Diesels Around The World: The Big Three – Ford, GM, And FCA

Over the past few months, we’ve covered several automotive manufacturers and their diesel developments – BMW, VW, and Mercedes-Benz, to be exact. These companies have each had their own distinctive approaches to diesel, from trying out compact designs for hybrids to going big for semi trucks.

For this article, however, we’re going to go home – and then go abroad. We’re going to look at the diesels made by Ford, General Motors, and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) that are then sold to international markets.

It should be interesting to see how these corporations have made diesels for cars and trucks not sold in the United States. We’ll kick things off by looking at the Blue Oval.


Ford’s 1.5-liter Duratorq TDCi. It is found on the European Fiesta, Transit, Focus, and Mondeo. It has a cast aluminum block and head, and Bosch FDEC engine management. Photo: Ford

Ford is no stranger to diesels in international waters. To help us understand how, we spoke with Ford of Europe’s Volker Eis.

The first engine he brought up was the 1.5-liter Duratorq TDCi. “This is a four-cylinder engine developed and produced in cooperation with Groupe PSA,” he said. “The engine is available in different power levels, from 74 to 118 horsepower.”

The Ford 2.0-liter Duratorq TDCi, as seen in a Mondeo. Photo: Largus

Up from the 1.5-liter Duratorq is the 2.0-liter Duratorq TDCi. “This is available in power levels from 148 to 177 horsepower, and in its biturbo version, it makes up to 207 horsepower,” said Eis.

The 2.0-liter Duratorq has a cast aluminum head and cast iron block. It uses the Ford Common rail Diesel Engine Management System, and has a compression ratio of 16.7:1.

The 2.0-liter EcoBlue engine, seen here on the production line in Dagenham, England. Photo: Ford

Next, the 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine family is a newer addition to the Ford diesel engine family. It was launched in 2016 for the Transit. It touted better fuel economy and low-end torque than its predecessor, and was tested rigorously on upwards of 250,000 miles of real-life driving.

The 2.0-liter EcoBlue makes up to 167 horsepower and 299 lb-ft of torque. It has a cast iron block and aluminum cylinder head, and has a compression ratio of 16.5:1.

Here in the U.S., the Ranger is not due back until 2019. Outside of the U.S., it can be found all over the world and has multiple diesel motors to choose from. Photo: Ford

Truck-wise, the Ford Ranger has been the go-to option for overseas customers. It has unique diesel engines all its own, in 2.2-liter TDCi and 3.2-liter TDCi iterations. The 2.2-liter TDCi comes in 128-horsepower and 157-horsepower versions, while the 3.2-liter TDCi comes in a 197-horsepower version.

The 2.2-liter TDCi comes with either a fixed geometry or variable geometry turbocharger, while the 3.2-liter TDCi has a variable geometry turbocharger. Compression ratios for the engines are 15.7:1 for the 2.2-liter TDCi and 15.8:1 for the 3.2-liter TDCi.

Ford’s diesel options for the international Ranger are the 2.2-liter (left) and 3.2-liter (right) engines. The 2.2-liter version is an inline-four that makes up to 157 horsepower, while the 3.2-liter version is an inline-five that makes up to 197 horsepower. Photo: Matopi Motors


The Vauxhall Astra, a platform for the 1.6-liter Ecotec diesel engine in the European market. Photo: Wikimedia

For General Motors, the far-reaching markets of Europe and Asia run with quite a few diesel engines. We asked GM’s Tom Read to provide us with a few of the automaker’s international diesel motors, and he obliged.

“Currently, GM engineers, develops, and manufactures five core diesel engine families with some specific country and vehicle variants based on displacement and performance requirements,” he said. “They fall into either Ecotec or Duramax categories.”

The 1.6-liter Ecotec inline four. It is found in several vehicles, including the Vauxhall Astra, and stateside, in the Chevy Cruze and Equinox, as well as the GMC Terrain. Photo: Chevrolet

Ecotec is the little brother of the two, but it can refer to either gas or diesel powerplants. Of note are the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter variants, both inline-four models.

The 1.6-liter Ecotec rolled out in 2014 for the 2015 Vauxhall Astra in Europe (we’re also going to mention that it’s available on the 2017 Chevy Cruze, and soon to be on the 2018 Chevy Equinox and 2018 GMC Terrain, too, which breaks our rules a little bit; oh well!). It earned the nickname “WhisperDiesel,” referring to its hushed tones.

A rendering of the 2.0-liter Ecotec. This powerplant is found in the Opel Insignia and Zafira, and makes almost 300 lb-ft of torque. Photo: GM

In its current form, the 1.6-liter Ecotec makes 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. It’s manufactured at a factory in St. Gotthard, Hungary.

The 2.0-liter Ecotec, meanwhile, was also launched in 2014 for the Opel Insignia and Zafira. It made 163 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Manufacturing of the engine is done in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Chrysler (FCA)

For Chrysler, we spoke to Eric Mayne. He was able to provide us with multiple examples of FCA’s non-U.S. diesel engines. We found that the ones that went into the Jeep Renegade, Alfa Romea Guilia, and Fiat 500 to be the most interesting.

Here in the U.S., we don’t get to enjoy the Jeep Renegade the same the Europeans do. Over in the Old Country, folks go for the MultiJet II, available in both a 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter displacement.

The 1.6-liter (left) and 2.0-liter (right) MultiJet II are double-overhead cam designs that scoot the little Jeep Renegades around Europe.

For either MultiJet II, the engine is a double-overhead cam design with four valves per cylinder. Construction is a cast-iron block with an aluminum head, and a compression ratio of 16.5:1.

Differences are just in displacement and therefore, power and torque. The 1.6-liter version can generate up to 120 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-liter version can generate up to 170 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia’s 2.2-liter diesel engine has to be quick to get the coupe moving the way it ought to be. To that end, the engine makes 180 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque in peak form. Photo: French Driver

Next, we have the Alfa Romeo Guilia. The Guilia has four options available, all of them with a 2.2-liter displacement, 15.5:1 compression ratio, and an inline-four configuration: the 150 CV MT6, 180 CV MT6, 150 CV AT8, and 180 CV AT8.

The MT6s (referring to the six-speed manual transmission) make either 150 or 180 horsepower, and either 280 or 332 lb-ft of torque, respectively. The AT8s (referring to the eight-speed automatic transmission) make the same power and torque numbers as their manually operated siblings.

The Fiat Multijet 1.3-liter I4. Start and stop technology helps the engine cut down on wasted fuel, and its design allows for 95 horsepower and 148 lb-ft in torque.

Lastly, the Fiat 500 rocks a rather small but peppy diesel motor – the 1.3-liter MultiJet. It is a start-and-stop engine. It has four inline cylinders and a 16.8:1 compression ratio. The 1.3-liter MultiJet makes 95 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque; not bad for a car that weighs 2,500 pounds.

And that wraps up our look into diesel motors of the Big Three. True, some of them were a little outside the bounds, but we’ve never been ones to argue with “the more, the merrier.” We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these engines – but which one was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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