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Teased: Next Chevrolet Cruze fronts up

Face first: Chevrolet’s 2016 Cruze is said to be lighter and more spacious, but there’s no word on Australian launch prospects.

Chevrolet readies its all-new Cruze for launch … in North America at least


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4 Jun 2015

JUST days after outing its Opel Astra in Europe, General Motors has started the official countdown to the June 24 reveal of the new-generation 2016 Chevrolet Cruze small car in Detroit.

A teaser image of the new-from-the-ground-up Cruze was released overnight, showing the redesigned nose of the second-generation small car that is mainly aimed at North America.

Built on the same GM D2XX platform as the Astra and next-gen Volt, the latest Cruze is set to enter showrooms in the United States in early 2016.

Holden is yet to say if the Cruze will make it to Australia to replace the current model built at Holden’s plant in Elizabeth, but most pundits expect GM’s Australian operation to put its faith in the five-door Astra once local Cruze production ends in 2017, if not beforehand.

The Australian arm of GM has already introduced the current three-door Astra as a sporty alternative to Cruze, while making no bones about its intended shift to European-centric products, saying about a third of its line-up will come from the German-based Opel operation.

Although the American Cruze teaser shot is deliberately murky, the front-end styling is clearly different to the Chinese version launched last year. Spy shots published in the US also reveal different side panels.

Chevrolet says the new Cruze will be larger yet lighter than the current model, with new technologies, new powertrains and additional available safety features “that will bring a higher level of sophistication to the compact car segment”.

As well, it is expected to be bigger inside, with an extra 50mm of rear legroom.

While the current Cruze has been sold in 115 countries worldwide, the next US-developed version will have a much more restricted availability. As we know, China is going its own way with Cruze, and the Chevrolet brand has been axed in Europe, meaning Cruze is dead there.

However, that has not stopped GM North America president and global Chevrolet brand chief Alan Batey talking up the Cruze story, saying: “In every corner of the globe, Cruze has been successful at introducing new and younger customers to Chevrolet.

“Compact car customers are looking for style, safety and connectivity at an affordable price and the Cruze delivers on all fronts.”

Chevrolet says 35 per cent of Cruze buyers are new to the brand.

In Australia, Holden has sold 6249 Cruzes this year, down 13.9 per cent.

So far this year, Chevrolet has already unveiled four key models – Volt, Spark, Malibu and Camaro.

Of those, the only one that Holden has trumpeted as a certainty for Australia is Spark, saying it will land Down Under in the first quarter of 2016 as a replacement for the current Barina Spark.

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