Cruze-ing to a Holden dealer near you?
General Motors has released preview photographs of its new Cruze world car, which is likely to be sold here as a Holden, replacing the Daewoo-derived Viva.
The Cruze debuts publicly at the Paris Motor Show in October. Chevrolet, which will market the car in Europe, calls the Cruze “a dynamic four-door coupe that proves exciting design and value are not mutually exclusive”.By which we expect the car to be much more dynamic than the lack-lustre Viva.
It’s on sale in Europe from March next year, and Chevy’s spin doctors say the Cruze is “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”.
Its arching roofline, extending from the steeply raked windshield to its sloping rear pillars and short rear deck, brings coupe-like proportions to a compact sedan.
It’s wider and longer than most of its competitors, and its wheels are located at the outer edges of the bodywork – a wheel at each corner, as they used to say of the original Mini.
Large headlight housings wrap around the front corners and sweep up, arrow-like, into the fenders and sculpted bonnet. Other distinct design themes include a concave shoulder line, the two-tier grille and a “wheels-out/body-in” stance.
Inside, the Cruze features a twin cockpit design, introduced on the 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.”
At its launch in Europe, Cruze will be available with 16-valve, 1.6-litre, 82kW and 1.8-litre (10 kW) variable valve timing (VVT) petrol engines. A new 2.0-litre turbodiesel, developing 110kW and 320Nm will follow.
Five-speed manual gearboxes and an all-new automatic six-speed will take drive to the front wheels. Cruze is the first of a new family of compact cars.
Good news on the safety front is that the Cruze has been designed to outperform the existing long-in-the-tooth Chevy (Holden Barina and Viva) small cars that were mildly redeveloped and restyled Daewoos. Chevy says it expects the Cruze to achieve highest scores in all major crash safety ratings.
The Chevrolet Cruze has been designed using GM’s worldwide centres of experises – including GM Daewoo in Korea – and will enter other global markets next year, with region-specific engine choices.
Cars bearing the Holden badge will almost certainly get strong Australian engineering input like that which made the Daewoo-designed Captiva such a success.