The big, wide front lights have been ditched for thinner, more angular lenses that now nudge up right beside a thin, upper grill, which now houses the bowtie badge– just like the incoming Volt.
A new, sweeping beltline helps give the new Cruze a strong, muscular profile while a new rear fascia–with a well-pronounced curve around the trunk–helps breathes new life into what was once one of its least appealing angles. And it all has the slightest hint of Corvette Stingray. Though, we see more 2016 Chevrolet Volt in its shape than anything else.
Similarly, the rear lights have been ditched in favour of much smaller units that look eerily similar to the lenses found on the current Ford Fiesta sedan.
As for mechanicals, the 2016 Cruze will debut the new D2xx global platform as well as a new line of new Ecotec engines, chief among them a new 1.5L producing about 113hp and 108lb-ft of torque. The new Cruze will be significantly lighter than the outgoing model too, thanks to D2xx.
Gear changes will be handled by a new, seven-speed dual-clutch (automated-manual) transmission (DCT), one of few in its class to offer the extra notch.
We also wouldn’t be too surprised to see a hatchback version (to go head to head with the Ford Focus and Mazda 3) and its also likely that Chevrolet will pull a diesel version off the shelf once the steam drifts off the introductory models.
While the Cruze was originally slated to go on sale in 2014, we expect the new version to arrive later this year as a 2016 model, or maybe early next year at NAIAS 2016. Either way, we know it’ll roll out of Lordstown, Ohio.
Though there still could be a few changes in the works before the real deal hits the production lines, we’re glad Chevrolet took the scalpel to the Cruze. It’s a great look that’s sure to entice a few more first time buyers.
Check out the Cruze spyshots here and then pop on back and let us know: hit or miss?