General Motors has confirmed that it will debut the final production version of the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The original design was previewed by the five-door Cruze show car we saw in Paris last year, but we expect the completed car to look more like the design renderings that were filed at the European patent office in December, complete with front-end fittings more closely related to what we see on the Cruze sedan.
Oh, and just in case you forgot, the Cruze Hatchback has not been given the green light here in North America. A shame, since Ford's new five-door Focus is just about to hit dealerships and Hyundai has promised us a hatchback version of its swoopy new Elantra. What gives, GM?
We'll have the complete details live from Geneva in just a few weeks. For now, follow the jump for The General's official press release.
[Source: General Motors]
* New model to build on global success of Chevrolet's favorite car
* Cruze hatchback cements Chevrolet's mainstream credentials in Europe
* One of seven new entries in centenary year
Zurich. Chevrolet's award-winning – and now World Touring Car Championship (WTCC)-winning – Cruze will further enhance its credentials this year when the new hatchback version goes on sale in spring. The full production model makes its world premiere at the 81st international Geneva Motor Show, March 3 – 11.
The timing of the new model couldn't be better for Chevrolet, with the manufacturer being crowned World Touring Car Champions in December for the first time. Chevrolet's racing success proves the dynamic potential and qualities of the Cruze, while the launch of a new 5-door hatchback model in addition to the sedan, is further evidence of Chevrolet's intention to bring value for money to the mainstream segments of the European market.
A show car version of Chevrolet's compact contender was shown at the Paris Motor Show last September, and was warmly received.
Sales of the Cruze last year surpassed the Aveo to become Chevrolet's top selling passenger car nameplate globally. Since its launch in the spring 2009, the Cruze sedan has been warmly welcomed by markets all over the world, greeted as a step change for the brand with customers attracted to its coupe style, build quality, 5-star NCAP rating and driving dynamics. It was also elected the AUTOBEST car of 2010 by a jury of leading auto writers in Central and Eastern Europe.
The introduction of the new Cruze hatchback is critical in Europe, as Wayne Brannon, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe explains. "Hatchbacks play a critical role in many markets. The total compact segment in Europe represents over a quarter of the total market, with hatchbacks representing around 65% of that volume.
"The new Cruze hatchback cements that Chevrolet's claim for a place among the mainstream brands in Europe, and it's a vehicle that will bring new levels of value against some of the more established competition."
With its attractive sweeping coupe roofline and short overhangs at both the front and rear, the new Cruze hatchback has the same dynamic 'stance' as the sedan and will be instantly recognizable.
It will benefit too from the same taut body 'feel' on the road, being built using the new body-frame integral system (BFI) which is complemented by the final tuning to chassis components. The BFI system results in high levels of stability and solidity. Indeed the Chevrolet Cruze is a car particularly well suited to European driver tastes, a fact borne out by sales across many of the markets and where in 2010, it exceeded forecasts.
Cargo capacity for the Cruze hatchback is close to 400 liters and it will feature 60/40 split rear seating.
The new Chevrolet Cruze 5-door hatchback will go on sale across Europe in mid 2011 with prices announced nearer the launch date.