• What is it? A global compact sedan refined for America
• The basics: Naturally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinder engines
• On sale: Q3 2010, with a public showing at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show
• Price: $19,000 (est.)
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact car promises to redefine fuel efficiency for the small-car segment, and its 1.4-liter four-cylinder range of engines could herald a new era of fun-to-drive cars for Americans.
The latest addition to Chevrolet’s North American lineup will be on show at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show before going on sale in the third quarter of next year. Key competitors include the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Nissan Sentra.
Leveraging Chevrolet’s design and engineering talent in Asia, Europe and North America, the Cruze brings to market a globally engineered and designed car with strong levels of quietness, quality and attention to detail.
The Cruze will also be one of the most fuel efficient models in its class, with a new Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine expected to return up to 40 mpg on the highway in some guises and a range of more than 500 miles.
There will be three different time levels, LS, LT and LTZ trims. The engine lineup will feature both naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines, including a 1.4-liter turbo and a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated mill. Six-speed automatic and manual transmissions will be available.
The turbo will be standard on LT and LTZ models, with power ratings estimated at 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The 1.8-liter naturally aspirated mill, meanwhile, will be rated at 136 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque.
Complementing the Cruze’s new powertrains is a strong body structure and chassis system designed to deliver a responsive and fun driving experience. A MacPherson strut suspension is used up front, while a Watts Z-link design is used with the rear suspension.
StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation, as well as traction control, anti-lock brakes and 10 airbags will all come fitted as standard. Electric power steering will also be standard on all models, helping to save fuel.
North American versions of the Cruze will be built at GM’s plant in Lordstown, Ohio.