Last December, General Motors’ VIN decoder document proclaimed the Chevrolet Cruze’s six-speed manual transmission option is not long for this world, and it also made mention of a new continuously-variable transmission (CVT) for 2019. However, the latest document shows GM could be fast-tracking the CVT for an introduction this year.
The Truth About Cars reported on Monday that the latest VIN decoder document now lists a “Chevrolet Cruze (CVT)” as part of the 2018 lineup. It remains separate from other Cruze trims, including the Cruze Diesel. The more powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is still listed as a new Cruze powertrain as well.
A CVT would likely help maximize fuel economy in the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which powers the vast majority of Cruzes. It’s unclear where the 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine will slot into the Cruze’s lineup, but we’ve heard rumors of a Cruze Hybrid for years. The Malibu Hybrid also happens to sport a CVT as well, though it features a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with a two-motor electric powertrain.
If GM has plans to roll out a CVT for the Cruze this year, instead of next, we’ll likely see it sooner rather than later. We know Chevy has quite a few refreshed vehicles in the pipeline due for a reveal this year. The Cruze is potentially one of them.