Upgraded Chevrolet Cruze likely to be launched by 2011-end

GM India is planning to launch the Chevrolet Cruze with an upgraded engine later this year. Here’s what you can expect in the new Cruze.

The Chevrolet Cruze has become the best-selling car in the premium sedan segment (Rs 11-Rs 20 lakh) in the last few months. And the powerful engine has been one of the big reasons why the car is popular among buyers. In fact, it already has the most powerful engine in its segment, and is a driver-oriented car. With an upgraded engine, the Cruze will only put more distance between itself and the other cars.

Here’s a quick preview of the changes on board the new Cruze.

New engine: The new Cruze will be powered by GM’s Z series, 2.0 litre, DOHC, common-rail diesel motor that produces 163 bhp (presently it is 148 bhp) of maximum power and more torque (currently, it is 327 Nm), according to AutocarIndia.

2011 chevrolet cruze photo
Photo: The upgraded Chevrolet Cruze will be the most powerful car in the segment

Even the present Cruze has a more powerful engine (1,991cc) than the Civic. The present Cruze’ engine belts out 148bhp as against the Civics’ engine (1,798cc) that belts out 130 bhp. The new Cruze will have an edge of a wholesome 33 Bhp over the Civic.

New interiors: Based on customer feedback, the upcoming model will get a redesigned rear seat for improved headroom. The new Cruze will likely come with minor interior upgrades too. Other features of the present Cruze are expected to be carried over to the new Cruze, such as steering-mounted audio controls, cruise control, sun-roof, puddle lamps and rain-sensing wipers.

The present Cruze is known for its sporty styling, great handling and ‘fun to drive’ nature. The new Cruze with a more powerful engine is likely to make this an even more attractive proposition.

The Cruze competes with cars like the Skoda Laura, Renault Fluence, Toyota Corolla Altis, Honda Civic and the upcoming new Volkswagen Jetta (to be launched on August 17th 2011). In the past six months (January – June 2011), Chevrolet sold 4,773 units of Cruze with an average of around 795 units per month, putting it close to the top seller, the Toyota Corolla Altis.

The Honda Civic and Toyota Altis both have been around for quite a while now and will need a more inspiring exterior if they wish to continue to pull buyers. Read more: Honda Civic vs. Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Altis. The Renault Fluence and the Volkswagen Jetta will have a tougher fight on their hands. What do you think?