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Another Beijing debutant, this time from General Motors, which finally took the covers off its new Chevrolet Cruze. Officially, that is, because the second-gen sedan was caught fully uncovered last month in China, the market that will be its first port of call. Actually, it might be a while before it arrives in other places – the US, for example, soldiers on with the J300 following last week’s announcement of a facelift.

The company says the car is the first working iteration of Chevrolet’s next-generation design language, and derives styling inspiration from the Tru 140S Concept from two years ago.

It wears a sharper looking suit compared to that of the current car, led by a more rakish front end. Styling elements include daytime running lights mounted above the fog lamp surround and a more distinct dual-mesh grille layout. Shorter front and rear overhangs add further to a tauter visual presentation.

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The automaker’s new-generation Ecotec small-displacement engine, co-developed with Chinese partner SAIC, is set to feature in the Chinese market-Cruze.

Two engine options will be available, a turbocharged 1.4 litre direct injection unit and a normally-aspirated 1.5 litre one, both four-pot designs. As for transmissions, there will be three on call, led by an all-new DCG seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, again co-developed with SAIC.

The other two gearboxes are a new six-speed manual developed in Europe and the third-generation form of the S6 six-speed automated manual transmission. No performance figures touted, except that of fuel economy – the new car is expected to deliver a fuel economy improvement of 14 to 21% compared to the current Cruze.

Live pix by Kwek Chai Li