It is interesting to see how two worlds that seem to be so far apart can converge. Case in point: hot rods and green cars.
Michigan-based Crazy Diamond Performance is a developer of hot rods that likes to get the most out of every engine. The most performance-wise, but also the most fuel-consumption-wise. This has led the company to develop an expertise in converting GM’s V8 engines to run on natural gas (CNG).
Yes, this does mean you can order a CMG-powered 1931 hot rod… But that is not the point of this story.
While doing such a conversion, company employees realized the Honda Civic was the only one in its segment to offer a CNG option and they decided to work their magic and GM engine tuning know-how on the Chevrolet Cruze.
The result is a dedicated CNG Chevrolet Cruze. The company is confident the vehicle will be available in the fall and is currently working to obtain a proper EPA certification.
Another company, IMPCO, is working on a conversion for the Cruze, but it will be a bi-fuel conversion, not an outright, fully CNG-dedicated model.
The Crazy Diamond Performance Cruze will be offered for $25,995 according to Kevin Fern, Crazy Diamond’s president. Fern also stated this Cruze will be the lowest-cost NGV that’s out there. The Chevy Cruze retails at $17,520 in regular gasoline version from GM.
This Crazy Diamond Performance Cruze will rely on a 8.5 gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) CNG tank; the vehicle is expected to have a range of 225 to 250 miles.
A third party-sourced 100,000-mile powertrain warranty will be part of the package.