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Chev downsizes with new Cruze

2008-08-22 08:28
It might have a big bow-tie badge on the grille, b

It might have a big bow-tie badge on the grille, but Chevy’s new Cruze is aimed at buyers keen on downsizing.

A vastly successful range of smaller cars will be the only thing keeping creditors away from GM headquarters. Chevrolet is hedging its bets on the new Cruze.

Four-door Coupe?

Radically styled with an arching roofline and steeply raked windshield it does not adopt Eurocentric design cues, differentiating quite successfully in the very crowded medium sedan market. Chevrolet calls it a four-door coupe, but we think classing it up with Merc's CLS and the Aston Martin Rapide is a bit of an overstatement.

The wide-body stance and prominent golden bow-tie across the grille endow the Cruze with a distinctly American presence. Visitors to the Paris motor show in early September will get an opportunity to see how the Cruze presents itself when the car is unveiled there.

Chevy without V6 power?

Due to go on sale in Europe from March next year, Cruze will be available with 16-valve, 1.6-liter 82 kW and 1.8-liter 103 kW engines featuring both inlet and exhaust camshaft variable valve timing (VVT).

Unbelievably for something with a bow-tie badge, a new 2.0-liter turbo diesel, developing 110 kW and 320 Nm of torque is probably not as new as you thing and should be carried over from the Captiva SUV.

Five-speed manual gearboxes and an all-new automatic transmission, Chevrolet's first six-speed application in the compact segment, complete the powertrain menu.

Competition in the medium sized sedan segment is merciless, and the Cruze could happen to either be GM’s saving grace or coup de grâce.


Inside Wheels24

Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in SA

Want to experience what it's like to be behind the wheel of a 419kW sports car? Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in our interactive Snapchat video filmed in SA.

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