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 |  Nov 29 2009, 9:42 PM

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Just a few days ahead of the car’s scheduled debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevy has drawn back the covers on the North American-spec version of its Chevy Cruze world car. This new compact model replaces the Cobalt in Chevy’s lineup. Like the rest of Chevy’s modern lineup, the car’s design flows from the latest generation Malibu, while the interior gets a high-grade cockpit inspired by the Corvette. And under the hood there are two new Ecotec engines, including a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder unit capable of 40 mpg on the highway.

That 1.4-liter unit will be standard equiment on LT and LTZ models and makes 138-hp and 148 ft-lbs of torque. A larger 1.8-liter unit will come standard on LS models and is expected to make roughly the same amount of horsepower but less torque. Both engines will be offered with either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.

Chevy plans to take on the Corolla and Civic with this new car which it says will offer more interior room and cargo room. Chevy also says the car will have a surprising level of refinement with plenty of effort put into sound deadening. In addition, Chevy wants to position the Cruze as a segment leader in safety with standard equipment including ABS brakes, StabiliTrak as well as 10 airbags.

The Cruze is set to be built at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant with sales scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2010.

Other highlights include a MacPherson strut front suspension and Z-Link rear suspension, LED lighting for the instrument gauges, available heated front seats and optional 18-inch rims. We’re particularly interested in how the car’s interior looks in person and we’ll be sure to bring you photos when the car officially debuts at the LA Auto Show on Wednesday, December 2nd.

AutoGuide’s Live 2009 LA Auto Show Coverage Starts Here December 2nd

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

GALLERY: 20110 Chevrolet Cruze

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For more on the all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze see after the jump:

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