It’s not surprising that General Motors finally introduced its first new diesel-powered car in a generation: the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel that it unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show.

Consider how GM indicated late last year that it would be stepping down its development of new conventional hybrids. Add to that new remarks by former GM CEO Ed Whitacre about Chevrolet Volt.

For nearly a decade, Volt was used as the company’s go-to answer about how GM was going to dramatically increase energy efficiency in its vehicles. Now, however, Volt seems to have been been reduced to sort of teachable moment, an asterisk-bearing curiosity in the long arc of GM products.

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