Hicom-Chevrolet Sdn Bhd has announced that it will be launching two models this year, which are believed to be the Chevrolet Cruze and the Chevrolet Epica.
The Cruze (photo above) is a nice compact car which will replace the Optra Magnum in Chevrolet’s line-up. It will be launched sometime either in late July or early August 2009. It’s a rather good looking car (from the front to the side at least, not too sure about the rear styling) with an appealing interior, as long as photos do not deceive of course because most of us have never seen it in real life.
The new Cruze measures 4,600mm long, 1,790mm wide and 1,475mm tall with a 2,685mm wheelbase which will provide decent interior length, falling short only of the Civic and Lancer’s which are class-leading. It was launched in Korea late last year with a 1.6 litre ECOTEC engine producing 114 horsepower at 6,400rpm and 152Nm of torque at 4,200rpm. A Malaysian line-up could see this engine plus the 1.8 litre engine from the Optra Magnum carried over.
But what we’d really like to see is the new ECOTEC Turbo engine slotted into this baby, but I don’t know if it’s going to be very likely even when the engine is finally out because of cost issues. It might be an Europe and US-only option, but it would be nice if we could get it too. The Ecotec Turbo will be a 1.4 litre competitor to Volkswagen’s TSI, Fiat’s T-JET series and Renault-Nissan’s new 1.2 litre and 1.4 litre turbos. The small displacement engine can use turbocharging to provide power outputs equivalent to 1.6 litre, 1.8 litre and even 2.0 litre engines, with loads of torque to boot.
The Chevrolet Epica on the other hand, is a D-segment competitor to the likes of the Camry and the Accord. It was recently refreshed (and launched in Singapore) with various technical and design updates such as a new 6-speed GM 6T40 automatic transmission, replacing the old 5-speed unit. It comes with either a 143hp 2.0 litre inline-4 motor or a 2.5 litre inline-6 with 156hp.
Look after the jump for more shots of the Cruze.