2011 Chevrolet Cruze Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2010
FAST FACTS
  • All-new entry in compact segment
  • Developed by global design and engineering team
  • Will be built in multiple locations
  • Two engines: 1.4-liter turbo or 1.8-liter turbodiesel
  • 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions offered
  • Expected 40 mpg highway fuel economy
  • Unique detail fabric used throughout vehicle, not limited to seats
  • Available navigation, Bluetooth and XM satellite radio
  • Ten standard air bags
  • Standard OnStar
  • Already available in Europe and Asia
  • On sale in U.S. and Canada in the third quarter of 2010

Introduction

2011 Chevrolet CruzeDetermined to be a major player in the ultra-competitive, fuel-efficient small car market, Chevrolet is nearing production of its all-new Cruze compact sedan. Already on sale in Europe and Asia, the new Cruze will be shown at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, and is scheduled to begin arriving at U.S. dealerships in the third quarter of 2010.

Why did Chevrolet choose to debut the new Cruze in Europe first? Chevrolet is GM Europe's fastest-growing mainstream brand, according to the automaker. The division expects the Cruze rollout to generate even more sales success in Europe, and create a buzz that carries over into other global markets as the car is introduced with regionally-specific engine choices. When the Cruze arrives in North America, it will be the replacement for the Chevy Cobalt, and will be a 2011 model. The Cruze fits in the Chevrolet model lineup between the subcompact Aveo and the midsize Malibu.

Design

2011 Chevrolet CruzeDeveloped by a global design and engineering team, the Chevrolet Cruze is meant to be bold, not evolutionary, according to the all-new compact car's Chief Designer, Taewan Kim. The car's arching roofline extends from a steeply raked windshield to rear pillars that flow into a short rear deck, creating a compact sedan that looks like a well-proportioned coupe. The exterior design uses minimal trim and sports a dual bezel headlamp design as well as an integrated rear spoiler. No matter what the market, however, Chevy promises that the Cruze will proudly wear the Chevy bowtie on the grille.

Chevy points out that the new Cruze is longer and wider than a majority of the competition, and will have plenty of space inside for 5 passengers and cargo. While placing emphasis on sportiness, comfort and spaciousness, designers also created an inviting cockpit environment, using liberal amounts of warm fabric with unique fiber. Color and texture details are evident throughout the cabin, and are not just limited to seating areas. Another example of contemporary interior design is the Cruze's integrated center stack (ICS), which houses the car's infotainment display, heating and air conditioning controls, and radio. The design of the ICS eliminates the traditional framing around these interfaces. Chevy says the Cruze's fit and finish for gaps and interfaces sets a new standard in the segment, not only in Europe, but around the world.

Hardware

In the U.S., the Chevrolet Cruze will be available with a choice between two 4-cylinder engines: one gasoline engine and one diesel. The 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine features E85 ethanol capability and provides an estimated power rating of 140 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. The Cruze will also be offered with a 1.8-liter turbodiesel engine, estimated to deliver 138 hp.

The Cruze's engines will be mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or an all-new automatic transmission-the first 6-speed automatic transmission in the compact segment, according to Chevy. The transmissions will be carefully calibrated, Chevy says, to further enhance both vehicle performance and fuel economy.

Safety

2011 Chevrolet CruzeChevrolet designed the all-new Cruze as the first in its new family of compact products that the division promises "will deliver world-class quality, backed by expected highest scores in all major crash safety ratings." That means Chevy's target is 5 stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frontal, side-impact and rollover tests, as well as a "Top Safety Pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in frontal, side-impact, and rear crash tests. Safety features on the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze include stability and traction control, advanced dual-stage front air bags with GM's passenger-sensing system, side-impact and roof rail head curtain air bags, and anti-lock brakes (ABS).

Technology

When the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze debuts, expect OnStar 8.0 telematics to be standard, including GM's Advanced Crash Response System (OnStar automatically notifies rescue and medical personnel in the event of an air bag deployment and directs them to your location), with available Turn-by-Turn Navigation and Destination Download, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, USB inputs for connectivity options, and standard XM satellite radio with new NavTraffic feature.
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