Chevrolet will showcase the hatchback version of the Cruze at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. This model is designed specifically for the European market and is set to start selling this spring. In a statement, Chevrolet said that the new Cruze has the same front fascia as the sedan, but with a hatchback-style rear end. It is built on the new body-frame integral system (BFI) that raises its stability and solidity.
The hatchback has a trunk volume of 400 liters and will feature 60/40 split rear seating. Chevrolet will offer three possible engine configurations: two gasoline and one diesel.
The petrol engines are a 124hp 1.6-liter 16V and a 141hp 1.8-liter 16V. The diesel option is a 2.0-liter unit with a maximum output of 163hp. Sources say that Chevrolet is studying the possibility of introducing a second diesel option, a 1.4-liter unit but it isn’t likely to happen before the end of the year.
Chevrolet is expected to unveil a variant of Cruze during the Geneva Motor Show that it hopes will continue to be a success in terms of sales. Chevrolet planned this despite the fact that the Cruze is already considered a winner after achieving titles in the British and the World Touring Car Championship. This new model uses a style that is clearly influenced by the Cruze Hatchback concept, which was first shown last September during the Paris Motor Show.
At that time, the Cruze Hatchback concept obtained a lot of praise both from industry commentators and the audience. While the Cruze already has what can be said as one of the largest load areas for its segment, having a new hatchback body gives it that additional practicality as well as a more interesting style in order to fit its versatility.
With the short overhangs on the front and rear portions and the sweeping coupe roofline, this new variant has a dynamic stance similar to the saloon model but brings with it even more sleekness. It will be equipped with a wide variety of the engines that includes the range-topping diesel unit found in the Orlando which comes with the standard six-speed manual gearbox and output at 163 PS.
According to Chevrolet Managing Director Mark Terry, the Cruze Hatchback will allow the brand to have a big opportunity in the U.K. He added that even for this year alone, the brand has four major model releases that will make a meaningful positive impact on its U.K. product line. The Camaro is even expected to cast a halo over the brand’s entire range, Terry continued.
In addition to the new Aveo, new Captiva, and Orlando, the Cruze hatch will not only provide greater choice and better versatility for its customers, it will come in a quality finish and a great value that retail customers have been accustomed to.
This will allow the brand to have a larger presence especially in a fleet market that has become hotly contested. Ever since Chevrolet started sales for the Cruze back in mid-2009, it has worked to ensure that it would be able to meet the demands for this wonderful four-door model. It managed to exceed sales expectations worldwide and even in the U.S., where production is ongoing. Aside from having good performance in sales, the Cruze also achieved successes in the field of motor sport.
Jason Plato, legendary tin-top racer, for instance drove a Cruze and won the British Touring Car Championship title. That itself is already an achievement but this was also the first time the Cruze participated in such a race. In fact, the Chevrolet team brought home the World Touring Car Drivers and Constructors Championships title.
Mr. Terry added that motor sport has long been part of the brand’s DNA. With the latest version of Cruze, he continued, the brand is showing that it was able to pass to its road cars everything that it had learned on the race tracks. Sales for the Cruze Hatchback are expected to begin during the 2011 summer. Actual prices and exact specifications will be confirmed near its launch date.