When GM starts to put many prototypes on the streets, it usually means the company wants to start a buzz over its new car. And that has been confirmed once again by the Chevrolet Cruze. We have previously calculated the South American presentation of the car for April, but we have got it wrong for a matter of days. GM has already announced in Argentina when it intends to release the second generation of its C segment sedan: in May 3.
The second generation Chevrolet Cruze is built over the D2XX platform, the same one used by Chevrolet Volt and Buick Envision, possibly the replacement for the Chevrolet Captiva Sport. It is already being built at the Rosario plant, in Argentina, which received US$ 750 million in investments for the production not only of the sedan, but also of its hatchback version and the SUV we have mentioned earlier. The new sedan is 4.67 m long, 1.80 m wide, 1.46 m high and has a wheelbase of 2.70 m. Although it is larger than the model it replaces, it is up to 113 kg lighter thanks to the use of ultra high strength steels all over its new body.
Its engines are still a doubt, but we tend to believe Argentina AutoBlog, which has reported it will not have the 1.4 turbocharged petrol engine used in the USA, but a larger one. Very likely the 1.5 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 was probably under development in prototypes in Brazil was the flex system, which will allow this engine to be powered either by petrol or ethanol in any proportion.
The engine change is justified by 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.