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2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Written by Staff. Posted in Chevrolet News, Guest Articles

Published on May 03, 2016 with No Comments

We’ve driven it in Europe. We’ve driven it in China. And eventually, we’ll drive the U.S.-spec, 2011 Chevrolet Cruze on America’s roads — although it’s still almost a year away from Chevy showrooms. So while the general public won’t be getting its hands on the new Chevy compact anytime soon, that isn’t stopping GM from banging the Cruze drum loudly at the upcoming 2009 Los Angeles auto show.

The 2011 Cruze, the North American version of which will be built at GM’s revamped Lordstown, Ohio, plant, is arguably as important to the General’s future success, if not more so, than Chevy’s electric vehicle savior and fellow L.A. show star — the 2011 Chevy Volt. GM is making no bones about the Cruze’s main mission. This is a car that must do what the outgoing Cobalt could not — seriously challenge the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic for compact car supremacy. The automaker says the Cruze will have the refinement, build quality and options necessary to do battle with the top dogs in the segment.

Chevy’s main selling point for the Cruze is GM’s new turbocharged Ecotec 1.4-liter, DOHC I-4 with variable valve timing. The 1.4-liter is tentatively rated at 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. GM has predictably been hyping the engine’s efficiency and its estimated 40 mpg highway, and unlike most turbos, the engine’s recommended fuel is regular unleaded. There will be a base engine, a 1.8-liter four estimated to output 136 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. During our drives of the European and Chinese versions of the Cruze, we were underwhelmed with the 1.8-liter, so the extra grunt of the turbo will no doubt be welcome.

Mated to the Cruze’s engines is a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions — gear shifters not normally found as standard equipment the compact class. In fact, Chevy is tacking on a lot of features to the Cruze in an effort to make it stand out from the compact crowd. GM’s StabiliTrak stability control is standard equipment, as are 10 air bags, electric power steering, traction control and anti-lock brakes.

Germany’s Opel was responsible for the basic platform that underpins the Cruze, GM’s new new-generation Delta architecture. Notable features include a high-rigidity shell and relatively sophisticated MacPherson front strut geometry outfitted with hydraulic bushes and aluminum lower arms. The compact’s torsion beam rear is augmented by a Watts Z-link design that GM says helps center the rear axle during cornering, which is said to improve the car’s overall handling by allowing the rear to better follow the front suspension’s inputs.

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Chevy Magazine Staff is a group of car lovers, editors, and writers who have a passion for Chevy cars. Besides being all around car nerds and proud owners of Chevrolets, our staff is dedicated to providing you breaking news, reviews, and tutorials.

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