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2011 Chevrolet Cruze RS – Click above for high-res image gallery

Here's the skinny: The Cruze RS is an appearance package for Chevy buyers who want a Cruze with a higher level of panache. That out of the way, the RS sports sexier front and rear fascias along with more aggressive rocker panels. Don't forget the pretty OK-looking fog lamps. There's a slick rear spoiler, too. We're also pretty smitten with the big, aluminum wheels that are slathered in some impressive rubber – 235/40/19 to be specific. That's pretty large. Inside features a blacked out interior with leather seats and fabric dash materials.

The Cruze RS get's the same 1.4-liter VVT turbo as the Cruse Eco (as well as 70% of all Cruzes, so says Chevy) and should be coming on line just after the regular Cruze (finally) arrives in the third quarter of this year to eventually replace the aging Cobalt. Until then, make the jump to read the press release.

Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
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• Cruze Eco delivers an estimated segment-leading 40 mpg on the highway
• Optional RS appearance package for Cruze LT and LTZ trim levels

NEW YORK – At the New York Auto Show, Chevrolet reveals the compact 2011 Cruze Eco. This high-efficiency model is powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine with variable valve timing that achieves an estimated 40 mpg on the highway when combined with a six-speed manual transmission. Cruze Eco is expected to deliver the best fuel economy in the compact segment, while offering midsize car spaciousness.

"The Cruze Eco delivers hybrid-like efficiency without the price tag," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president Chevrolet marketing. "Along with the Volt electric vehicle, it demonstrates how Chevrolet is working to bring new products to market that range from gas-friendly to gas-free."

Chevrolet also shows an optional sporty RS appearance package for the Cruze LT and LTZ trim levels.

Cruze is the first in a family of all-new Chevrolet small and compact cars designed to offer excellent fuel economy, outstanding quality and top safety ratings. Cruze models for the United States and Canada will be produced at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly complex. In February, Chevrolet announced the addition of a third shift at Lordstown that will add 1,200 workers to support a smooth, fast and flawless ramp-up of Cruze production. More than $350 million has been invested to re-tool the plant and add new, state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment.

"This investment helps secure the best possible manufacturing footprint to react to market demand and deliver vehicles faster to our customers," said Campbell. "We believe Cruze is the right car at the right time for American consumers."

Cruze Eco details

Featuring an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine with variable valve timing, the Cruze Eco is designed to be the most fuel-efficient model in the lineup, delivering an estimated 40 mpg on the highway with the standard six-speed manual transmission. City fuel economy, as well as estimates for the Cruze Eco equipped with an available six-speed automatic transmission, will be finalized closer to launch.

The Eco achieves greater fuel economy using a number of features that enhance its aerodynamics, minimize weight and reduce rolling resistance. Details include:

• A lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds to improve aerodynamics and opens at lower speeds to optimize engine-cooling airflow
• The upper grille has more "closeouts" to improve aerodynamics
• A lower front air dam extension, extensive use of underbody panels and a rear spoiler enhance aerodynamics
• A lowered ride height improves aerodynamics
• Unique 17-inch lightweight aluminum wheels
• Ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tires.

The axle ratio on the manual-transmission model is also optimized for fuel economy, while helping the car deliver confident performance. Chevrolet estimates the Cruze Eco will deliver 0-60 mph performance of about 10 seconds with the manual transmission and 9 seconds with the six-speed automatic.

The Cruze Eco will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Cruze RS details

Complementing Cruze's sporty proportions is an optional RS appearance package for the LT and LTZ trim levels, which bolsters the car's styling with unique fascias, rocker moldings, rear spoiler and fog lamps. An uplevel instrument cluster is also part of the package and includes chrome accent rings in place of the standard silver finish, as well as opaque cluster bezels that allow the cluster's ice blue backlighting to shine through – providing a sporty nighttime appearance. "For customers who want even more personality and presence in their vehicle, the RS appearance package builds on the already bold face and coupe-like proportions of the Cruze," said Michael Simcoe, executive director, North American Exterior Design.

