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.