Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2010 Chevy Equinox

Now that General Motors will be getting a cash infusion to stay in business at least through January, the automaker plans to unveil some new products at next month's Detroit Auto Show. The first one we can show you is the second-generation 2010 Chevy Equinox. You might recognize the greenhouse from spy photos we published earlier this year in which which the CUV was misidentified as the Cadillac BRX. While the Equinox gets a complete re-skin for 2010, the new CUV's dimensions are within an inch of the current model in all directions.

The Equinox remains a unibody crossover with either front- or all-wheel drive and the same basic suspension layout as before. The platform is an evolution of the current Theta architecture shared with the Saturn Vue. The Equinox's new styling looks more contemporary with prominent wheel arches and the obligatory Chevy twin-port grille. Inside, a new dual cockpit setup looks very similar to the one in the larger Traverse. As expected of any new model these days, the full array of USB audio, Bluetooth and DVD entertainment systems are also now available. Read about the new engines powering the Equinox after the jump.

Related Gallery2010 Chevrolet Equinox

Related GalleryLIVE: 2010 Chevrolet Equinox

[Source: Chevrolet]


The center console bin in the new 2010 Equinox is exceptionally deep, being able to swallow a 15-inch laptop with ease. While the new cockpit layout is attractive with fewer visible seams than the larger Traverse, the pre-production model was saw in person had cheap-looking hard plastics covering the dash. Chevrolet officials promised that production models coming in May would look much better, although hard plastic will apparently still be the order of the day.



A more robust body structure along with a number of other enhancements should make the cabin a quieter place. Triple-sealed doors, laminated acoustical glass and a drag coefficient reduced from 0.42 to 0.36 should make wind noise significantly lower than before. The doors now extend down into the rocker panels (just like the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKS) making step-in easier. The kids in back can also slide their seat fore and aft up to eight inches and recline their seatbacks, as well. An optional DVD entertainment system incorporates two screens that flip up from the seatbacks. In addition, these can be individually controlled so one kid can watch DVDs and the other can play video games.



The current Equinox had an all V6 engine lineup including a pushrod 3.4L that traces its lineage back to the original 1980 Chevy Citation. Existing Equinox Sport models use the 3.6L twin-cam "high-feature" V6 that appears in so many GM products today. Both of these engines have been replaced with new engines that have similar power but are considerably more fuel efficient.

The entry engine for the 2010 Equinox is a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder now offered for the first time in normally aspirated and direct-injected form. With 182 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque running through a new 6-speed automatic transaxle, this model will be the fuel efficiency champ of the lineup.The front-drive four-banger should get 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. That's a huge increase over the 17/24 mpg values of the old engine. Unfortunately, while the new base engine's power output virtually matches the old 3.4L, torque is down significantly so towing capacity has dropped from 3,500 lbs to just 1,500 lbs.



Those who need the full 3,500 lbs of towing grunt will opt for the new 3.0L V6. Like the four-cylinder, this one is direct-injected to the tune of 255 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque. Those figures are down a bit from the 264/250 of the old 3.6L, but again the payoff is improved fuel efficiency. Also helping efficiency on both models the four cylinder model is an electric power steering that no longer saps engine power.



No word yet from GM on whether or when either a mild or two-mode hybrid system might be stuffed in the new Equinox to improve mileage further. The new DI four and six-speed automatic combined with the second-generation lithium battery mild hybrid system might even approach the mileage of the Ford Escape hybrid, but hybrids were the one subject no one at GM wanted to officially comment on.

The Equinox shares its platform with the Saturn Vue. With the distinct possibility that Saturn could be euthanized, the two-mode hybrid system from that model would need a new home. Judging by the "no comment on future products" responses that were accompanied by smiles, it seems likely that a hybrid (either next-gen mild or two-mode) will join the Equinox lineup sooner rather than later.




