Our spy photographers once again caught the next-generation 2015 Chevrolet Cruze out testing. As with the previous prototype we spotted, the new car will crib several design cues from the Sonic.
The next Chevrolet Cruze clearly takes cues from the Sonic sedan and hatchback, adopting that car’s tapered nose, descending hood, narrow headlights, and deep vertical grille opening. The entire front end of the car is more sloped and aerodynamic than before, with a more swept-back windshield and curved roofline creating a very coupe-like silhouette. In fact, in profile the next Cruze bears a strong resemblance to the swoopy Dodge Dart.
The door handles have moved notably farther up the body, closer to the windows. At the bottom of the doors, a crease that was previously parallel with the car’s rocker panels now rises toward the rear of the car. The trunk lid is redesigned with an integrated spoiler, while new taillights appear to extend outside of the body. Overall, it looks like the next Chevrolet Cruze will be smoother and more rounded than the current model.
The next Cruze will be built on an updated version of General Motors’ Delta platform, which will also be used for the next Volt and Equinox. It’s unclear what mechanical changes may be in store for the new car, but there’s a small chance it could adopt the new nine-speed front-wheel-drive automatic transmission under development. That would boost fuel economy compared to the car’s current six-speed auto.
The Cruze is a true global product line, so it’s possible that the new car will launch in Asia and in Australia as a Holden before arriving on our shores. Expect it to debut some time next year as a 2015 model.
The Chevrolet Cruze is routinely one of GM’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., with 55,731 sold so far in 2013 and a total of 237,758 sold in 2012. The car will continue to be built in Lordstown, Ohio; GM announced last August that it would spend $220 million to ready the Lordstown facility and the nearby Parma stamping plant to build the next-gen Cruze.