This afternoon GM design VP Ed Welburn and Chevy general manager Ed Peper gave us a preview of the new 2010 Chevy Cruze compact sedan. As is all too often the case with cool new small cars, the U.S. market is last in line as the Cruze will be going on sale in Europe next March as a 2010 model with a choice of 1.6L and 1.8L gas engines or a new 2.0L diesel that puts out 150 hp. As many have surmised from previous images of the Cruze, it is actually a bit bigger than the current Cobalt it will eventually replace. According to Peper, it actually slots in between the Cobalt and the Malibu, although it will get better fuel economy than both.
GM chose to debut the Cruze in Europe because it's the brands fastest growing market with a 23-percent growth in sales through the first half of 2008. Asked why the U.S. isn't getting it sooner, Peper blamed the current sales success of the Cobalt and other upcoming launches such as the Camaro. Peper also indicated that the Cruze will get an impressive 40 mpg on the highway at launch. When the Cruze goes into production at GM's Lordstown, OH plant in April 2010 as a 2011 model, it will be powered by the new 1.4L direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder that has been announced previously. We don't have any pics of the interior yet because the car on display here is just the same styling buck with no guts that appeared in Lordstown a couple of weeks ago. We'll be sure to get those interior shots and more when the car makes it official world debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.
[Source: General Motors]
All-new Chevrolet Cruze features expressive design
Paris Motor Show Preview: First Images of the Chevrolet Cruze
Detroit - The first photographs of Chevrolet's all-new Cruze sedan – making its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in October – reveal a dynamic four-door coupe that proves exciting design and value are not mutually exclusive.
On sale beginning in Europe from March next year, Cruze features a dramatic re-interpretation of the traditional sedan featuring Chevrolet's new global design language that is becoming a signature on all new products carrying the gold bowtie.
Cruze's arching roof-line, extending from the steeply raked windshield to its sloping rear pillars and short rear deck, brings coupe-like proportions to a compact sedan.
Wider and longer than most of its competitors, Cruze has a purposeful stance with its wheels located at the outer edges of the tautly drawn bodywork. Noticeably tight body panel fits and a restrained use of exterior trim add to a high quality, 'hewn from solid' appearance.
Cruze's dramatic profile is matched by bold front styling, with large headlamp housings that wrap around the front corners and sweep up, arrow-like, into the fenders and sculpted hood. Other distinct design themes include a concave shoulder line, the two-tier grille and a "wheels-out/body–in" stance. Inside, Cruze features a 'twin cockpit' design motif, first introduced in the iconic Corvette sports car.
"Our goal in designing Cruze was to be bold, not evolutionary," says chief designer Taewan Kim. "We wanted to take a big step forward, making a strong design statement for Chevrolet products around the world."
Visitors to the Paris show will see how Chevrolet's progressive design is also reflected in the quality of Cruze's interior. The use of grained surfaces, soft-touch materials and low gloss trim panels ensures a quality ambience that echoes the clean, harmonious design of the exterior.
At launch in Europe, Cruze will be available with 16-valve, 1.6-liter (112 hp/82 kW) and 1.8-liter (140 hp/103 kW) gasoline engines featuring variable valve timing (VVT) on both inlet and exhaust sides, giving more power as well as better fuel economy and lower emissions. A new 2.0-liter turbo diesel, developing 150 hp/ 110 kW and 320 Nm of torque adds power with even greater frugality. Five-speed manual gearboxes and an all-new automatic transmission, Chevrolet's first six-speed application in the compact segment, complete the powertrain menu.
With sales in Europe up by 23 percent for the first six months of 2008, Chevrolet is GM Europe's fastest-growing mainstream brand. The arrival of Cruze spearheads an exciting new product roll-out program that is expected to propel the brand to even greater success.
"We are proud that Europe is leading the introduction for this global product," said Wayne Brannon, Executive Director, Chevrolet Europe. "Chevrolet has always stood for expressive value and Cruze delivers on that promise like never before. It further redefines Chevrolet with its design, quality, materials and great style inside and out. The fit and finish for gaps and interfaces sets a new standard for this segment in Europe and around the world."
Cruze is the result of a development process harnessing GM's global expertise and is the first of a new family of compact products that will deliver world class quality. It will be backed by expected highest scores in all major crash safety ratings.
The Chevrolet Cruze will be available in Europe from March 2009, followed by other global markets with regional-specific engine choices.