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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chevrolet Cruze first look- to replace Cobalt.

Here is the first official look at the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze that will replace the Cobalt as GM’s bread-and-no-butter compact car.

This all-new sedan offers us the first look at the next generation of GM’s Global Compact Vehicle Architecture (Delta 2). The global car replaces the Cobalt in North America and the Daewoo-built Chevy Lacetti/Nubira in Europe.

Visitors to the 2008 Paris auto show in October will see for themselves the concept version of this sedan that will eventually be joined by the replacement for the Pontiac G5, as well. And we fully expect hatchback versions in North America down the road, as GM plans to make the body style for Europe.

The five-passenger sedan is 180 inches long, and slots between the subcompact Chevrolet Aveo and the mid-size Chevy Malibu in the lineup. The Cruze will be powered by GM’s new family of direct-injection four-cylinder engines, likely ranging in displacement from 1.4 liters to 2.0, some of which will be turbocharged. The expectation is about 40 mpg, or better.

The rollout begins in Europe, where the Cruze will begin production early in 2009 for sale in the spring as a 2010 model. North America must wait until a mid-2010 start of production at the Lordstown, Ohio, plant that makes the Cobalt and G5. GM will retool the plant for the new models.

We expect the current Cobalt to be offered through June 2010, with the 2011 Cruze built alongside it until the Cobalt is phased out.

The Cruze was engineered at GM’s Russelsheim, Germany, development center, and was designed in Korea by GM Daewoo. The car will be assembled in plants around the world, including the U.S., Mexico, various parts of Europe, South Korea, and Brazil.