General Motors has carted the new Cruze all over the world showing off the successor to the Chevy Cobalt and this morning in a series of press releases, the General rolled out a ton of official information for the sporty new entry-level model with a focus on the engines. While we already knew that the 2011 Cruze would receive a turbocharged 4 cylinder along with a naturally aspirated (NA) 4 cylinder but rather than a pair of 1.4L engines, the turbo 4 displaces 1.4L while the NA models get a 1.8L powerplant.
The Ecotec 1.8L engine is standard in the 2011 Chevy Cruze LS, offering 138 horsepower and 125lb-ft of torque with the use of variable flow intake manifold technology. When the engine is running below 4,000rpm, engine intake air travels through roughly 35 inches of tubing before entering the throttle body, allowing for stronger low-end torque across a broader rpm range. When the engine climbs over 4,000rpm, a rotary sleeve closes off a large portion of the intake runner, sending air through just 10.2 inches of the intake before entering the throttle body – allowing for more horsepower at the top of the powerband.
The Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine is stand in the 2011 Cruze LT, LTZ and Eco and while this smaller engine makes the same horsepower as the Ecotec 1.8L, the boosted 4 cylinder for the Cruze offers more torque (148lb-ft in the 1.4L compared to just 125 in the 1.8L). This engine not only offers more torque in 2011 Cruze models but it also has a larger powerband, making peak torque from 1,850 to 4,900.
All of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze trimlines (LS, LT, LTZ, and Eco) have the option of either an automatic or manual 6-speed transmission with the Eco models offering a specially geared transmission to optimize fuel economy. All of the 6-speed automatic transmissions feature ActiveSelect manual control, giving the driver some control of the shifts for a more engaged driving experience.
This new turbocharged engine offers excellent fuel economy and power, considering the relatively small displacement, but a turbo engine in the sporty new Cruze frame could make the car a big hit with the “tuner” crowd. This 2011 Cruze will effectively replace the Cobalt which replaced the Cavalier and both of those models were very popular in the sport compact market. General Motors has already made some moves to put the Cruze in a performance venue with their World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) models and the factory turbocharged engine will definitely add to the performance interest of the vehicle.
Even though the goal of the Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine is fuel economy, if you know turbo engines you know how easily they can be tweaked to increase performance so the prospect of getting into a low priced, sporty sedan with a factory forced induction setup could blow up the popularity of the 2011 Chevy Cruze.
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