After recent speculation that the upcoming 2011 Chevy Cruze will only cater to the casual (read: boring) crowd, we got word that GM is indeed looking to add some meat to its new bread-and-butter compact.
According to Motor Trend, The General is looking to put more “sport” into its Delta 2 platform and is debating two different approaches. The first approach involves an all-new model – a four-door coupe based on the Cruze’s Delta 2 architecture. Rumor has it that it will retain the wheelbase of the Cruze but include “a more rakish roofline” (which will forgo backseat room for a more spirited design). Such a model, if green-lit for production, would command a premium price compared to the Cruze and earn GM higher margins on the Delta platform. The strategy is similar to Mercedes and its CLS four-door coupe, which rides on the E-Class platform but sells for S-Class prices.
The second approach being considered by GM is more practical and involves a Super Sport version of the Cruze as we know it today. In fact, this model is rumored to have a fan or two inside GM’s own offices. Expect suspension mods, a high-pressure version of the 260hp 2.0-liter Ecotec turbo (LNF) from the Pontiac Solstice GXP/Saturn Sky Redline and upcoming Buick Regal GS (concept). That output is nearly equal to that of the Mazdaspeed 3 and puts the Honda Civic Si and Scion Tc numbers to shame. To manage torque steer, the Delta II platform could be fitted with the larger Epsilon’s all-wheel-drive system, but this may add a few extra zeroes to the price tag.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see a Cruze SS any sooner than 2013. And if the Delta 2-based four-door-coupe is built, it’d most likely take even longer to make its way to dealer showrooms. But it would be interesting to see how GM goes about its earlier goals of becoming more selective with the SS badge. Nevertheless, we welcome any and all infusions of “sport” into the Chevy line. But as Motor Trend’s Todd Lassa (my latest Facebook friend) so eloquently points out, GM’s “priority is to do a high fuel-mileage Cruze XFE.” We agree with that too.[Source: Motor Trend]