At the New York Auto Show, Chevrolet revealed a new model in their compact car line-up that is supposed to give consumers hybrid mileage without the hybrid price tag. The car—the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco. Yes, like the Hyundai Elantra Blue, the Cruze is Chevy’s high-efficiency model that is estimated to get 40 mpg on the highway. With numbers like that, the Cruze Eco is slated to achieve the best fuel economy in the compact car segment. As an added bonus, it offers consumers a midsize car presence.

“The Cruze Eco delivers hybrid-like efficiency without the price tag,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president Chevrolet marketing. “Along with the Volt electric vehicle, it demonstrates how Chevrolet is working to bring new products to market that range from gas-friendly to gas-free.”

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco is equipted with a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine with variable valve timing. When equipped with the six-speed manual transmission it is expected to achieve 0-60 mph in about 10 seconds and the 40 mpg hwy number we mentioned above. Below are some details that differentiate the Eco model from the other Cruze family of vehicles.

 

  • A lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds to improve aerodynamics and opens at lower speeds to optimize engine-cooling airflow
  • The upper grille has more “closeouts” to improve aerodynamics
  • A lower front air dam extension, extensive use of underbody panels and a rear spoiler enhance aerodynamics
  • A lowered ride height improves aerodynamics
  • Unique 17-inch lightweight aluminum wheels
  • Ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tires

 

Bottom line—Chevrolet is trying to gain ground in compact car market by offering an efficient and stylish vehicle. Look for the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco to be available in fourth quarter of 2010.[Source: Chevrolet]