For Sale By:Dealer
Sub Model: L-48 Coupe
Exterior Color: Burgundy
Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
Interior Color: Burgundy
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
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.
It seems to be commonplace that when a new Corvette is in development, rumors swirl about a possible mid-engine layout. As is the case of Chevy's most recent C7 Corvette, these rumors never pan out.
In any case, the idea for a 'Vette with an engine mounted behind the driver can probably all be traced back to a single car, the 1964 XP-819 prototype. Built as an "engineering exercise" back in 1964, the prototype was designed with a rear-mounted engine. History tells us that the idea of a rear-engine Corvette fizzled, and the XP-819 was eventually cut up into pieces and stored at a shop in Daytona Beach, FL.
After sitting for untold years, a restoration project started on the car, and while it isn't yet fully completed, the current owner of the car, Mid America Motorworks, will have the car on display at the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance as a "driveable chassis" with hopes of having a fully completed car ready to bring to next year's show.
Not including the women and men who built it, the 2014 Chevrolet SS has only been seen in person by a piddling number of people - fewer humans than would fill the gymnasium at a high school volleyball game. Not including the men and women who built it, no one has driven it. Even so, it is already saddled with two controversies: the way it looks and the way it shifts.
First to that shifting. Did we love the last Americanized Holden, the awesomely sportsome Pontiac G8 GXP, and its six-speed manual? Of course. Do we wish the SS came with a six-speed manual? Of course. But we'd like a toboggan to come with a manual transmission. We'd put a manual transmission on a weasel if we could because we're just wired that way; if it moves, it should come with a stick and a clutch. Or at least the option.
Let's climb down off the ledge, though. We haven't driven the SS and we have no idea how good (or not) the automatic is. And the Hobson's Choice in transmissions when it comes to sport sedans like the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and Jaguar XFR-S and, oh yeah, cars-that-really-should-have-manuals like the Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R and Porsche 918 and every single Lamborghini and Ferrari, for instance, hasn't stopped us from enjoying what is clearly the gruesome, dual-clutched demise of Western automotive civilization. Because in spite of our ululations at the dying of the six-speed light, we understand.