High Efficiency Diesel Power for Chevrolet Utility


General Motors South Africa (GMSA) has announced the addition of a diesel engine option for its ever popular Chevrolet Utility. The addition of three new diesel powered variants completes the range of this all new model first released with petrol power in late December last year. The diesel engine option is available in three specification levels: Base AC, Club, and Sport. This brings the Chevrolet Utility range to a total of ten models.

“Within the sub-1 Ton light commercial vehicle there is a well-defined sub-segment for vehicle operators that prefer diesel power,” says Malcolm Gauld, GMSA’s Vice President Sales and Marketing. “The introduction of three diesel powered variants to our new Chevrolet Utility range gives us access to that market with a latest technology small diesel engine.

“For a very long period of automotive history diesel power, despite its obvious efficiency benefits, was regarded as a solution best suited to heavy trucks rather than light vehicles. A growing awareness of reduced fuel usage driven in the main by cost considerations, and a drive for reduced emissions driven by global ecological concerns, has resulted in a very rapid development of new technologies relevant to diesel engine power.

“The latest automotive engine technology is leaning towards small capacity engines that embody advances in turbocharger and fuel injection technology for a new breed of high-efficiency engines. The 1,3 litre diesel engine that we have chosen for the Chevrolet Utility is a prime example of that technology. With an engine capacity of just 76% of the size of the diesel engine of the previous model it offers comparable performance with improved economy.

“Developed in partnership with a European manufacturer this superb small diesel engine has been nominated by Chevrolet as the diesel power plant of choice for its global small vehicle offerings including passenger vehicle applications. Its application in the Chevrolet Utility is a first for South Africa that has been enabled by the flexibility of local production.”

1.3 Turbo Diesel engine

The newest addition to the Chevrolet Utility engine line-up is a latest generation 1.3 litre common rail turbocharged diesel engine with electronically controlled variable vane turbo technology. Developed in collaboration with a European partner this engine boasts excellent performance and economy.

The engine has a cast iron block with aluminium cylinder head. The bore is 69,6mm with a stroke of 82mm for a capacity of 1,248 cm3. The compression ratio is 17,6:1.

Twin overhead camshafts drive the four valves per cylinder for efficient breathing and combustion. The common rail Multi-jet injection system runs at a pressure of 1,600 bar.

Maximum power is 55 kW @ 4,000 r/min with peak torque of 170 Nm @ 1,750 through 2,500 r/min. This level of performance is delivered with exceptional fuel economy of 5.5 litres/100km. Low sulphur diesel is specified for this engine.

Payload for this model is 681 kg.

Service intervals are 15,000 kilometres and warranty cover is for 5 years/120,000 kilometres.