A few days ago we reported that the Chevrolet Cruze will make its U.S. debut at the upcoming LA Auto Show (on December 2nd). Today we’ve obtained official pictures of the U.S.-spec Cruze along with a few important details:
- Chevy is expecting the Cruze to deliver “many segment-leading features and details that challenge preconceived notions about what a compact car can be in North America.” In other words, it should beat the competition and finally deliver an American compact car that doesn’t correlate size to quality and feature set. Having been on sale across Europe and Asia, we expect Chevrolet to have worked out any kinks and glitches in the Cruze’s production line, materials, and reliability. Moreover, since the development of the Cruze has been somewhat in tune with that of the Volt, we expect both vehicle teams to have learned something from one another and applied it to make both products better (now that’s what you call a synergy!)
- The Cruze LT and LTZ will feature the exhaust-driven 1.4 liter turbo Ecotec that delivers 138hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) while the Cruze LS will come with the 1.8 L Ecotec four-cylinder. Both powerplants have the same basic architecture, as they are part of GM’s family of global small-displacement engines designed to be fuel-efficient. The engines can be mated to either an automatic or manual six-speed transmission.
- Chevy is really emphasizing efficiency here – the 1.4L turbo will give a cruising range of more than 500 miles (800 km). The Cruze is, of course, backed by the best powetrain coverage in the US – five-year/100,000 miles.
- The Cruze features a strong body structure and chassis system designed to deliver a responsive and fun driving experience. This enabled engineers to more precisely tune the chassis for comfort and driving control: MacPherson strut set-up in the front, Watts-Z-link design in the rear.
- StabiliTrack (electronic stability control) with rollover mitigation, traction control, anti-lock brakes, and electric power steering are standard. No steering pump from the engine’s driven accessories means less mechanical complexity and a decrease in fuel consumption
- As far as wheel sizes go:
- LS and LT models get 16-inch wheels standard
- LTZ gets the 17-inch alloys
- 2LT and LTZ models are available with 18s
- The interior of the Cruze contains high-quality materials, with many soft-touch components and low-gloss trim panels – a quality that is uncommon in the mainstream compact segment
- Of interest to me is the following segment:
The doors have triple seals and feature fiberglass “blankets” that serve as water, airflow and noise barriers. The doors are also beta-braced, meaning they close with a solid, precise sound and no resonance.
BETABRACE is a Dow Automotive Systems product that is said to improve distortion resistance, flexural strength, impact resistance, and fatigue. Most importantly, however, is that these benefits can be provided by BETABRACE without the added weight and cost of steel supporting structures. More info about BETABRACE can be found here.
The Cruze will be built at the Lordstown, OH assembly plant and will go on sale during Q3 of 2010.