Although not many Americans fancy themselves hatchback lovers, Europeans just so happen to love some five-door automotive action. With these types of people in mind, Chevrolet has unveiled the first details on the hatchback version for the new Cruze which we heard about a few days ago when their Australian brother, Holden, let it slip during an interview. Its official debut will be made at the Paris Motor Show with sales in Europe beginning in mid 2011.
In order to transform the Cruze into a lean, mean hatchback machine, Chevrolet has built it on the new body-frame integral system (BFI) which offers high levels of stability and solidity. The vehicle will also change with the help of a sweeping coupe roofline and short overhangs at the front and rear of the car. This new format allows for 400 liters cargo capacity and 60/40 split rear seating.
Chevrolet did not announced the engine line-up, but we expect to see the same choices as in the sedan version: a Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine, standard on the LT and LTZ models, and an Ecotec 1.8L four-cylinder engine for the LS models.
Wayne Brannon, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe, knows that, when it comes to Europeans, the money is in a good hatchback. He says, " Hatchbacks play a critical role in many markets. The total compact segment in Europe represents around 4.8 million units which is over a quarter of the total market, with hatchbacks representing around 65% of that volume. We therefore expect to see increased business in a number of regions, while sending out a signal that Chevrolet is now a serious mainstream player in Europe."
Prices for the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback will be released closer to its actual launch date.
Press release after the jump.
The story of the Chevrolet Cruze goes from strength to strength with the latest chapter heralding the launch of a new 5-door hatchback model, further evidence of Chevrolet’s intention to bring value for money to all mainstream segments in Europe.
A show car version of Chevrolet’s compact contender will be seen for the first time at the Paris Motor Show, on September 30. It will be one of four world Chevrolet premieres at the show.
With the introduction of the new Cruze hatchback, customers have an alternative body style to the traditional sedan and Chevrolet has raised the bar again with a vehicle that brings new levels of value against some of the more established competition.
According to Wayne Brannon, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe, the potential for meeting further customer demand is significant. "Cruze is turning out to be a real success story. We are selling it in 70 countries around the world and it has recently surpassed the Aveo as our top selling passenger car nameplate globally.
"Hatchbacks play a critical role in many markets. The total compact segment in Europe represents around 4.8 million units which is over a quarter of the total market, with hatchbacks representing around 65% of that volume. We therefore expect to see increased business in a number of regions, while sending out a signal that Chevrolet is now a serious mainstream player in Europe."
Since its launch in the spring 2009, the Cruze sedan has been warmly welcomed by markets all over the world, greeted as a step change for the brand with customers attracted to its coupe style, build quality, 5-star NCAP rating and driving dynamics. It was also elected the AUTOBEST car of 2010 by a jury of leading auto writers in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Chevrolet Cruze is a car particularly well suited to European driver tastes, a fact borne out by sales success across many of markets. So far in 2010, Cruze tops the compact sedan sales charts in many of the larger European markets including Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the U.K., where it is exceeding forecasted sales.
Outside of Europe, Cruze’s sales momentum is equally evident. In China alone, Chevrolet has sold nearly 90,000 Cruze since the start of the year, while the sedan is also selling well in Russia, parts of South America, and in India and other emerging markets.
With its attractive sweeping coupe roofline and short overhangs at both the front and rear, the new Cruze hatchback has the same dynamic ’stance’ as the sedan and will be instantly recognizable. It will benefit too from the same taut body ’feel’ on the road, being built using the new body-frame integral system (BFI) which is complemented by the final tuning to chassis components. The BFI system results in high levels of stability and solidity.
Cargo capacity for the Cruze hatchback is close to 400 liters and will feature 60/40 split rear seating.
Chevrolet’s participation in the World Touring Car Championship with the Cruze is also currently paying great dividends. With four races left in the season, it currently leads both the drivers’ and team championships while also showcasing the dynamic qualities of the car to great effect.
The new Chevrolet Cruze 5-door hatchback will go on sale across Europe mid 2011 with prices announced nearer the launch date.