South Korea's GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. launches sales of the diesel-powered Tosca sedan with high hopes the car will be a success both at home and in Europe.

The Tosca, introduced in March with a gasoline engine, will come equipped with GMDAT’s own Euro-IV compliant 2.0L VCDi mill, produced at the auto maker's new diesel engine plant in Gunsan, South Korea.

"The Tosca has gained a strong following among domestic car buyers due to its one-of-a-kind combination of powerful and smooth engines and the first 5-speed automatic transmission in the 2.0L midsize segment in Korea," GMDAT President and CEO Michael Grimaldi says at the vehicle's media debut in Seoul.

"The newest Tosca model is about to write the next chapter in the story of best-in-class powertrains," he adds.

The diesel-equipped Tosca has a modified grille and distinctive twin tailpipes that distinguish it from its gas-powered sibling. The new diesel mill generates maximum torque of 236 lb.-ft. (320 Nm) at 2,000 rpm and a maximum speed of 128 mph (206 km/h). The auto maker says the engine provides a 20% fuel economy improvement over the gas-equipped Tosca, delivering 31 mpg (13 km/L).

The common rail direct injection diesel engine is one of the first in Korea to comply with stringent Euro IV emission standards, Grimaldi says, adding it cuts nitrogen- oxide and particulate matter emissions by 50% compared with older Euro III-compliant diesels.

“The Tosca diesel will strengthen our position in Korea and diesel markets around the globe,” he says. “In Europe, the current destination for 40% of GM Daewoo exports, diesel cars account for more than half of industry sales. In Korea, our first diesel-powered passenger car is indicative of our trend of offering larger, more complex models.

"The Tosca gasoline versions, along with the diesel-powered Winstorm (cross/utility vehicle), all launched earlier this year, already account for 40% of GM Daewoo’s domestic sales.”

The Tosca diesel sedan is available in two trim levels, the 2.0L SE priced at 22.1 million won ($23,800) and the 2.0L CDX priced at 26.2 million won ($28,150).

Through October, GMDAT sold 100,971 vehicles in Korea, of which the Tosca and Winstorm accounted for 40,388 units.