The 1.5 turbocharged engine that may power the Chevrolet Cruze is under the hood of the Malibu

In our latest Chevrolet Cruze scoop, obtained thanks to the help of our readers, we told you Chevrolet could develop a new 1.5 turbocharged engine for the South American Chevrolet Cruze. Today we learned that it is not necessary. This engine already exists. And it powers the base versions of the new Chevrolet Malibu.

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The information was first released by Argentina AutoBlog and many have tried to debunk it, since the American model would have a 1.4 turbocharged engine. But there are meaningful market differences. While Cruze is an entry-level model in the USA, a college boy car, it is a luxury model in Latin America. And luxury models have to present a respectable performance. Especially in low revolutions, something the 1.4 engine does not deliver. There is a noticeable lack of torque in low revs.

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That does not happen to the 1.5 Ecotec DOHC VVT DI engine used by Malibu. The all-aluminum engine has a 1,490 cm³ displacement, with a 74 mm bore and an 86.6 mm stroke. Maximum output is 121 kW at 6,000 rpm, better than the 118 kW initially expected from it. Torque is 250 Nm from 2,000 rpm up to 4,000 rpm. What is under development in prototypes is the flex system, which will allow this engine to be powered either by petrol or ethanol in any proportion.

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Expect the new Cruze to be presented in South America in the next few weeks. With the 1.5 Ecotec turbocharged engine from Malibu, hopefully.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.