GM is gearing up for a busy year ahead, having announced plans to show the U.S.-spec Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan alongside the Chevrolet Volt at next month’s LA Auto Show. Both vehicles are due to go on sale sometime during the third quarter of 2010.
Having debuted at the Paris Motor Show in October of 2008, the Cruze has been sold in Europe and across the Pacific for most of 2009 and is (finally) destined to replace the aging Cobalt compact in the ‘States. GM expects the Cruze to achieve 40 mpg on the highway, in large part due to its 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injected four-banger. It looks like Chevrolet doesn’t plan on offering the 1.6 or 1.8-liter gas/petrol engines (or the European 2.0-liter turbo diesel) at launch. We expect other power plants to show up later on in the production cycle.
Chevrolet claims that since the Cruze has been doing well in Europe and Asia, it has “undergone refinement for America” – an interesting position, given that none of the big 3 (GM included) has taken the compact market very seriously in the last two decades. In any event, the Cruze will offer more interior space and cargo capacity than the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla and will include “upscale infotainment amenities such as a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and XM Satellite Radio.”
On the safety front, the compact Chevy will be equipped with ten standard air bags that “provide a safety cocoon for occupants” as well as the critically-acclaimed OnStar technology.
Production will begin at The General’s Lordstown, Ohio plant in April – bringing back nearly 1,000 laid-off workers to meet forecast demand.
In this humble blogger’s opinion, the Cruze can’t come soon enough and is one of the most important launches for Chevrolet and GM over the next five years. That said, let’s not forget about the Volt!
Full press release after the break.
2011 Chevrolet Cruze
2011 Chevrolet Volt
Chevrolet at the Los Angeles International Auto Show
- U.S. premiere of the all-new Cruze, delivering up to 40 mpg highway
- Volt electric vehicle to be available in select markets in 2010
- Camaro, Equinox and other hot-selling Chevrolet vehicles also on display
DETROIT – Chevrolet affirms its commitment to fuel solutions and building refined, eco-friendly vehicles with the debut of the U.S. production version of the Cruze sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show, on Dec. 2. The Cruze, along with the much-anticipated Volt electric vehicle, will give visitors to the L.A. show a close-up view of Chevrolet’s expanding lineup of gas-friendly to gas-free products.
“With expected highway fuel economy up to 40 miles per gallon, Cruze will be extremely gas friendly while the Volt electric vehicle can be operated gas-free,” said Brent Dewar, vice president, Chevrolet. “Chevrolet’s focus is on forward-looking technologies to the benefit of our customers, such as the highly efficient, small-displacement turbocharged engine in the Cruze or the Volt electric vehicle with extended range.”
The Cruze has already launched to high acclaim in Europe and Asia and has undergone refinement for America. It goes on sale in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2010 but has already logged more than 4 million miles in quality and durability testing worldwide, making it one of the most globally tested Chevrolet products prior to a U.S. launch.
Cruze is designed to achieve class-leading highway fuel economy using a new family of efficient engines that include a 1.4L turbo. It will lead the way for Chevrolet in small-displacement, turbocharged engines that are designed for excellent fuel efficiency and durability – while also being fun to drive.
Defying preconceptions of what a compact car can be, Cruze will offer a more spacious interior and cargo capacity than the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, and upscale infotainment amenities such as a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and XM Satellite Radio. Ten standard air bags that provide a safety cocoon for occupants – along with OnStar– also make it one of the safest vehicles in the segment.
The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability. It is expected to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery is depleted of energy, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to more than 300 miles before refueling.
Chevrolet will announce plans for initial retail markets where the Volt will be sold. Chevrolet will also announce the winner of a nationwide consumer competition to name a Volt unique paint color. Consumers determine the winner by voting now for their favorite of three finalist names at www.chevroletvoltage.com, until 8 a.m. Eastern time on Dec. 1.
From Nov. 27-29, the Volt will be on display next to Bloomingdale’s at the Westfield Century City mall in West Los Angeles. During regular mall hours, visitors to the Chevrolet Volt display may get two free tickets each to the L.A. Auto Show, while supplies last. The L.A. Auto Show opens to the public Dec. 4.
Production for the Volt is expected to begin in late 2010. Pricing has not been announced.
The Chevrolet show exhibit also will feature the all-new, 2010 Chevrolet Camaro sports coupe and Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover SUV. The popularity of these vehicles helped Chevrolet boost sales by 9 percent in October, including a significant 31-percent increase in retail sales.
The Camaro continues to distance itself from its closest competitor as a fuel-efficient interpretation of a 21st century sports car, achieving 29 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with the popular 304-horsepower direct injected V-6. Camaro has been a leader in the regular sports car segment for the last five months.
Demand for the Camaro continues to be strong, as Chevrolet now has more than 36,000 sold orders for the car.
The all-new 2010 Equinox is a compact crossover that combines distinctive design, extensive functionality and outstanding efficiency. At 32 mpg highway, the Equinox gets better fuel economy than the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV-4. It even beats the Ford Escape Hybrid while costing $7,000 less.
In just a few short months, Equinox has captured 10 percent of the critical compact crossover segment, its best share since August of 2007 and up 4.6 percent from a year ago. More than half of 2010 Equinox customers traded in a non-GM vehicle (based on internal PIN data). Demand is so strong for the Equinox that the plant where it is built recently added a third shift.
Chevrolet is one of America’s best-known and best-selling automotive brands, and one of the fastest growing brands in the world. With fuel solutions that range from “gas-friendly to gas-free,” Chevrolet has nine models that offer an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon or more on the highway, and offers three hybrid models. More than 2.5 million Chevrolets that run on E85 biofuel have been sold. Chevrolet delivers expressive design, spirited performance and strives to provide the best value in every segment in which it competes. More information can be found at www.chevrolet.com. For more information on the Volt, visit http://media.gm.com/volt/.