The future is almost here

2011, Chevrolet, Cruze

From Gruyeres to Geneva, Switzerland - Consolidating, integrating, International architecture. Those are words we hear from General Motors. The Chevy Cruze is circumnavigating the world, like the Olympic torch for General Motors, and will soon land in the United States.

The Chevy Cruze will replace the Daewoo Lacetti. The Lacetti was sold internationally as a Buick, Chevrolet, Daewoo or Holden. The North American Chevrolet Cobalt will also be phased out in 2010, replaced by the Chevrolet Cruze.

The Chevy Cruze is in the C-segment, the same size car as the Toyota Corolla and the Ford Focus, another vehicle that was on display at the 2010 Geneva motor show.

The morning was spent in the Chevy Spark, a spunky stylish car that fit in on the streets of Geneva.

We spent the afternoon cruising the Swiss Alps, test driving the next car to come to the United States market for Chevrolet. The car passed the test for drivability and fun to drive.

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Standard on LS models is a 1.8L Ecotec four-cylinder rated at an estimated 136 horsepower (184 kW) and 123 lb.-ft. of torque (166 Nm).

The Cruze will use the Ecotec 1.4-liter inline 4 turbo charged engine with variable valve timing. Chevy says it will get 40 miles per gallon on the highway with their high-efficiency model. It is standard on LT and LTZ models, with power ratings estimated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm).

Chevrolet also showed an optional RS sport appearance package for the Cruze LT and LTZ trim levels at the 2010 New York International auto show.

The RS is all about styling. If you want a distinct fascia, rocker moldings, rear spoiler and fog lamps get the RS. Chevy has also added cool touches on the interior. A different instrument cluster is also part of the package and includes chrome accent rings in place of the standard silver finish, as well as ice blue backlighting that provides a sporty nighttime appearance.

* A four-cylinder engine, including a 1.4-liter turbo or a 1.8-liter

* Six-speed automatic and manual transmissions

* Ten standard air bags, including frontal, side-impact, roof rail head curtain, rear-seat side air bags and new front knee air bags

* Bluetooth, USB connectivity and navigation system

* XM Satellite Radio and OnStar

* MacPherson strut front suspension and Z-link rear suspension, with 16-, 17- or 18-inch wheels

* Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing, traction control and anti-lock brakes

Production will begin in Lordstown in April 2010 as a 2011 model. When President Barack Obama visited Lordstown he called the Cruze "the car of the future".

By Lou Ann Hammond

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Images of the 2011, Chevrolet Cruze

2011 Chevy Cruze
2011 Chevy Cruze
inside the Cruze
inside the Cruze
a rear view
a rear view
the RS unique fascia design
the RS unique fascia design