Last year at the Paris Motor Show, General Motors took the wrap off the Cruze Hatchback show car. Given GM’s recent bouts with show cars, we knew the car would make its way into production, and the company just announced today that we’ll see the production car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show this March.
Although we won’t see the final car until we arrive in Switzerland, Chevrolet’s made no attempt to hide the fact that the car will look nearly identical to the Cruze Hatchback show car. We have to say, this isn’t a bad thing as the hatchback show car was a good looking vehicle. It featured the same front end as the sedan — save the blue headlights and LED fog lights — along with a nearly identical roofline. Rather than cutting into a trunklid though, the roofline smoothly slopes into a rakish hatch. The show car took the style of its Opel Astra platform-mate one step further, with sharper creases and a more daring C-pillar.
Unlike in Paris where GM gave no indication of what powertrains we would find under the hood of the production car, we’v now learned the basics. GM says it will be launched with a new range of engines, likely meaning the new range of gasoline and diesel I-4s introduced on the Cruze and Europe-only Orlando MPV. This is evidenced by GM’s confirmation that the range-topping turbo-diesel unit will be the same 160-horsepower, 2.0-liter I-4 as in the Orlando coupled to a six-speed manual transmission.
“The new Cruze hatchback cements that Chevrolet’s claim for a place among the mainstream brands in Europe, and it’s a vehicle that will bring new levels of value against some of the more established competition,” said Wayne Brannon, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe.
While the photos here are of the Cruze Hatchback show car, as GM won’t reveal the production model until Geneva, it should look nearly identical. The only changes we’d expect are the removal of the blue headlight covers, blue brake calipers, and maybe the LED daytime running lights. We’ll know for sure this March when the car is revealed. GM says European sales are scheduled to start this summer, but sadly, we’re unlikely to see this car in the States.