Monday, February 28, 2011

Holden Unveils Aussie-Built Cruze Series II with New 2.0L Diesel and 1.4L Turbo Petrol

Holden, General Motors' Australian division, introduced an updated version of its Cruze sedan bearing the Series II moniker today. The facelift brings powertrain, chassis and some styling changes, but most importantly, it marks the switch to local production starting from March, 2011. Up until now, the Holden Cruze sedan was imported to Australia from Korea. The first locally built compact model in the country in more than a decade will be manufactured at Holden's plant in Elizabeth, South Australia.

The styling updates on the Cruze Series II are kept to a minimum and concern the new trapezoidal grille, subtly redesigned front bumper, new headlamp bezels and a different rear fascia treatment.

The facelift brings two new engines, a 2.0-liter turbo diesel and a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline unit, while the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter engine carries over with some minor revisions from the Series 1 model.

The new diesel engine produces 120 kW [161HP] at 3800rpm and 360 Nm at 1750 rpm, meaning output has been increased by 9 per cent and torque by 12.5 per cent over the previous engine. Holden says fuel economy improves to 5.6 lt/100km [42mpg US] with the new six-speed manual gearbox and remains at 6.7lt/100km [35.1mpg US] with the optional six-speed auto.

The newly introduced 1.4 iTi turbocharged petrol delivers 103 kW [138-HP] at 4900 rpm and peak torque of 200 Nm between 1,850-4,900 rpm. It comes standard on SRi and SRi-V models and is optional on the Cruze CD. When equipped with the standard 6-speed manual, the 1.4 iTi returns a fuel economy figure of 6.4lt/100km [36.7mpg US], while the optional six-speed auto is good for 6.9lt/100km [34.1mpg US].

In addition, all 1.4 iTi models come with a range of chassis refinements, among them the fitment of Watts link performance suspension which is said offer improved handling qualities and a smoother, quieter ride. The new Cruze SRi and SRi-V models with the 1.4 iTi also get bespoke front and rear fascia treatments, a boot lip spoiler, side sills and 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels.

Finally, the 1.8-liter ECOTEC petrol engine with 104 kW [138-HP] at 6200 rpm and 176 Nm of torque at 3800 rpm has received some refinements, which Holden claims to have resulted in "a more lively launch feel and all-round improved driveability". With the 5-speed manual gearbox, the 1.8 petrol returns 7lt/100km and with the six-speed auto that includes an improved final drive ratio, 7.4lt/100km.

“We have worked hard to improve on the current model by tailoring the Cruze to better meet the needs of Australian motorists,” Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said.

“We think our locally-developed range ticks all the boxes for people who appreciate style, comfort and convenience, as well as high-tech performance options and great interior space. Cruze also remains one of the safest small cars on the market and more than ever it represents exceptional value for money in true Holden tradition.”


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