As General Motors Co. expands in Australia, it revealed that it is developing a high-performance version of the Cruze that may carry Holden’s ‘SS’ badge. Earlier this week, the JH four-door Cruze sedan built in Adelaide was launched.
The sports model will be slotted above the recently announced SRi-V flagship and is expected to be offered in a variant of the 132kW/230Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Ecotec petrol engine that powered the European versions of the Cruze’s Opel cousin, the Astra.
The sports Cruze is slated to go on sale in 2012 and will likely be available in four-door sedan and five-door hatch body styles. It is expected to make an appearance at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne in early July, ahead of a late-2011 launch, says GoAuto.
At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, the Melbourne-built Chevrolet Cruze hatch concept had been showcased.
It is believed to hint strongly of what Holden has prepared to rival the VW Golf GTI, Mazda3 MPS and Ford’s Focus ST/XR. A Holden insider said that the Cruze is meant to fit any powertrain available now or in the future for the Astra J as both vehicles feature the same basic GM Delta II small-car architecture. He said that while many engine options are being considered, the company is particularly keen on exploring a performance version.