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Shanghai GM introduces new Chevrolet Cruze; up to 24% more fuel efficient than current generation

The new Chevrolet Cruze. Click to enlarge.

Shanghai GM officially launched the new generation Chevrolet Cruze midsize performance sedan in Shenzhen. Priced between RMB 109,900 and RMB 169,900 (US$17,870 and US$27,626), the new Cruze is offered in China in seven variants with a choice of segment-first 1.4L mid-mounted direct injection turbocharged or 1.5L mid-mounted naturally aspirated gasoline engines. Among its features are an energy-efficient automatic climate control which filters out 90% of PM2.5 in the interior.

The mid-mounted direct injection engine technology and wide range of fuel-saving features such as start/stop technology and ultra-low rolling resistance tires make the new Cruze up to 24% more fuel efficient than the current-generation Cruze. The engines offer peak fuel economy of only 5.9 liters per 100 km. In addition, they are up to 50% quieter than engines in competitive models.

The new Cruze is the first model based on GM’s new global platform for midsize compact cars, said Shanghai GM President Wang Yongqing. The new Cruze was developed by GM’s global design team, with the design inspired by the Chevrolet Tru 140S concept vehicle, “a front-wheel-drive, affordable exotic four-seat sporty coupe,” which made its global debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. Most of the tuning and road testing of the new Cruze were carried out at the Nürburgring in Germany.

New generation Cruze. Click to enlarge.   Current generation Cruze. Click to enlarge.

“With GM’s global intelligent technology, it sets new benchmarks for styling, efficiency and user-friendliness in its segment. We expect the new Cruze to appeal to younger car buyers looking for an exhilarating driving experience.

—Wang Yongqing

The new Cruze is also among the first vehicles to take advantage of GM’s new Ecotec small engine portfolio. (Earlier post.) All variants in the new engine family feature an aluminum cylinder block and head, which help reduce the vehicle’s overall mass to enhance performance and efficiency, while technologies such as central direct fuel injection; continuously variable valve timing; and variable intake manifold airflow complement the efficiency goals with broad power bands for an optimal balance of strong performance and low fuel consumption.

  • The 1.4T SIDI engine generates maximum output of 110 kW (148 hp) and peak torque of 235 N·m (173 lb-ft). The turbocharged engine is offered with a choice of a new seven-speed dual clutch gearbox (DCG) transmission or a six-speed manual transmission. The transmissions provide smooth gear shifting and enhanced reliability while contributing to the sedan’s fuel efficiency.

  • The 1.5 SIDI engine, the segment’s only naturally aspirated engine with direct injection, generates maximum output of 84 kW (113 hp) and peak torque of 146 N·m (108 lb-ft). It is paired with a new six-speed Dynamic Start/Stop Shift (DSS) automatic transmission, which provides precise gear shifting.

Short front and rear overhangs make the new Cruze compact, while the fastback design enhances aerodynamics and fuel economy. It has a drag coefficient of 0.28.

The wheels were pushed out to the corners of the car and the roofline stretched, while the center point of the lower edge of the windshield was moved forward. In combination with its more compact powertrain, this gives the new Cruze a spacious interior with 22 mm of additional knee room for back seat occupants.

Although 72% of the new Cruze’s body consists of high-strength steel, the use of aluminum and lightweight materials in key areas such as the engine, chassis and interior makes it 10% lighter than the current-generation Cruze. This enhances fuel economy without compromising safety.

A reinforced Watt linkage, an all-aluminum subframe and Bosch’s ninth-generation electronic stability control (ESC)—all standard—maximize handling and stability in high-speed cornering for driving pleasure and safety.

Developed to meet global five-star safety standards, the new Cruze comes with a range of active and passive safety features. GM says that it is the only vehicle in its class with active park assist, which takes the worry out of parking. The side blind zone alert system warns the driver of potential hazards when changing lanes. The model’s air bags are designed to protect pedestrians as well as occupants.

Shanghai GM first introduced the Chevrolet Cruze sedan in 2009. It later added a hatchback to the Cruze lineup. More than 1.1 million Cruzes have reached China’s roads, making it one of Chevrolet’s most popular models in the market.



Will this Cruze be imported in USA and Canada?


1.5L mid-mounted naturally aspirated gasoline engines

Ford downsized a 1.6L to a 1.5L because China taxes engines over 1.5L, you know China has an influence on automakers when this happens.



I am quite sure that the sedan as shown will be built in the US for the US and Canadian markets. The US Cruze is manufactured in Lordstown, Ohio. The Cruze is also manufactured in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. In some markets there are also hatchback and wagon versions. The current Cruze is a nice car but the new version looks to be quite a step up.

Brent Jatko

I have read that many cars in China are not driven by their owners but by a hired driver.

That makes me think the larger back seat is another indicator of Chinese preferences moving to the fore.

That being said. I also think it looks like a big upgrade over the current model.


Yes, this improved car could be assembled in USA and Canada using parts, components and sub-assemblies made in China?


2 things:
I assume "mid mounted" refers to the fuel injection port position in the cylinder, rather than the engine position in the car. This looks like a conventional front engine mount to me.

A 24% increase in economy is a HUGE jump in efficiency - it is almost as much as you can get by going hybrid (which I had set to 30% in my mind). Makes you wonder what they were up to in the previous generations.

I suppose a company as large as GM can take technology developed for the European market where low CO2 is a priority and fuel is expensive and deploy them as required in the rest of the world.



The 1.4 liter turbocharged Ecotec engines for the North American Market are made in Flint, Michigan. I am not sure where the automatic transmissions are made but I am reasonable certain that they are either made in the US, Canada, or Mexico. A few parts are probably imported from other countries including China but most of the car for the North American Market will be manufactured in North America. These are global cars and are designed for a global market. It was introduced in China but as the article notes most of the testing was done in Germany. I am glad to see GM is using a dual clutch transmission as I believe that this will be the most efficient type of transmission both for economy and driving performance.


24% is a huge increase, but it's a best-case. It's probably the difference between the worst of the previous generation and the best of the new generation. In other words, it's meaningless. Same thing with weight savings. Some cars that promise substantial weight savings can end-up weighing slightly more in common configurations. The new Mustang and Golf come to mind.

This could be a "front-mid" car, in which the transmission output is ahead of the motor. It's unlikely, because that layout makes it much more difficult to build an AWD car on the same platform (crossover).

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