While the current Chevrolet Cruze continues for one more year in the U.S. market, Chevy just unveiled the new, next-generation model that will replace it, at the Beijing Auto Show now underway.
What will be sold here as the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze will go on sale in China this year (as a 2015 model), before coming to the U.S. early next year.
The new Cruze differs from the outgoing model with a more streamlined exterior. Inspired by the Chevrolet Tru 140S concept--a sporty coupe that first appeared at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show--it features a fastback roofline and shorter overhangs for a more compact appearance.
Under the skin, the Chinese-spec Cruze will feature the next generation of Ecotec engines, including two four-cylinder gasoline versions: a 113-horsepower 1.5-liter and 148-hp 1.4-liter turbo.Transmission choices for China will include a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, and a new seven-speed dual-clutch unit.
The new Ecotec engines are part of a family that will replace three different existing GM engine lines.
Chevy says the updated powertrains will deliver fuel economy improvements of 14 to 21 percent, although EPA fuel-economy ratings won't be available until much closer to the car's U.S. launch.
The 2016 Cruze will likely receive numerous changes and new features before it arrives in the U.S. next year, but it will undoubtedly be powered by the new engines.
The Cruze Diesel model will likely carry over to the new generation, as well as perhaps the Cruze Eco model.
The new 2016 Chevy Cruze will be built in the same assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that builds the current generation of the Cruze.