Chevrolet has unveiled its latest compact segment model in the 2011 Cruze Eco, a car it is marketing as being able to deliver the best fuel economy in its class.
The model, launched at the New York show, is powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine with variable valve timing that achieves an estimated 40 mpg on the highway when combined with a six-speed manual transmission.
“The Cruze Eco delivers hybrid-like efficiency without the price tag,” said Jim Campbell, US vice president Chevrolet marketing. “Along with the Volt electric vehicle, it demonstrates how Chevrolet is working to bring new products to market that range from gas-friendly to gas-free.”
Chevrolet is also showing an optional sporty RS appearance package for the Cruze LT and LTZ trim levels.
Cruze is the first in a family of new Chevrolet small and compact cars built on their ability to deliver on fuel economy.
Cruze models for the US and Canada will be produced at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly complex.
In February, Chevrolet announced the addition of a third shift at Lordstown that will add 1,200 workers. More than US$350m has been invested to re-tool the plant and add new manufacturing equipment.
“This investment helps secure the best possible manufacturing footprint to react to market demand and deliver vehicles faster to our customers,” said Campbell. “We believe Cruze is the right car at the right time for American consumers.”
The Eco achieves greater fuel economy using a number of features that enhance its aerodynamics, minimize weight and reduce rolling resistance. Details include:
- A lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds to improve aerodynamics and opens at lower speeds to optimize engine-cooling airflow
- The upper grille has more “closeouts” to improve aerodynamics
- A lower front air dam extension, extensive use of underbody panels and a rear spoiler enhance aerodynamics
- A lowered ride height improves aerodynamics
- Unique 17-inch lightweight aluminum wheels
- Ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tyres.