|The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco. Click to enlarge.|
At the upcoming New York International Auto Show, Chevrolet will reveal the compact 2011 Cruze Eco—the high-efficiency model referenced last year that will deliver an estimated 40 mpg on the highway using a 1.4L Ecotec turbo with variable valve timing mated to a six-speed manual transmission. (Earlier post.) Along with the Eco, the 2011 Cruze will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims.
City fuel economy, as well as estimates for the Cruze Eco equipped with an available six-speed automatic transmission, will be finalized closer to launch. The Cruze Eco will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The Eco achieves greater fuel economy using a number of features that enhance its aerodynamics, minimize weight and reduce rolling resistance. Details include:
- A lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds to improve aerodynamics and opens at lower speeds to optimize engine-cooling airflow.
- The upper grille has more “closeouts” to improve aerodynamics.
- A lower front air dam extension, extensive use of underbody panels and a rear spoiler enhance aerodynamics.
- A lowered ride height improves aerodynamics.
- Unique 17-inch lightweight aluminum wheels.
- Ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tires.
The axle ratio on the manual-transmission model is also optimized for fuel economy, while helping the car deliver confident performance. Chevrolet estimates the Cruze Eco will deliver 0-60 mph performance of about 10 seconds with the manual transmission and 9 seconds with the six-speed automatic.
Cruze’s 1.4L Ecotec turbo is standard on Eco, LT and LTZ models. Rated at an estimated at 138 hp (103 kW) and 148 lb-ft of torque (200 N·m), it enables a cruising range of more than 500 miles (800 km). At approximately 100 horsepower per liter, the new turbocharged 1.4L has the power of a larger engine but retains the efficiency of a small-displacement four-cylinder in most driving conditions.
The 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility in smaller vehicles. A reinforced crankshaft and stronger connecting rods are unique, delivering additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized, high-rpm performance.
Standard on LS models is a 1.8L Ecotec four-cylinder rated at an estimated 136 hp (184 kW) and 123 lb-f. of torque (166 N·m). Backing the Cruze’s engines are six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
Cruze models for the United States and Canada will be produced at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly complex. In February, Chevrolet announced the addition of a third shift at Lordstown that will add 1,200 workers to support a ramp-up of Cruze production. More than $350 million has been invested to re-tool the plant and add new manufacturing equipment.