GM’s new 2016 Cruze has been revealed today, but it is yet unclear when or even if we will see a Holden badge on this new sedan.
Unveiled today in the US, the new Cruze’s debut follows the international launch last year of a Cruze sedan developed specifically for the Chinese market.
But, while reports had hinted that western markets could be offered the same model, this new Cruze adopts a refreshed Chevrolet look that is more in line with models like the 2016 Malibu and new Volt.
Riding on GM’s overhauled D2XX platform, the new Cruze is both larger and lighter than the model it replaces.
At 2700mm, the Cruze sedan is now 15mm longer in the wheelbase, and overall length has increased 69mm to 4666mm.
Chevrolet says the stretch has resulted in more legroom in the rear, now measuring 917mm. There’s also an extra 51mm in knee room.
Despite the increase in size, the new Cruze is up to 113kg lighter than its sedan predecessor, without the use of any particularly exotic weight-saving materials.
Suspension is by MacPherson struts at the front, while a torsion beam design again features at ther ear in all but the top-spec model, which once more gets a Watts link setup.
A new 1.4 litre turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder petrol engine is standard, producing 115kW and 240Nm of torque. New diesel and top-shelf petrol options will join the range next year, GM says.
In Australia, the current Cruze range is driven by a choice of 104kW/175Nm 1.8 litre and 132kW/230Nm 1.6 litre petrol engines.
Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be offered with this new model, and GM claims a 0-100km/h time in base models of 8.0 seconds flat.
GM says its new Cruze will make its way to “more than 40 global markets”, but it has yet to confirm any specific regions beyond North America.
Holden, famously tight-lipped on the topic of future product, has today confirmed only that it will take “a very close look at [the new] Cruze”.
In the meantime, Holden will continue to offer its recently facelifted first-generation Cruze sedan and hatch, alongside the newly reintroduced three-door Astra range.
It is also known that Holden will, over the coming years, source at least a third of its full line-up from GM’s Opel division in Europe.
Holden may yet launch a two-pronged attack on the small-car segment built around the new Astra hatch and Cruze sedans.
But, depending on factors like exchange rates and production capacity - and Holden's drive to be number one - we could yet see the Cruze line replaced entirely by the Astra hatch and its expected sedan sibling.
Watch for details on Holden’s new-generation small-car plans to surface in the year ahead.