Thanks Brian. I love cars and spend a fair bit of time researching specific models and keeping up with the daily news. But I am no mechanic! (wish I had have done mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering applied to cars but alas I have just graduated study something unrelated =( ).
The Aussie Turbo Diesel does have an intercooler. I thought that the intercooler was to cool the air down so that you got a bigger bang and therefore more power. This is my first turbo car so please forgive me for not knowing much about turbos.
Yes the diesel Cruze does. In fact I would be amazed if anyone could show more a diesel car without an intercooler that's been made within the last decade.
This is because in order for diesels to make adequate power without having stupidly massive displacement they run some seriously high boost. I'm talking 15-25psi stock
on your regular hatch or 4x4.
You're on the right track about the intercooler. As 70aaracuda said, the inter-cooler's function is to cool the intake air.
This is done to reduce the temp of the intake air which gets extremely hot (100's of degrees Celsius). The reason to cool the air is to not only condense the air and thus get more power, but also, and more importantly to reduce the likelihood of pre-detonation aka knocking. Pre-ignition is where the air/fuel vapor within the cylinder is so hot or so compressed (compression = heat) that it ignites without the spark-plugs going off. This not only leads to severe temporary power loss and serious clogging of the engine, but can cause some major long-term damage. This is why cars with high boost turbochargers (such as Evo's, WRX's etc) or very high compression engines (think BMW M3) require higher octane fuel; higher octane fuel is harder to ignite and thus more stable which is important when dealing with high intake temps or high compression.
The invent of the inter-cooler is what made diesel cars and high boosting petrol (gas) cars a reality. I personally love turbo-charged cars and even prefer them to big V8's. Turbo's feel faster than they are, have a unique character and produce that lovely jet turbine sound when spooling up. =D