GM's all new Cruze was unveiled at the Fillimore Theatre in Detroit today. The new Chevrolet Cruze boasts a sleeker design than before and will be available in showrooms across 40 countries by next year.
Starting with the looks, the new Cruze has a dual port grille flanked by sweptback headlamps. Speaking of headlamps, the top end models get projectors surrounded by LED elements along with LED DRLs. The face is inspired by the new Malibu, Impala and Volt, giving it a more aerodynamic appearance. GM says that the car has a drag coefficient of 0.29. The side profile is now more coupe-like with tasty alloy wheels thrown into the equation. Contributing to the aerodynamics is the integrated spoiler on the boot lid and the separate pods for the reflectors.
The new Cruzeis also 68mm longer and 25mm lower in height than the previous model. This has led to an increase in cabin space over its rivals like the Volkswagen Jetta and the Hyundai Elantra in North America. The cabin still has the dual-cockpit theme which now gets soft touch surfaces and has a mix of matt black as well as glossy piano black textures. The MyLink screen in the centre is new and comes in a 7-inch colour touchscreen configuration which supports navigation, Bluetooth and can also connect some of yoursmartphone's features with those of the car. A bigger 8-inch display which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available at a later date. While the upholstery is done in French stitching, there is an option for heated leather seats and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel.
GM has also given the Chevrolet Cruze a set of new engines. Out of the engines available, India will most likely get the 1.6-litre Ecotec diesel and the 1.4-litre turbopetrol. In the Indian market, the segment in which the Cruze operates, the VW Jetta and Skoda Octavia are the only two players offering turbopetrol engines. The 1.4-litre motor makes 155PS/240Nm. While in the US, it will be mated to a 6-speed automatic, it is likelyto come with a manual gearbox here in India.GM says that the new car is nearly 113kg lighter than the outgoing Cruze, contributing to a 0-100kmph time of 8 seconds. The engine is fuel efficient as well, returning nearly 17kmpl in the US cycle. The solution for GM will be to heavily focus on localisation of production of the Cruze. It is possible, however it doesn't take away from the fact that the turbopetrol motor will be a much more expensive proposition than the NA 1.5. This engine was also showcased at the event and is also a likely candidate for the Indian market.The engine which will make more sense for India, the 1.6-litre diesel (details including power and fuel efficiency will be released closer to launch) is said to have nearly the same PS/Nm combo as the old 2.0-litre unitbut with enhanced efficiency.
The new 155PS 1.4-litre turbopetrol Ecotec engine
On the safety front, GM will offer 10 airbags, Stability Control, ABS, all-wheel disc brakes, traction control and rollover mitigation. While these are standard, the optional safety features include Lane Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert and Forward Collision Alert. GMbelieves that advanced propulsion and materials, connected mobility, sensors process, memory and manufacturing tech are areaswhere innovation will happen. Hence there will be proactive alerts in the Cruze to inform customers about the expiry ofcertain critical components like brakes, tyres and battery.
GM says that the ride and handling package of the new Cruze has been enhanced, making it more fun to drive. The suspension consists of MacPherson struts in the front with revised bushes and geometry while the rear gets a torsion beam axle. The top-end Premier variant, will have a Z-link design. There will be an entirely new variant line up for the Cruze - L, LS, LT, Premier and RS. The lower variants get 15-inch wheels while the Premier and RS come with 18-inch wheels. The RS (pictured here) also gets new bumpers, side skirts, spoiler, fog lamps and rocker panels, over and above the features of the Premier variant.
The newChevrolet Cruze willbe showcasedat the Auto Expo 2016 in India. It willgo on sale in 2017. Whether this makes or breaks GM's fortunes in the Indian market remains to be seen.