New York Preview: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 29, 2010

General Motors revealed today the brand new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, a new car set to make its official debut at this year's New York Auto Show. According to the manufacturer, this new vehicle will be capable to deliver an impressive fuel consumption of 40 mpg on the highway.

In order to obtain these performances, the American manufacturer the new car features a lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds to improve aerodynamics and opens at lower speeds to optimize engine-cooling airflow, while the upper grille comes with more "closeouts" to improve aerodynamics.

Furthermore, the vehicle features a new lower front air dam extension, lowered ride height in order to improve aerodynamics and unique 17-inch lightweight aluminum wheels wrapped in ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tires. Also, the car comes with power windows, power locks and air conditioning.

"We looked at every single possibility of squeezing out the last tenth of a mile per gallon," said Mike Danowski, Cruze product manager.

According to Danowski, the car carries an electric motor connected to the fascia shutters and which can close automatically at 37 mph and reopen at 34 mph. With this new electric motor, there is a 0.016 improvement in the coefficient of drag.

Apparently, the manufacturer has made the best choice: rather than cutting content to reduce weight, Chevrolet relied on aerodynamic improvements, an axle ratio that optimizes fuel economy and low-rolling-resistance tires.

Under the hood we find a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine capable to deliver 138 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm). With this engine, the car can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 10 seconds while the model fitted with an automatic gearbox can achieve the same speed in 9 seconds.

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