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

As Bob Lutz begins to close the latest chapter of his long automotive career, he's still managing his legacy. Like him or not, Lutz is always quick to highlight his achievements no matter how comparatively mundane they may be. Take, for example, the Chevrolet Cruze. It's really nothing more than a compact, efficient econo-car, right? If this car hailed from the likes of Honda or Toyota, it would be overlooked. But coming from General Motors, a company that has failed struggled recently in the compact segment, the Cruze could be the its most important vehicle of the decade.

Lutz spoke of the Cruze during a recent first-drive event and promised that this compact is a game changer and an indicator of things to come from GM. As only Lutz could say:
It's a car that means a lot to me personally and a lot to General Motors. (GM is) twisting the dial, going from doing mediocre cars to the absolute epitome of best-in-class. We will spend more on investment; we will spend more on engineering and materials.
Now, best-in-class is a bold claim, but we are mighty impressed with this vehicle so far and time will tell if the statement holds true. Just how important can the Cruze really be though? Bob Lutz puts it right up there with the Volt, stating that the two cars are triumphs of his time with the company. While the low-volume Volt will be remembered mainly for its innovations, the mass-market Cruze could be remembered as the vehicle that turned around a company forever and Mr. Lutz will proudly lay claim to that.

[Source: Ward's Auto]

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