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Auto blogWed, 13 Feb 2013 14:01:00 EST
Spy photographers have caught what looks like the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze out on snow patrol. The camo could be tricking our eyes, but it look like it has an even tidier, more rounded front end and even lower fenders in relation to the top of the hood. And either a chunk of camo has been wedged between the side mirrors and the doors, or the mirrors are up for revision, too.
The door handles have been moved up the side of the car, leading the way to a rear end that grows a bit in length. If the rumors are true, the coming second-generation Cruze sits on the new D2XX platform that will replace the Delta and Theta platforms at General Motors. A global architecture, the Cruze will be the first to get it, but it will underpin everything from next Chevrolet Volt to the Equinox and could be responsible for 2.5 million units by 2018. The next Cruze is expected to begin production in GM's Lordstown, Ohio plant in the third quarter of 2014.
Our apologies to those who've seen this before, but for the rest of the class, how awesome are these pictures of the Vert-A-Pac shipping system General Motors came up with to ship the Chevrolet Vega back in the 1970s? Developed along with Southern Pacific Railroad, GM was able to double the amount of Vega models it could ship by packing them into the unique storage cars vertically.
At the time, rail cars could fit 15 vehicles each, but Chevrolet was able to lower shipping costs by making it possible to ship 30 Vegas per rail car, in turn allowing the price of the Vega to remain as low as possible. Each rail car had 30 doors that would fold down so that a Vega could be strapped on, and then a forklift would come along and lift the door into place. All the cars were positioned nose down, and since they were shipped with all of their required fluids, certain aspects had to be designed specifically for this type of shipping, including an oil baffle in the engine, a special battery and even a repositioned windshield washer reservoir. See for yourself in our image gallery above.
The new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has picked up another buff book accolade after capturing Road and Track's Performance Car of the Year award. The seventh-generation of America's sports car (sorry Viper, Mustang, et al.) has been named Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the Year.
Automobile's award to the Corvette over competitors is the mirror image of its rival Motor Trend, which named the Cadillac CTS its car of the year over the C7. The CTS was, according to the Automobile team, the closest contender to the mighty Stingray. Great news all around for General Motors it seems.
As for what pushed the Corvette past its distant, four-door cousin, Automobile commended its excellent, 6.2-liter V8 calling the car's performance "simply awesome" while also remarking that it is easier to drive fast than ever before thanks to steering and chassis tweaks. Following a theme set by other publications, there were also plaudits for the interior, of all things, with the buff book complimenting the car's ergonomics and material quality, while also praising the standard seats.