PRESS RELEASE

2010 CHEVROLET EQUINOX:
A COMPACT CROSSOVER FOR ALL SEASONS – AND ALL LIFESTYLES

All-new crossover delivers expected segment-best highway fuel economy

DETROIT Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 2010 Equinox, a compact crossover that blends distinctive design with outstanding efficiency. A new, 2.4L direct injection engine helps the Equinox deliver expected best-in-segment estimated highway fuel economy of 30 mpg (EPA certification pending) – a 25-percent improvement over the previous model. Chevrolet expects nearly two-thirds of customers will choose the efficient, 2.4L engine.

The new Equinox draws its exterior design inspiration from the Chevrolet Malibu sedan and Traverse crossover; and like those vehicles, the new Equinox complements its styling with attention to detail and unexpected features, according to Ed Peper, GM North America vice president, Chevrolet.

The Equinox makes its world debut at the North American Auto Show in Detroit next month.

"At a time when customers are so concerned about the fuel efficiency of their vehicle, the Equinox delivers," said Peper. "It offers the roominess and capability of a crossover with great fuel economy. Equinox will provide customers a vehicle filled with refinement, comfort and great value."

The 2010 Equinox goes on sale in mid-2009. It is available in LS, LT and LTZ trim, with available all-wheel-drive. Two new engines are offered, each with fuel-saving direct injection and variable valve timing technology. Vehicle highlights include:

  • New 2.4L Ecotec direct injected I-4 engine estimated at 182 horsepower (135 kW), which delivers an estimated 30 mpg highway, 21 mpg city (EPA certification pending)
  • New 3.0L DOHC direct injected V-6 engine estimated at 255 horsepower (190 kW), which delivers an estimated 25 mpg highway, 18 mpg city (EPA certification pending)
  • Driving range of more than 500 miles (800 km) with both engines, for less-frequent fill-ups
  • Six standard air bags: dual frontal air bags; head curtain side air bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side air bags
  • Standard four-wheel disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control
  • Standard OnStar and XM Satellite Radio
  • "Smart" remote starting system that also activates the HVAC system and optional heated seats depending on the outside temperature

"With the 2010 Equinox, we focused on appealing to the senses – from the overall design to the feel of the interior," said Peper.

Design details

The design features Chevy's signature global face – the two-tier grille and prominent gold Bowtie insignia. Strong fender shapes, a distinctive premium roofline, wraparound headlamps and dual round taillamps are additional elements that define Equinox as a true Chevrolet, Peper said.

"The new Equinox blends function and style into a very sporty, yet upscale compact crossover," said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design. "Both the exterior and interior surprise and delight with careful attention to detail."

Additional design features include:

  • A multi-dimensional hood and wraparound rear side glass and a wheels-at-the-corners stance
  • Improved aerodynamic performance through a number of carefully designed exterior features, including moving the base of the windshield forward approximately three inches (75 mm) for a sleeker profile

Equinox's rocker panels are integrated into the doors to make it easier to get in and out of the vehicle. They narrow the area over which a passenger must step, offering protection for pant legs that could brush against dirty rockers. Also, the select use of chrome trim and flush-fitting "exposed-edge" windshield and rear glass reinforce Equinox's build quality and reduce wind noise.

Dimensionally, the Equinox rides on the same 112.5-inch wheelbase (2,857 mm), but is about one inch (25 mm) shorter in length and an inch wider. It also has a wider front track that enhances the ride and handling.

Interior amenities, storage and flexibility

Inside, the Equinox features attention to detail – including a number of storage bins, such as an oversized glove box; a closed storage bin in the instrument panel above the center stack; and closed storage under the center armrest large enough for a laptop computer.

A "floating" center stack houses a multitude of ergonomic comfort and convenience controls. Contemporary, ice-blue ambient lighting – featured within and surrounding the center stack, encircling the center-console cupholders and within the door pull cups – accentuates the cabin. The front and rear seats, which include cloth and uplevel, perforated leather-trimmed offerings, were developed to help deliver best-in-class comfort.

