Chevrolet released official images and details about its upcoming Cruze sedan, ahead of the official reveal at October's Paris Motor Show. The Cruze, slotted to replace Chevy's outgoing Cobalt model, looks very much like a baby Malibu, albeit a very angry one that's been hanging out with the riffraff of GM's Australian Holden division.
GM also claims that the interior is inspired by the two cockpit design of the Corvette, but between the 'Vette's cheap plastic interior and Chevrolet's history of even cheaper compact cars, we don't know if that's a good thing.
What we do like is the Cruze's lack of unnecessary ornamentation that seems to be in vogue recently. Chevrolet didn't slap on tacky, non-functional fender vents like Ford did with the Focus, and we like that.
To be launched first in the European market, the Cruze will be available with 1.6-liter (112 hp) and 1.8-liter (140 hp) gasoline engines featuring variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust sides, giving more power as well as better fuel economy and lower emissions. Even better fuel economy will come from a 150 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo diesel.
We hope that diesel engine makes it across the Atlantic when the Cruze debuts in 2010 as a 2011 model, but even more so, we hope the Cruze can do for Chevy's compact car lineup what the Malibu is for the full-size line.