2011 Chevrolet Cruze Unveiled Ahead of Los Angeles Auto Show Debut

While the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze went on sale in Europe some time ago, we had yet to see the version of the car that will go on sale here in the third quarter of 2010. That changed today when GM unveiled the production-intent North American Chevrolet Cruze ahead of its Los Angeles auto show debut.

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze replaces the Chevrolet Cobalt next year and greatly increases Chevrolet’s small car standards. The exterior of the car is characterized by the two-tier Chevrolet family grille with a highly styled arching roofline, giving the car a coupe-like profile with a usable sedan body.

Inside the car, Chevrolet designed a Corvette-inspired twin-cockpit creating a separate space for the driver and passenger. GM also upgraded the materials used in the interior over the outgoing Cobalt. High-quality, soft touch materials are seen around the cabin. The instrument panel uses LED backlighting to eliminate dark spots for better readability. The instrument panel blends into the center stack, which houses a standard driver infotainment center, climate control, and audio buttons.

Judging from pictures, the interior looks much more upscale and refined than the outgoing Cobalt. We’ll reserve final judgment for when we actually see the car in L.A.

Powering the new Cruze will be a choice of two engines. A standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder produces 136 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque, and the optional 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. Unlike many turbocharged engines, this new GM mill runs on standard fuel. Putting the power to the ground are two six-speed transmissions, a standard manual and optional automatic.GM estimates the car will get 40 mpg highway with the 1.4-liter engine, but does not specify with which transmission.

GM has not released pricing for the Cruze yet, but expect it to come in around the same price as the outgoing Cobalt. The Cruze will hit dealerships in the third quarter of next year.

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