Midsize presence in the compact segment

All Cruze models offer the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, combined with segment-leading features and details that challenge preconceived notions about what a compact car can be in North America.

Along with the Eco, the 2011 Cruze will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Standard and available equipment includes:

• Ten standard air bags, including frontal, front-seat side-impact air bags, roof rail head curtain, rear-seat side air bags and new front knee air bags
• Bluetooth, USB connectivity, XM Satellite Radio and navigation system
• Standard OnStar with one year of Directions and Connections service
• MacPherson strut front suspension and Z-link rear suspension, with 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels
• Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing, traction control and anti-lock brakes
• Fuel-saving, rack-mounted electric power steering
• Unexpected levels of quietness, smoothness and refinement for the segment.

All models share an interior characterized by upscale materials and a lengthy roster of equipment usually found in larger and more expensive vehicles. Available technologies include Bluetooth and a navigation system.
Cruze's Ecotec 1.4L turbo performs like a larger engine when needed, but retains the efficiency of a small-displacement four-cylinder in most driving conditions; it is standard on Eco, LT and LTZ models. Rated at an estimated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm), it enables a cruising range of more than 500 miles (800 km). Cruze will lead the way for Chevrolet in the use of small-displacement, turbocharged Ecotec engines that are highly fuel-efficient and power vehicles that are fun to drive.

Standard on LS models is an Ecotec 1.8L four-cylinder rated at an estimated 136 horsepower (184 kW) and 123 lb.-ft. of torque (166 Nm). Both engines are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, including technology such as variable valve timing that optimizes performance and fuel economy.
Backing the Cruze's engines are six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Each contributes to excellent fuel economy.

Chevrolet engineers have already logged more than 4 million miles in quality and durability testing worldwide, making Cruze one of the most real world-tested products prior to a U.S. launch. It is backed by Chevrolet's five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty – the best coverage in America.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Much, much better looking than the ECO Cruze. But I'm thinking the ECO Cruze would look better in any color but that Old Fart Blue.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome RS car. Can't wait for RS model.

      Anyone can make guess how much will cost Chevrolet Cruze LT with RS package?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car would be great if it were the 2000 hyundai elantra.

      It's dated, it's boring, it stinks.

      I'll be looking else where.

      The fact they are owned by the government, took bailout money and screwed bondholders only seals the deal.

      Sorry GM. I was a HUGE fan. Not any more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have to say that the back end on this thing looks horrible, especially that chrome strip that runs along the bottom. Also its supposed to be a sport trim level and they have no exhaust tip. Looks pretty cheap and i've sat in the cruze (not rs) and it looks and feels pretty crappy. This thing needs dual exhaust or at least a single exhaust tip that you can see and maybe even hear a bit too. This thing will fail pretty quick indeed. Does anyone agree?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the design of it just screams "cheap car". I wish GM would just give us the Opel Astra. It's better, better looking, and would save them development costs. Corolla buyers don't want something ghastly like this, but the classy Astra may steal some Toyota sales. However, there is a 2012 sedan planned for Buick based on the platform both this and the Astra ride on, and with Buick and Opel growing closer it's worth a little hope.
        • 5 Years Ago
        not one bit
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm getting used to the styling, but this car still needs A LOT to be desired. The front end does not have a good visual gestalt.

      This should be offered in a hatch.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They need to tighten up the "show" dates for the cars and the "launch" dates for the cars. It seems like I have seen this car too much (like the Volt) and yet still not on the road. GM should put a hold on introducing a model until a maximum of 6 months before date of production, get people excited, and then be able to tell and sell it as soon as possible after they show it... it is called a launch for a reason!

      On a side note, this looks nice. After RS comes SS...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fix the interior and deliver at least 160HP for the SS version and you may have a buyer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The diesel version of the Cruze is sold in India with 2.0 Common rail turbo and has great torque figures. I guess the diesel will be a dream atleast in the US for now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The tires are a bit large for an econobox,..IMHO...confusing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks good, but would be nice if the RS had some updated handling.

