2011 Chevy Cruze Eco shoots for 40 MPG

The EPA hasn’t had a chance to test it yet, but Chevy expects the 2011 Cruze Eco to manage 40 MPG on the highway. That’s pretty impressive, considering the hybrid Honda Insight gets 43 MPG on the highway. The Cruze Eco is expected to nearly match this without the electric motor and battery wizardry that the Insight uses.

If the Cruze Eco isn’t using all sorts of fancy hybrid bits, how in the world does it manage 40 MPG on the highway? Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.4 liter inline four, good for 138 HP and 148 lb-ft of torque. Hooked up with the available 6 speed manual transmission, there will be no shortage of speed with this car. The real magic comes in when you get up to higher speeds – the lower grille has shutters that close it off. There are also underbody panels, a small rear spoiler, and a low front air dam.

Chevy also went with lightweight 17″ aluminum alloys and ultra-low rolling resistance tires. Chevy could have saved a bit more weight here by going with 16″ wheels, but apparently they’re happy as it sits.

The 2011 Cruze is an important car for Chevy, nearly as much as the Volt. In some ways, the Cruze is more important, since it will be a much higher volume car. Plus, it can be profitable out of the gates, unlike the Volt. Getting the 40 MPG mark from the EPA will be a huge win, and should help Chevy steal some sales from Toyota & Honda.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO

2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO Interior

Published on March 29, 2010 in Chevrolet

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