The all-new D2XX-based 2015 Chevrolet Cruze was officially unveiled at a private event before the start of the 2014 Shanghai Auto Show in April, and then launched in August 2014 in China. We knew the this Cruze would eventually make its way to North America with some cosmetic revisions, but until now, it wasn’t clear what changes would be made. Luckily, the U.S.-market 2016 Cruze has been caught completely uncovered by Car and Driver, giving us a sneak peak at what the future has in store for one of Chevy’s most successful nameplates.
The car spotted by C&D looks nearly identical to the Chinese-market Cruze. The biggest change comes in the way of a new front-end, which brings the car’s design in line with the rest of the Chevrolet lineup. The body styling remains the same, as does the rear clip, so any of you hoping the U.S. market Cruze would look dramatically different from the Chinese version will be left disappointed. C&D notes the model photographed appears to be a lower-level trim level without the optional HID headlamps or LED daytime running lights, both of which are available on the Chinese model.
As far as powertrains go, the U.S. market Cruze could use engines carried over from the outgoing model. Due to its fairly recent introduction, the 2.0-liter diesel unit (LUZ) in the Cruze Diesel is the strongest candidate for adoption into the new model. It is unclear if the new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the 1.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder Ecotec engines announced for the Chinense-spec Cruze will find their way into the U.S. model, although it’s likely the new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission from the Chinese variant will carry over, as will the six-speed manual. A six-speed automatic could also be offered.
The U.S.-market 2016 Chevrolet Cruze could debut as early as November at the Los Angeles auto show, or at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Pricing shouldn’t stray too far from the current model, which carries a base MSRP of $18,345. The new model is expected be continue being built at GM’s Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio.