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New diesel for local Holden Cruze too

Cruze control: Holden's locally made Cruze will get a shot in the arm with new turbo-charged petrol and diesel engines.

Two new engines for Holden Cruze when local production starts in New Year

10 Dec 2010

HOLDEN’S home-grown Cruze small car will get not only a thrifty 1.4-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder engine from the start of local production in the New Year but also an all-new powerful and smooth 2.0-litre turbo diesel.

These engines will be the hero powertrains of the three-engine line-up for the new Aussie small car that will go into mass production at Holden’s Elizabeth plant in January immediately after the annual Christmas shutdown.

The Cruze sedan will be first cab off the rank, going on sale in February, with the Australian-designed Cruze five-door hatch to follow later in 2011.

Both cars will get a choice of three four-cylinder powertrains initially – the efficient 103kW/200Nm 1.4-litre petrol, new 118kW/350Nm 2.0-litre diesel and a tweaked version of the current 104kW 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that will power mainstream models.

All three engines will be imported from GM-Daewoo in South Korea, which supplies the current Cruze sold under Holden badges in Australia and New Zealand.

These engines are expected to be joined at a later date by at least one sports engine, probably the 132kW 1.6-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder engine from Opel’s Astra range.

13 center imageAs well, an even hotter engine is expected in a Holden Special Vehicles-enhanced Cruze hatch.

The new diesel will replace the unloved 110kW engine that has been criticised for its agricultural performance, including old-style rattly racket.

A Holden insider told GoAuto that the new engine was so quiet it could be confused with a petrol powertrain.

The engine is also said to be sporty in its delivery, using its ample torque to outshine the petrol variants.

In Europe, the Opel Astra CDTI’s 2.0-litre Ecotec diesel pumps out 350Nm of torque – 30Nm more than the diesel engine in the current Holden Cruze line-up. That torque peaks at just 1750rpm and continues until 2500rpm.

The same engine is likely to surface in the new-look Holden Captiva that arrives in Australia in March, fresh from its debut alongside the Cruze hatch in Chevrolet form at the Paris motor show in September.

The Cruze’s ‘Family 0’ 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine will be the eco-leader of the bunch, delivering superior fuel economy to the 1.8-litre cooking model, but with similar power.

Panels for the new Cruze will be a mix of imported and locally stamped steel, with the basic platform and inner panels imported from South Korea or China, with the more complex outer sheets being stamped on the same presses that churn out Commodore panels in Adelaide.

Holden recently reinstated its second shift at the Elizabeth factory in preparation for the start of local production of the Cruze and new export Chevrolet Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle – based on the Holden Caprice – in the New Year.

The plant went on to a single shift at the height of the global financial crisis, when Holden’s export orders – mainly the Pontiac G8 for North America and Chevrolet Caprice and Lumina for the Middle East – collapsed, slicing 50,000 units from the Holden production inventory.

So far this year, Holden has sold 26,253 imported Cruzes, making it the fourth best-selling light car on the market behind the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and Hyundai i30.

Holden says a locally made Cruze will give it a small car alternative to its Commodore to take advantage of swings in customer preference.

While the Cruze is expected to find favour with government and corporate fleets wanting a locally made car, Holden sales and marketing executive director John Elsworth told GoAuto that the primary target for Cruze would be private buyers.

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