The new-generation 2016 Chevrolet Cruze represents GM’s newest entry in the midsize compact car segment. It was developed by GM’s global R&D team, which gave the Cruze a new clean-sheet design and brand-new architecture. The team’s goal was to set new benchmarks in the segment for fuel economy, handling and intelligent technology. The redesign has been carried on into 2017 models, including the new hatchback version.
The new Cruze offers the first expression of Chevrolet’s next-generation design language characterized by the slogan “Design with a Heartbeat.” Developed with a focus on efficiency, it features coupe-like flowing lines that support enhanced aerodynamics. A compact body, wheels pushed out to the corners of the car, shorter front and rear overhangs, and a roofline that stretches to the rear make for a spacious interior. A dual-mesh grille extends to the sleek headlights to create a more dynamic visual effect. Chrome-plated trim stretches from the outside rearview mirrors to the rear seat windows, conveying a rhythmic refinement.
New Global Compact Midsize Car Platform
The new Cruze is the first model to adopt GM’s new global compact midsize car platform. It was developed by a team of European engineers. Most of its tuning and road testing were carried out at Germany’s legendary Nürburgring. According to a presentation by Michael Kupper and Klaus-Peter Eckhardt at the 2014 Aachen Body Engineering Days, the design team made it a goal to include as much high-strength steel as possible.
Seventy-two percent of the new Cruze’s body consists of high-strength steel, enhancing fuel economy without compromising safety.
The design team also employed a “thin-metal” strategy reducing steel material thicknesses to as much as .5 mm, for example, in a lightweight hood inner.
These efforts, along with clean sheet redesign of the entire structure, such as the front end crash structure shown below, resulted in a -52 kg mass reduction in the BIW. According to Kupper, even with these aggressive measures, the team did not exhaust the potential of HSS mass reduction capability.
Customer-Friendly Features and World-Class Safety
The new Cruze’s peerless people-oriented technologies start with the Chevrolet MyLink 2.0
infotainment system. Its best-in-class eight-inch multi-point touchscreen serves as the operation window for intelligent navigation, personalized built-in apps (My Chevrolet, Driving Assist, Cloud Radio and Cloud Phone) and Siri Eyes Free functionality.
Developed to meet global five-star safety standards, the new Cruze comes with a range of active and passive safety features. It is the only vehicle in its class with active park assist, which takes the worry out of parking. The side blind zone alert system warns the driver of potential hazards when changing lanes. The model’s air bags are designed to protect pedestrians as well as occupants.