      And IMO it's not that the styling is dated, it's that it has been seen for years in production form w/o being on sale. Had the US gotten this 2 years ago it would not have people griping about the styling so much.

      ...but I am eagerly hoping for a 2-dr something to appear. Sedans are never as exciting as a coupe/hatch.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Jesus christ, 19's & 235 wide?

      They should just call it the Cruise Rice.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You got that right. Cha-Ching!
        • 5 Years Ago
        - They will be! : )
        The "RS" model is a very popular option package to give the customer the performance look w/o the performance (though, if there's a 1.4L turbo it doesn't make much sense). A good example is the RS package on the Camaro - it gives V6 Camaro owners the "tough" look without the added insurance cost / "decreased" fuel economy of the V8 SS.

        Ford also did the very same thing with their FOX-bodied mustangs where they offered the bigger 5.0L wheels and tires on the 4 cylinder model. People liked the looks better and it sold more cars.

        Same reason why Ford and GM keep selling huge SUVees; even though you or I cannot see a reason for it, people still generate enough demand to make them a viable profit center.
        • 5 Years Ago
        no.. 16's or 17's would be just fine, duder!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Noted the massive shoes when a GM flack was giving me the lowdown on the Cruze yesterday. He said those 19"ers aren't going to be available — 18s will be the largest offered on the RS. "Someone must have put on show wheels," he said.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Ha, well I beg to differ. Does this car need that kind of rubber? hell no. That tire combination is what you'd put on a 400hp m3.. on a car like this it is beyond overkill. You'll never need that kind of traction!

        Remember when economy cars came with 14's - 15's?

        It's a nice car, don't get me wrong.. but god damn.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The RS package is not compulsory. If you don't like them, get another package.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL, you terd-burglars would be bishing if the car came with 14" or 15" wheels and not "modern" 18" or 19" wheels like the competition.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hah! well if it's any indication, my 3200LB BMW came with 16/50/225's.. and that was the sport package... lol.

        Plus my car has 50+ more horsepower and ft-lb :P

        They could call this the Cruze anti-eco with all that rotating mass
        • 5 Years Ago
        Definitely agree about the 19" tires. Just wait until these "economy" buyers have to replace these over sized tires. They're in for quite the sticker shock.
      • 5 Years Ago
      and the risk of being titled a troll ( which apparently per not THAT Matt is status quo if one dislikes a design ) and voicing an honest opinion, I STILL dont like the Cruze, its like its from 10 years ago, dated and just plain BLAND....and putting nicer wheels etc helps, but what is the saying "putting lipstick on a......"
        • 5 Years Ago
        I actually like the rear end better than I thought I would - it looks good in these pics, and the car overall comes off well close up. I think it will prove to be a classic design. It doesn't have the over-the-top detailing of the Focus (check out all those lines in the side, a little like the Crosstour...) It depends what you like. Some see the Malibu as a restrained, tastful design, and some find it too plain. Some like the new Sonata, and some think it is a mish-mash. Some even like the Sonata Hybrid.

        If the production RS has 18" wheels, that will be about right.

        Can't wait for the SS. My 'balt SS sedan looks pretty mean, and the Cruze SS will be better. Can't wait for the Aveo RS. Dare I hope for an SS there too?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the front styling is okay and the interior looks nice. But the rear end is like a mix between every cheap Peugeot/Renault/Nissan that's ever been built.
        • 5 Years Ago
        dont get me wrong...its ok, but ok in a volatile business with fickle buyers wont cut it...IMO the ONLY market this will sell in in the US in respectable numbers will be in rentals, remains to be seen of course, and thats my OPINION, but in my mind buyers levitate to more ambitious designs....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those big wheels really make it look different compared to the Eco version.

      I like it a lot!
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