Yes, sir. Chevrolet finally revealed the official numbers for the car that will in many ways make or break GM at the New York International Auto Show. The C-segment model in question is the highly-anticipated Chevy Cruze. GM announced that the Chevy Cruze will come in two flavors, Eco and RS.
In this article, we will focus on the Eco. Natural to the (somewhat lousy) name, the Eco version will attain an impressive 40 mpg, most likely highway. This great fuel economy is made possible by an unassisted gasoline engine. But the Cruze Eco will not be some four-speed tin can either; rather, it will be granted a six-speed manual transmission married with the 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec four-banger gasoline engine rated at 138 horsepower and a healthy 148 lb.-ft. of torque. All that will give the gas miser a maximum range of a protracted 500 miles between fill-ups.
What’s even more interesting is that this is the same engine that will power the sportier-looking RS Cruze variant, yet the Eco will be the more efficient of the two. What’s the magic sauce? The secret is in the aerodynamics. Keep reading more after the break!
For instance, the Cruze Eco will boast something called an “Aero Shutter”- a first for the segment. When traveling at highway speeds and letting wind speed cool the turbocharged engine, the shutter is closed, giving the Eco more ability to cut through the air. However, when the car is driving at city speeds, the shutter is open, providing the engine necessary ventilation.
But the cool stuff doesn’t stop there. The rear fascia is smoother and the spoiler is less defined. What’s more, the entire model is lowered a full centimeter compared to other Cruze trim levels, which helps to further streamline the sedan. There is also a full-body underpanel and low-resistance tires, the same shared with the much more expensive Chevy Volt.
While the Cruze Eco may have the appearance of being an “Eco” vehicle (not very exiting), it will make up for whatever styling deficiencies in features. The Cruze Eco will feature three trim packages that have become synonymous with Chevrolet: the basic LS, the mid-level LT, and finally the upper-shelf LTZ. The Cruze will make available premium features such as Bluetooth, USB connectivity, XM Satellite Radio, and even a GPS navigation system – a feature unheard of in the segment. This proves that GM is upping the ante as it refines its staple product and leap-frogs the competition in feature set. And because it’s not a hybrid, it won’t cost a premium an arm and a leg because of a premium hybrid price.
Since the official unveiling of the US-spec model late last year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Cruze has increasingly become one of the more anticipated cars arriving in the near future. It will be available in the third quarter of this year along with another important model.
If it’s not readily obvious, a lot rides on the Cruze. Some automotive writers see it as “the car that must save GM,” while others just look at it as a welcome change to the rental-car-grade and uneventful Chevy Cobalt.