The new Equinox retains its MultiFlex rear seat capability, which allows the seat to be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches (203 mm), for the best rear legroom in its class. With the 60/40-split-back rear seat moved all the way forward, the cargo area offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of storage.

The Equinox's cabin is notable for its quietness. Noise-absorbing elements are built into the chassis, engine compartment and interior.

Convenience, infotainment and connectivity

A variety of technologies are integrated in the Equinox, such as an available seven-inch touch-screen navigation system. Additional features also include:

  • Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity
  • USB audio connectivity
  • DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system with two independent screens to enable DVD viewing on one and gaming on the other
  • Internal memory/hard drive on uplevel radios for storing audio selections
  • Power, programmable rear liftgate
  • Rear-vision camera system, with display in the rearview mirror or in the navigation screen
  • Range of premium-feature audio systems with up to eight speakers and 250 watts of output

Chassis and suspension

The 2010 Equinox is built on a body-integral structure with single-piece body side stampings and targeted applications of high-strength steel. Those elements form the foundation of a solid, quiet driving experience, according to Peper. The strong structure enabled engineers to tune the four-wheel-independent suspension system for greater control and driver feedback.

Standard and available features include:

  • Available all wheel drive
  • Family of 17-, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Fuel-saving electric power steering system

The rack-mounted electric power steering system provides greater fuel efficiency of on 2.4L-equipped models that saves nearly 11 miles per tank of gas, or about 572 miles per year (assuming one fill-up per week). With the Equinox's estimated 30 mpg on the highway, the electric power steering system saves the equivalent of approximately one tank of gas each year.

"With the outstanding interior execution and comfort, the stunning exterior design, numerous chassis improvements, and the connectivity to the outside world, the new Equinox is the favorite ride among our engineers," said Tim Herrick, chief engineer. "I have to pull the keys out of their hands in order to take it for a spin myself."

Chevrolet is one of America's best-known and best-selling automotive brands. With the largest dealer network in the United States, Chevrolet delivers more-than-expected value in every vehicle category, offering cars and trucks priced from $12,120 to $103,300. Chevy delivers expressive design, spirited performance and great value with standard features usually found only on more expensive vehicles. More information on Chevrolet can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


SPECIFICATIONS

Overview

Models:

Chevrolet Equinox LS, LT and LTZ; FWD and AWD

Body style / driveline:

five-passenger, four-door SUV , front-engine, front- or all-wheel drive

Construction:

welded galvanized steel (except for hood and roof) monocoque

EPA vehicle class:

compact sport utility vehicle

Manufacturing location:

Ingersoll , Ontario, Canada

Key competitors:

Ford Escape, Jeep Liberty, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota RAV4

Engines

Type:

2.4L DOHC I-4 DI

3.0L DOHC V-6 DI

Displacement (cu in / cc):

145 / 2384

182 / 2994

Bore & stroke (in / mm):

3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98

3.50 x 3.15 / 89 x 80.2

Block material:

cast aluminum

sand-cast aluminum with cast-in bore liners

Cylinder head material:

cast aluminum

cast aluminum

Valvetrain:

DOHC, four valves per cylinder; variable valve timing

DOHC, four valves per cylinder; variable valve timing

Fuel delivery:

electronic direct sequential fuel injection with electronic throttle control

electronic direct sequential fuel injection with electronic throttle control

Compression ratio:

11.7:1

11.7:1

Horsepower
(hp / kW @ rpm):

182 / 135 @ 6700

255 / 190 @ 6500

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

174 / 235 @ 4800

214 / 290 @ 5600

Recommended fuel:

regular unleaded

regular unleaded

Emissions controls:

close-coupled catalytic converters; Quick-Sync 24x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; fast-response O2 sensor

close-coupled catalytic converters; Quick-Sync 24x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; fast-response O2 sensor

Estimated fuel economy
(city / hwy):

21 / 30 (FWD)
20 / 27 (AWD)

