Chevrolet Cruze Details Released Ahead of Paris Debut

By Kevin Miller

08.21.2008

GM has released details and photos today of the Chevrolet Cruze, its all-new small car which will debut in October at the Paris Motor Show. GM describes the vehicle as a “dynamic four-dour coupe”, using the already-tired vernacular of more expensive four-door sedans masquerading as coupes. Regardless of how its styling is described, the Cruze is certainly better looking than the Cobalt which it will replace in the US, and the Lacetti it will replace in Europe.

Although photos of the interior were not available, the dash is described as a “twin cockpit” design. Such a design theme is used in the interior of the current Malibu, where it is attractively implemented. Interior materials are said to be nicely grained, soft-touch, and low gloss, which will be an improvement compared to the vehicles the Cruze replaces.

Sales of the Cruze will launch in Europe in March, with available powertrains including a new 150 HP 2.0-liter turbo diesel and two four-cylinder, 16-valve, gasoline engines: a 112 HP 1.6-liter, and a 140 HP 1.8-liter, both featuring variable valve timing (VVT) on inlet and exhaust. Five-speed manual gearboxes and an all-new six-speed automatic transmission will be available. When the Cruze reaches North America, likely as a 2011 model, powertrain choices may differ from these European offerings.

Stylish, fuel-efficient vehicles are in short supply among domestic manufacturers. Chevrolet’s Cobalt here in the US is not particularly good looking, though it is a vast improvement over the Cavalier it replaced in 2004. The fact that the vehicle is launching in Europe means that the suspension may be able to provide a decent ride. When it finally arrives here in the US, the Cruze with its crisp styling and efficient powertrain will be a welcome addition to Chevrolet’s domestic lineup.

GM’s press release is posted below for your reading pleasure.

All-new Chevrolet Cruze features dramatic design

Detroit – The first photographs of Chevrolet’s all-new Cruze sedan – making its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in October – reveal a dynamic four-door coupe that proves exciting design and value are not mutually exclusive.

On sale beginning in Europe from March next year, Cruze features a dramatic re-interpretation of the traditional sedan featuring Chevrolet’s new global design language that is becoming a signature on all new products carrying the gold bowtie.

Cruze’s arching roof-line, extending from the steeply raked windshield to its sloping rear pillars and short rear deck, brings coupe-like proportions to a compact sedan.

Wider and longer than most of its competitors, Cruze has a purposeful stance with its wheels located at the outer edges of the tautly drawn bodywork. Noticeably tight body panel fits and a restrained use of exterior trim add to a high quality, ‘hewn from solid’ appearance.

Cruze’s dramatic profile is matched by bold front styling, with large headlamp housings that wrap around the front corners and sweep up, arrow-like, into the fenders and sculpted hood. Other distinct design themes include a concave shoulder line, the two-tier grille and a “wheels-out/body-in” stance. Inside, Cruze features a ‘twin cockpit’ design motif, first introduced in the iconic Corvette sports car.

“Our goal in designing Cruze was to be bold, not evolutionary,” says chief designer Taewan Kim. “We wanted to take a big step forward, making a strong design statement for Chevrolet products around the world.”

Visitors to the Paris show will see how Chevrolet’s progressive design is also reflected in the quality of Cruze’s interior. The use of grained surfaces, soft-touch materials and low gloss trim panels ensures a quality ambience that echoes the clean, harmonious design of the exterior.

At launch in Europe, Cruze will be available with 16-valve, 1.6-liter (112 hp/82 kW) and 1.8-liter (140 hp/103 kW) gasoline engines featuring variable valve timing (VVT) on both inlet and exhaust sides, giving more power as well as better fuel economy and lower emissions. A new 2.0-liter turbo diesel, developing 150 hp/ 110 kW and 320 Nm of torque adds power with even greater frugality. Five-speed manual gearboxes and an all-new automatic transmission, Chevrolet’s first six-speed application in the compact segment, complete the powertrain menu.

With sales in Europe up by 23 percent for the first six months of 2008, Chevrolet is GM Europe’s fastest-growing mainstream brand. The arrival of Cruze spearheads an exciting new product roll-out program that is expected to propel the brand to even greater success.

“We are proud that Europe is leading the introduction for this global product,” said Wayne Brannon, Executive Director, Chevrolet Europe. “Chevrolet has always stood for expressive value and Cruze delivers on that promise like never before. It further redefines Chevrolet with its design, quality, materials and great style inside and out. The fit and finish for gaps and interfaces sets a new standard for this segment in Europe and around the world.”

Cruze is the result of a development process harnessing GM’s global expertise and is the first of a new family of compact products that will deliver world class quality. It will be backed by expected highest scores in all major crash safety ratings.

The Chevrolet Cruze will be available in Europe from March 2009, followed by other global markets with regional-specific engine choices.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Kevin Miller

As Autosavant’s resident Swedophile, Kevin has an acute affinity for Saabs, with a mild case of Volvo-itis as well. Aside from covering most Saab-related news for Autosavant, Kevin also reviews cars and covers industry news. His “Great Drive” series, with maps and directions included, is a reader favorite.

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5 Comments

  1. Wow…that’s a good looking car.
    Look out Civic. Corolla doesn’t even hold a candle to this. If this thing really gets 40 mpg, why would you want an ugly subcompact?

  2. Great looking car with a lot of potential, but what’s with the name? I know the Cobalt isn’t the greatest car in the world, but it has built fairly good name recognition since 2004 and is certainly better than Cruze, so why not keep Cobalt?

  3. I’m with Luke, what’s with the name change?

    Cobalt is not a damaged name as far as I’m concerned, and Cruze is not only unknown, the spelling looks like a cheap gimmick to connect with young people.

    Why ditch Cobalt?

  4. It’s OK. The grille/front end is overdone, borderline hideous. I don’t understand the need for big grilles on small cars. Do we have Audi to thank for this latest atrocious design trend? (At least the Cruze has no side vents, gills, whatever.) I would have proposed ‘blanking’ off the upper grille, but then the thing would look like an 09 Corolla –ugly.

    Memo to designers: look up the word “proportion”. Learn to pronounce it, learn what it means, then apply it to your designs. End rant.

  5. More than a little Mazda3 resemblance.

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