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Auto blogTue, 23 Apr 2013 17:30:00 EST
The next Chevrolet Cruze isn't set to go into production for about another year, and we're just now seeing prototypes of the new compact running around here in the States. Not much more has been revealed since we saw the car blasting through the snow in Europe, but we can still clearly see new design elements like the larger grille, slimmer headlamps and redesigned taillamps.
Our spy photographers worked up a composite image of this Cruze prototype alongside the current model, and here, we can clearly see some big visual changes are in store for the new model. The 2015 Cruze's hood slopes downward more dramatically, the windshield is more heavily raked, and the roofline looks more fluid overall. The next-generation Cruze will ride on the new global Delta platform that will also underpin other General Motors vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and Equinox.
As for what's under the hood, we expect the normal range of gasoline four-cylinder engines (both naturally aspirated and turbocharged), and the compact's new turbodiesel four should carry over, as well. Have a look at the full brace of spy photos in the gallery above.
Ever since General Motors confirmed plans to produce a diesel-powered Cruze back in 2011, we've been eagerly awaiting its arrival. And as part of the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet has pulled back the cover on its oil-burning compact sedan, set to go on sale in the near future with a starting price of $25,695, not including $810 for destination.
The heart and soul of the Cruze TD (that's its official name) is a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel inline four-cylinder engine rated at 148 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mated solely to a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine also has an overboost function that will increase torque to 280 lb-ft for up to ten seconds. The full brace of official specs haven't been released, but GM tells us that highway fuel economy will come in at 42 miles per gallon. If that number sounds familiar, it's because the Volkswagen Jetta TDI has the exact same rating. Unlike the Jetta, however, the Cruze TD can run on B20 biodiesel, where as the Volkswagen can only accept B5.
Model-specific changes to this 2014 Cruze TD include an aero kit and unique 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, there's a full leather interior, and Chevrolet will provide two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, not to mention a 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Kurt Busch will channel Ricky Bobby for another NASCAR race, this time driving a Wonder-sponsored Chevrolet SS, in this weekend's Camping World RV Sales 500 at the Talladega Motor Speedway. Unlike past tie-ins, though, there's actually an element of sponsorship here (the "Me" car was done when Busch was running on a team without sponsorship).
It was arranged by Flower Foods, the new owner of the Wonder brand. Wonder was part of the bankrupt Hostess company, which temporarily exited the US market 2012, and set off the Great Twinkie Shortage.
Busch has made something of a habit of channeling characters from famous racing movies, most recently running Tom Cruise's City Chevrolet livery from Days of Thunder in a Nationwide Series race earlier this year. Busch kicked off his movie-inspired antics, though, at Talladega in 2012, when he raced El Diablo's ("It's like... Spanish for like a fighting chicken") "Me" car complete with a cougar on the hood. He even went so far as to channel the lovable idiot that is Ricky Bobby during the race, dropping a few catchphrases about macchiatos and slingshots.