18 / 25 (FWD)
17 / 24 (AWD)

Transmission

Type:

Hydra-matic 6T45 six-speed automatic electronically controlled

Hydra-matic 6T70 six-speed automatic electronically controlled with manual shift mode

Gear ratios: (:1):

First:

4.58

4.48

Second:

2.96

2.87

Third:

1.91

1.84

Fourth:

1.44

1.41

Fifth:

1.00

1.00

Sixth:

0.74

0.74

Reverse:

2.94

2.88

Final drive ratio:

3.23 (FWD)
3.53 (AWD)

2.77

Chassis/Suspension

Front:

independent strut-type with tuned coil springs; direct-acting stabilizer bar; hydraulic ride bushings

Rear:

independent four-link with coil springs and trailing arm; stabilizer bar; hydraulic link bushings

Steering type:

rack-mounted electric power steering with 2.4L; hydraulic power rack-and-pinion with 3.0L

Steering ratio:

18.1:1 (2.4L)
17.4:1 (3.0L)

Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock:

3.46 (2.4L)
2.90 (3.0L with 18-inch wheels)
2.80 (3.0L with 19-inch wheels)

Turning circle, curb-to-curb
(ft / m):

40 / 12.2 (with 17- and 18-inch wheels)
42.6 / 13 (with 19-inch wheels

Brakes

Type:

power front and rear vented discs, standard anti-lock brakes

Rotor diameter x thickness
(in / mm):

front: 12.6 x 1.18 / 321 x 30
rear: 11.9 x 0.78 / 303 x 20

Total swept area (cu in / mm):

front: 20.7 / 526
rear: 15.3 / 390

Wheels/Tires

Wheel size and type:

17-inch aluminum (std. with 2.4L)
18-inch aluminum (std. with 3.0L)
19-inch aluminum (opt. with 3.0L)

Tires:

P225/65R17 all-season steel-belted radial blackwall tires
P235/55R18 all-season steel-belted radial blackwall tires
P235/55R19 all-season steel-belted radial blackwall tires

Dimensions
Exterior

Wheelbase (in / mm):

112.5 / 2857

Overall length (in / mm):

187.8 / 4771

Overall width (in / mm):

72.5 / 1842

Overall height (in / mm):

66.3 / 1684

Track (in / mm):

front: 62.5 / 1587
rear: 61.8 / 1570

Approach angle (deg):

14.8

Departure angle (deg):

23.2

Breakover ramp angle (deg):

16.5

Minimum ground clearance
(in / mm):

7.8 / 198.5

Ground to rear load floor
(in / mm):

28.8 / 731.2

Curb weight, base (lb / kg):

3770 / 1710

Weight distribution (front / rear):

58 / 42

Interior

Seating capacity:

5

Headroom (in / mm):

front: 39.8 / 1012
rear: 39.2 / 995

Legroom (in / mm):

front: 41.2 / 1046
rear: 37.2 / 946

Shoulder room (in / mm):

front: 55.8 / 1418
rear: 55.3 / 1405

Hip room (in / mm):

front: 55.1 / 1399
rear: 51.3 / 1304

Capacities

EPA interior volume (cu ft / L):

130.5 / 3695

Passenger volume (cu ft / L):

99.7 / 2822

Cargo volume (cu ft / L):
Maximum behind rear seat:
Maximum behind front seat:


31.4 / 889
63.7 / 1803

GVWR, standard (lb / kg):

4960 / 2250

Payload, base (lb / kg):

1190 / 540

Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg):

1500 / 680 (2.4L)
3500 / 1588 (3.0L)

Fuel tank (gal / L):

18.8 / 71.1 (2.4L)
20.9 / 79.1 (3.0L)

Engine oil (qt / L):

5 / 4.7 (2.4L)
6 / 5.7 (3.0L)

Cooling system (qt / L):

8.9 / 8.5 (2.4L)
10 / 9.5 (3.0L)