This is the new Chevrolet Cruze, the compact four-door saloon that that arrives early next year to try and steal some sales from the Focus
, Astra and Golf
. Due to officially bow in at the Paris motor show next month, the Cruze signposts Chevrolet’s distinctive new design style, and its pronounced split grille is expected to be a key visual feature on new Beat, Volt and Camaro models.
Hmm. That’s an oddball model line-up…
Isn’t it just – a muscle car, a plug-in hybrid, a city car and a small saloon. Pitched as a ‘global car’ – with all the negative connotations that go with such a title – the Cruze sits on Chevrolet’s new Delta platform architecture and will be sold in America, Europe, and Asia. In Europe, lucky Cruze buyers will have the choice of a 112bhp 1.6 and 140bhp 1.8 petrol powerplants, but the 150bhp 2.0 turbodiesel is expected to account for most of the sales. Prices should start around the £10,500 mark for the 1.6 model.
Inside, the car features a novel ‘twin-cockpit’ design that uses a raised central console to split the driving and passenger areas, they say. 'Our goal with the design of the Cruze was to be bold, not evolutionary,' said Cruze chief designer Taewan Kim. 'We wanted to take a big step forward, making a strong design statement for Chevrolet products around the world.'
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Chevrolet is a small player in the UK – and a small four-door saloon is unlikely to change that...
True, but Chevrolet is hoping the Cruze will play a key role in boosting its UK sales next year. For the record, last year it sold just 18,356 cars, and this year looks set to hit the 20,000 mark. At Paris, Chevrolet will also unveil a Cruze-based concept car – through to be an estate-cum-crossover – that will arrive at the end of next year to tap into Europe’s hatchback demand. A third Cruze spin-off, possibly a high-riding Qashqai-like hatch is expected before 2010.
Something to whet the appetite, or another car set to confuse buyers with its unknown badge? Let us know what you think…