THE all-new Chevrolet Cruze sedan raises the bar for design appeal, build quality and running refinement in Europe's compact value segment.

Backed by a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating and an all-new powertrain lineup, the Cruze also heralds the introduction of a new global design language for the Chevrolet brand.

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"Chevrolet has always stood for value and the Cruze delivers on that promise like never before," says Wayne Brannon, GM Europe Vice President, Chevrolet. "It redefines value with its design, quality, materials and great style inside and out."

Developed to satisfy refined tastes in design and chassis performance, the Cruze will spearhead the launch of a series of new products that share its design and quality standards. Quite simply, Chevrolet believes the introduction of Cruze has "moved the goalposts" for products seeking to compete successfully in its segment.

Conveying a sporty yet warm ambience, the five-seater cabin is typified by harmonious, flowing lines and the application of grained, soft-touch materials. It is a high quality execution that transcends the compact value segment.

Class-leading features include the flush fit of panels, with exceptionally tight gap tolerances, and generous rear passenger leg, head and shoulder room, despite Cruze's signature sloping roofline.

The core interior design theme is a modern expression of a traditional Chevy styling cue - the signature "twin cockpit" layout of the Corvette, a motif designed to bringing driver and passenger closer to a "shared" experience. On each side of the main fascia, there is a choice of colored fabric or grained vinyl panels, which are complemented by matching inserts in the seats and door trims.

The center point for the "dual cockpit" symmetry is a neatly integrated center stack, housing the infotainment and air conditioning displays and controls. It is mounted at a shallow angle and has a flowing, free form which eliminates straight lines and the traditional "picture framing" of panels.

Three-dimensional math modeling was used in the design of the main instrument cluster. The analogue dials are backlit by LED for clear, crisp illumination in white and ice blue.

The Cruze uses a wire mesh construction to distribute weight more evenly, a firmer foam filling and deeper bolstering for the cushions and seat-backs, front and rear.

The fabric upholstery includes high quality French seam stitching that provides excellent durability and eliminates the possibility of a "stretched-seam" appearance over time. Leather upholstery is standard for the top LT specification.

The range of fore/aft adjustment for the front seats has been extended by approximately 50 mm, giving the longest travel in the value compact segment.

Manually-controlled air conditioning is standard for base and standard with LS variants, while dual-zone automatic climate control is standard with LT specification. A particulate and odor filtration system that cleans the air entering the cabin is standard throughout the range, as is a heated rear screen.

An AM/FM/CD audio system, with RDS digital signaling, an MP3 playback facility and two-color graphic display, is standard for base and LS variants. The LT system adds an in-dash, six-CD auto-changer and a USB socket for an iPod in the center console.

Cruze's body structure is among the stiffest in its class, with a torsional rigidity 140% greater than that of the previous Chevy compact sedan. This tight, strong structure is key to suppressing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), as well as securing a good crash safety performance and optimal ride and handling properties.

The car has been co-operatively engineered at GM facilities in Germany, the United States, Australia and Korea. "In key areas, such the body structure, suspension, safety and electrical systems, we have drawn on GM 'best practices' around the world," says Peter Mertens, GM Global Vehicle Line Executive for compact cars.

The core structure is a unitary construction fabricated from steel beams, pressings and box sections, with an overall torsional rigidity of 17.66 KNm/degree of deflection. About 65% of the structure is composed of high-strength steels (HSS), approximately 50% more than in its predecessor. About 30% more spot welds are also used throughout the structure.

Efficient load paths provide maximum occupant protection in the event of an impact from virtually any direction. Full-length beams and enhancements to the sills, B-pillars and A-pillars, through the use of high-strength steels and tailored blank processing, all contribute to the vehicle's excellent crashworthiness.

The energy absorbing front and rear crumple zones are designed to deform as efficiently as possible in order to maintain the integrity of the passenger compartment, which is protected by a safety cage reinforced with tubular-section members that frame the door openings and support the roof. The combination of a single-piece side structure and ultra-high strength steel door beams also provides effective side impact protection.

At low speeds up to 4 km/h, the front and rear bumper skins are designed to absorb light impact energy, helping to minimize bodywork damage.

Apart from minimizing noise and vibration, a stiff structure also makes it easier to isolate residual powertrain, road and wind noise for even quieter cabin comfort. Cruze has achieved interior acoustic and wind noise ratings that are both among best-in-class for compact sedans in the value segment.

Three-point seatbelts are fitted for all five seating positions. Driver and passenger front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and a collapsible pedal assembly are all fitted as standard for the LT. Active safety measures include the anti-lock braking (ABS), traction control (TCS) and optional Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

The all-new gasoline 1.8-liter all-aluminum gasoline engine unit with 16 valves features variable valve timing on both the inlet and exhaust sides. It offers responsive performance, with 141 hp/104 kW at 6,200 rpm and peak torque of 176 Nm at 3,800 rpm, including 85% from just 2,000 rpm right up to 6,300 rpm. In terms of power output-per-liter, this engine is among the most efficient on the market.

The L is available with a five-speed manual gearbox, while the LS and the LT has a new six-speed automatic transmission, a segment 'first' for Chevrolet.

For all engine applications, a universal front sub-frame, carrying the engine and transmission, is bolted in position via four rubber bushings. This 'isolated' mounting helps reduce the transmission of engine vibration and road noise into the cabin.

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