2010 New York: Chevrolet Cruze Eco gets 40 mpg highway without going hybrid

  • Key Competitors: Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Mazda3, Volkswagen Jetta.
  • Power: 1.4L Ecotec turbocharged 4-cylinder engine – 138-hp / 148 lb-ft of torque.
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual.
  • Fuel-economy: Official figures not confirmed. Estimated 40 mpg highway.
  • Availability: 4th quarter of 2010.
  • Pricing: TBA.

Yes, we’re kicking off live coverage of the 2010 New York Auto Show a little earlier than scheduled – so let’s get right to it. While the 1.4L Ecotec turbocharged 4-cylinder engine will be available on the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT and LTZ, the Cruze Eco will be the only model in the lineup capable of achieving an estimated 40 mpg on the highway. And that’s mainly because GM focused a lot of its attention on modifying the Cruze Eco with fuel-saving touches.

Some of the modifications added include.

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

Also, the 6-speed manual plays a large part in helping the Cruze Eco achieve that 40 mpg highway rating. Unlike a conventional 6-speed manual the 6th gear in the Cruze is meant only for when you’re cruising along the highway – otherwise think of the Cruze Eco as a 5-speed manual (at least that’s what GM wants you to think). To make sure you know that the 6th gear is for cruising only, it is highlight in green on the shit knob.

GM says that the Cruze Eco delivers hybrid-like efficiency without the price tag – but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s true.

Follow the jump for the live high-res image gallery.

2010 New York: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco:

All Photos Copyright © 2010 Omar Rana ““ egmCarTech.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze:

– By: Omar Rana