Chevy's new Cruze is the linchpin of the company's small-car strategy, a modern sedan using an efficient, turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. Chevy showed off this Eco version, which is designed to get 40 mpg.
The lower air intake is fitted with a shutter that closes up at speed, making the car more aerodynamic. It also has underbody panels that let air flow more smoothly.
The small spoiler on the trunk lip is also designed to optimize mileage. Low rolling resistance tires reduce friction, while alloy wheels lower overall mass.
Buyers will be able to choose between a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, the former delivering the best fuel economy. iPod integration and a Bluetooth phone system are both available in the car.
Chevy makes a navigation system available in the Cruze--a surprise considering the price should come in well under $20,000. The control interface looks very usable.
Alongside the Cruze Eco, Chevy launched the Cruze RS. A sport version of the Cruze, the RS package only consists of a body kit and some interior accents.
The rear of the Cruze RS gets this honeycomb pattern on the fascia, whereas the front gets fog lights. There are no changes to the engine or transmission.
Chevy also had on hand this Cruze representing its World Touring Car Championship team. In this guise, the Cruze sports a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine making 285 horsepower. Cruzes took first, second, and third places in a recent WTCC race in Brazil.