As smaller cars become ever more important to consumers, Chevrolet’s environmentally friendly 2011 Cruze Eco and sporty (looking) RS on display at the 2010 New York auto show are designed to further expand the new compact sedan's marketplace appeal.
First, the Cruze Eco. Like LT and LTZ models, the Eco is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque mated to either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. Though EPA fuel economy figures aren't yet available, Chevy says that the Eco achieves 40 mpg highway when combined with the manual, three mpg better than the five-speed-equipped Cobalt XFE, but the automaker does not yet have a figure for auto-trans models.
Chevrolet managed to boost fuel economy without cutting power thanks to a number of small aerodynamic changes. First, the Cruze Eco is fitted with ultra-low rolling resistance tires on unique 17-inch aluminum wheels. Further, it receives a revised grille, lower front air-dam extension, numerous underbody panels, rear spoiler, and a lower-grille shutter that closes at high speeds that improves engine cooling though optimized airflow.
Though efficient, the Cruze Eco is decidedly not quick. 0-60 times are estimated at 10 seconds for the manual and 9 seconds for the automatic. Still interested? You'll be able to pick one up at a Chevy dealer in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The RS, meanwhile, is an appearance package for LT and LTZ models. On the outside, it features unique front and rear fascias as well as fog lights. Inside, chrome trim replaces the standard silver finishes on the and the gauge cluster receives ice-blue backlighting.