Chevy Cruze Eco to Debut at NY Auto Show With Best-in-Class 40-MPG Rating

Chevy Cruze Eco to Debut at NY Auto Show With Best-in-Class 40-MPG Rating

After first showing its new Cruze compact sedan at the LA Auto Show last year, Chevy has now announced a new Cruze Eco model will be offered with a best-in-class 40-mpg highway rating. The car is set to make its world premiere at the New York Auto Show later this week.

To achieve this amazing fuel economy the Cruze Eco gets a short list of modifications including a lower front airdam, rear spoiler, underbody panels and a lower ride height to improve aerodynamics. The uper grille now has more closed space to improve aerodynamics, while the lower portion of the front grille features an “air shutter” that closes at higher speeds. Finally, the Eco trim level will get special lightweight aluminum 17-inch wheels and ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tires.

Under the hood, the Cruze Eco will use Chevy’s new turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder with 138 horsepower and 148 ft-lbs of torque.

No city fuel economy numbers have been released and Chevy says that to start only a six-speed manual transmission model will be offered, with longer gears to deliver the 40-mpg rating. Chevy claims the car will hit 60 mph in a Prius-like 10 seconds. A six-speed automatic transmission Eco model will be offered, but Chevy isn’t claiming 40-mpg highway… yet.

“The Cruze Eco delivers hybrid-like efficiency without the price tag,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. VP of Chevrolet marketing. “Along with the Volt electric vehicle, it demonstrates how Chevrolet is working to bring new products to market that range from gas-friendly to gas-free.”

AutoGuide will bring you more on the Cruze Eco with live coverage of the NY Auto Show starting March 31st. Click the link below on or after the 31st for live NY Auto Show updates.

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

GALLERY: Chevy Cruze Eco

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Official release after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE

CHEVROLET CRUZE ECO:  HYBRID-LIKE FUEL EFFICIENCY WITHOUT THE PRICE TAG •    Cruze Eco delivers an estimated segment-leading 40 mpg on the highway •    Optional RS appearance package for Cruze LT and LTZ trim levels

NEW YORK – At the New York Auto Show, Chevrolet reveals the compact 2011 Cruze Eco. This high-efficiency model is powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine with variable valve timing that achieves an estimated 40 mpg on the highway when combined with a six-speed manual transmission. Cruze Eco is expected to deliver the best fuel economy in the compact segment, while offering midsize car presence.

“The Cruze Eco delivers hybrid-like efficiency without the price tag,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president Chevrolet marketing. “Along with the Volt electric vehicle, it demonstrates how Chevrolet is working to bring new products to market that range from gas-friendly to gas-free.”

Chevrolet also shows an optional RS sport appearance package for the Cruze LT and LTZ trim levels.

Cruze is the first in a family of all-new Chevrolet small and compact cars designed to offer excellent fuel economy, outstanding quality and top safety ratings. 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 smooth, fast and flawless ramp-up of Cruze production. More than $350 million has been invested to re-tool the plant and add new, state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment.

“This investment helps secure the best possible manufacturing footprint to react to market demand and deliver vehicles faster to our customers,” said Campbell. “We believe Cruze is the right car at the right time for American consumers.”

Cruze Eco details Featuring an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine with variable valve timing, the Cruze Eco is designed to be the most fuel-efficient model in the lineup, delivering an estimated 40 mpg on the highway with the standard six-speed manual transmission. 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 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.

The Cruze Eco will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Cruze RS details Complementing Cruze’s sporty proportions is an optional RS appearance package for the LT and LTZ trim levels, which bolsters the car’s styling with unique fascias, rocker moldings, rear spoiler and fog lamps. An uplevel instrument cluster is also part of the package and includes chrome accent rings in place of the standard silver finish, as well as opaque cluster bezels that allow the cluster’s ice blue backlighting to shine through – providing a sporty nighttime appearance.

“For customers who want even more personality and presence in their vehicle, the RS appearance package builds on the already bold face and coupe-like proportions of the Cruze,” said Michael Simcoe, executive director, North American Exterior Design.

Midsize presence in the compact segment All Cruze models offer the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, combined with segment-leading features and details that challenge preconceived notions about what a compact car can be in North America.

Along with the Eco, the 2011 Cruze will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Standard and available equipment includes: •    Ten standard air bags, including frontal, front-seat side-impact air bags, roof rail head curtain, rear-seat side air bags and new front knee air bags •    Bluetooth, USB connectivity, XM Satellite Radio and navigation system •    Standard OnStar with one year of Directions and Connections service •    MacPherson strut front suspension and Z-link rear suspension, with 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels •    Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing, traction control and anti-lock brakes •    Fuel-saving, rack-mounted electric power steering •    Unexpected levels of quietness, smoothness and refinement for the segment.

All models share an interior characterized by upscale materials and a lengthy roster of equipment usually found in larger and more expensive vehicles. Available technologies include Bluetooth and a navigation system.

Cruze’s Ecotec 1.4L turbo performs like a larger engine when needed, but retains the efficiency of a small-displacement four-cylinder in most driving conditions; it is standard on Eco, LT and LTZ models. Rated at an estimated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm), it enables a cruising range of more than 500 miles (800 km). Cruze will lead the way for Chevrolet in the use of small-displacement, turbocharged Ecotec engines that are highly fuel-efficient and power vehicles that are fun to drive.

Standard on LS models is an Ecotec 1.8L four-cylinder rated at an estimated 136 horsepower (184 kW) and 123 lb.-ft. of torque (166 Nm). Both engines are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, including technology such as variable valve timing that optimizes performance and fuel economy.

Backing the Cruze’s engines are six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Each contributes to excellent fuel economy.

Chevrolet engineers have already logged more than 4 million miles in quality and durability testing worldwide, making Cruze one of the most real world-tested products prior to a U.S. launch. It is backed by Chevrolet’s five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty – the best coverage in America.

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