half of 2011.
Update 02/06/2011: GM India has now postponed the launch of the Beat Diesel to July 2011.
The small 1.0 litre diesel engine which could be marketed as ‘XSDE (Xtra Smart Diesel Engine) is produced by a multinational team led by GM’s Torino Engineering Centre and supported by GM India’s R&D engineers.
Stefano Caprio the global program manager and chief engineer for GM’s 1.0-liter engine said in a statement, “The exclusive design leveraged the capabilities of dozens of Torino-based diesel engineers to deliver what is expected to be a leader for its size in performance and fuel efficiency for the Indian market.” He further added that the great fuel economy is contributed by an innovative, lightweight 3-cylinder design. Related: Chevrolet Beat diesel slated to launch in June
The new 1.0 litre diesel engine will produce a maximum torque of 140 Nm at 1,750 rpm and close to 100 Nm of the total torque will be available at as low as 1,250 rpm which will make the Beat diesel, easy to drive, in the slow-moving urban traffic conditions. It is expected that the engine will churn out 57 bhp of power.
The new 1.0 litre diesel engine boasts of an iron block, aluminium DOHC cylinder head, lifetime maintenance-free timing chain, centrifugal blow-by separator filter (for lower oil consumption), low-noise timing gears, a balancer shaft for state-of-the-art NVH (noise-vibration-harshness) and a precisely sized waste-gated turbocharger. Also read: Spied: Chevrolet Beat diesel
GM India’s Vice President, P Balendran had earlier announced that the launch of the Beat diesel will be sometime in June 2011. But since the production of the 1.0 litre diesel engine commences only in June, the launch of the Beat diesel could be pushed further to July or August 2011.
The company has invested around $230 million in the Talegaon plant, which has the capacity to produce 1.60 lakh engines per annum. So far, GM has invested $1 billion for its India operations. With regard to the localization of products in India, Balendran said that with the introduction of the Talegaon engine plant, some of GM India’s products would be localized up to 95%.
Small cars with diesel engines have gained popularity because of low running costs and also due to frequent hikes in petrol prices. When launched, the Beat diesel will go toe-to-toe against the Tata Indica eV2 and the Maruti Ritz. The Beat petrol is priced at Rs. 3.55 lakh for the base variant up to Rs. 4.66 lakh for the top-end variant and it is expected that the diesel variant will be roughly Rs. 50,000 dearer. Related: Chevrolet Beat LT road test