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ETC Top Tuner Chevrolet Corvette & Cruze Revealed

ETC Corvette Top Tuner 5

ETC – Elite Tuners of Canada have made their first appearance at the 2011 Canadian International Auto Show, organized in Toronto, Canada. With this occasion they’ve brought two new projects, a Corvette-based Top Tuner 5 and a Cruze-based Top Tuner 5.5, along with three other cars.

ETC Corvette Top Tuner 5

Based on a Corvette C6, ETC transformed the car into a very fast machine in only four months .Under that big hood there is a new LSX 376 Crate Motor from GM Performance and Pro Charger F1R that outputs a whopping 920 hp (585 kW / 933 PS) and 949 Nm (700 lb.-ft) of torque. Design-wise, the Corvette has a custom wide body kit and APR Performance carbon fiber accents and spoiler. It has exclusive Gold Rush paintwork, a specialized multi-coat body color, a real eye-grabber.

ETC Corvette Top Tuner 5

The Vette also has a custom race suspension, courtesy of Standard Suspension and rolls on custom iForged Legacy V2 rims that measure 20×10 in the front and 21×13 out in the back, covered by ultra-wide Pirelli 285/25/20 and 375/20/21 rubber. To stop this monster, the engineers over at ETC fitted the Corvette with a Baer Performance Big Brake System and the exhaust is also custom, borrowed from MBRP. Inside the cabin, the car has a custom roll cage, a Pioneer sound system and a STACK system installment.

ETC Cruze Top Tuner 5.5

I for one like the Cruze more as ETC really managed to turn the model into a very aggressive and sporty sedan. The engine offers 250 hp (186 kW / 254 PS) and 200 Nm (150 lb.-ft) of torque, thanks to the installation of a GTK 350 Custom Turbo System taken from Turbonetics. The sedan was fitted with a custom body kit that features a carbon fiber bonnet and trunk by Viniati. It has a very attractive Candy Flip Orange paint with a two-tone matte grey stripe, made by Serge Leger of Xtreme Motorsports.

ETC Cruze Top Tuner 5.5

This custom Chevrolet Cruze has a lowered suspension and rides on custom rims that measure F14 20×8 made by Forgestar, wrapped around in Pirelli 245/30Z-90 (90Y) XL Nero rubber. Like the Corvette, the Chevy Cruze has a custom exhaust system. Inside the cabin, the sedan has Autometer Gauges, orange upholstery and a powerful Pioneer 3000W sound system.

ETC Cruze Top Tuner 5.5

Source: etc-enterprises.ca via WCF

2012 Buick Verano Revealed

2012 Buick Verano

The 2011 Detroit Auto Show is just around the corner but automakers are already starting their 2011 attack. The 2012 Buick Verano was just announced and in our humble opinion it is a “baby Regal” as there are many similarities between these two models. The new Verano is made on the Delta II platform developed for the Chevrolet Cruze and it is very close as far as the dimensions are concerned to the larger Epsilon II-based Regal model, making the Verano half Cruze / half Regal.

Standing at 181-inches long, the 2012 Buick Verano is only 9 inches shorter than its Regal sibling and only half inch shorter in height. In the front, you will notice the LaCrosse-inspired fascia which makes it very attractive, at least we think so. The new Verano borrowed the upward sloping lower character line on the sides from the Regal. The car comes as standard with 17-inch rims but for extra money it can be fitted with more generous 18-inch wheels, available on the higher trim levels and in two variations.

Similar with the Regal, the Buick Verano can be bought only with a front-wheel drive and like the first one; it uses a 2.4-liter direct injection power unit that churns 177 hp and 170 pound-feet of torque. The car will do 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with this engine. The Cruze however uses different engines, either a 1.4-liter turbocharged or a normally aspirated 1.8-liter.

2012 Buick Verano

Moving inside the car, the interior is the result of mixing the Cruze with the Regal as the Verano borrowed its styling from these two cars and added a few Buick-spec materials here and there to make it feel more familiar to the company’s fans. In comparison with the Regal, the Buick’s cabin is only approximately two cubic feet smaller and this should be quite enough for most of us taking into consideration that the Chevrolet Cruze offers plenty of room for four adults.

Some of the most important optional features available for the 2012 Buick Verano include the push-button engine start, the dual-zone climate control with standard air conditioning, heated steering wheel, heated leather-appointed seating, uplevel front and rear reading lamps, steering wheel radio controls, console armrest that slides and locks, electronic parking brake and power windows with express up/down in the front and express down in the rear.

In the front, the Verano utilizes a decoupled MacPherson struts suspension that allows a better isolation and provides greater separation of extreme road conditions. In the back, the car sports a technically advanced Watts Z-link design that aids during cornering the center of the axle, improving the car’s handling on both left-hand and right-hand turns. In comparison to a regular fully independent rear suspenson, the Z-link design requires less space and is lighter, making the car lower its curb weight.

2012 Buick Verano

In order to efficiently stop the car, the engineers at Buick fitted the Verano with four-wheel disc brakes that feature standard anti-lock as well as electronic brake distribution plus the StabiliTrak electronic stability control (with traction control). In the safety compartment, the 2012 Buick Verano offers 10 airbags as standard, OnStar with Automatic Crash Response and a collapsible pedal system.

Official pricing will probably be revealed once we get closer to the car’s official launch date which should be at the end of this year. The expected retail price of the 2012 Buick Verano should start from approximately $21,000 for the entry-level models and work his way up to about $26,000 for the top-of-the-range models. More information should be available next week when the car will be presented at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

In Depth – 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze has great chances of becoming a hit in terms of sales because the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla are at the end of their product life cycles which means that the Cruze will (probably) be more popular among customers thanks to its fresh new appearance. Another reason for a possible success is that General Motors now has the wherewithal to produce a small-sized automobile that shows they understand these types of cars. These times are very good for GM to win a couple of hundred customers from Honda or Toyota; time will tell if this is going to happen.

When you give the 2011 Cruze a closer look, you will notice that there is not much in the way of historical lineage as far as the exterior design is concerned. The car does not have anything related to a smaller Chevrolet car: you will not find a trace of the Cavalier model nor you will notice Coblat in those scowling headlamps. Regardless of tastes, the Cruze is a very good looking car, no doubt about it, at least in our humble opinion. Looking at it from the front, you will notice that the angled flying “V” language of the headlights extends to the Cruze’s interior, which is the model’s pièce de résistance.

The engineers over at Chevrolet made several updates for offering a smoother engine and used more sound deadening materials. Taking these two into consideration, it will be very hard for you to notice the engine of the sound at idle. In comparison with its main segment rivals, Chevrolet is cleverly keeping pace with the market trend if you look at the hydraulic engine mounts and the laminated windshield. Looking back five years ago, the small-sized Sentra model from Nissan was regarded as the vault of solitude, but at the moment this car (or the Corolla/Civic) is considerably noisier when put side by side with the 2011 Cruze. The situation is the same not only when the engine is idle but also when driving on the road. Another reason for this noise difference between the Cruze and the rest is because the latter are not equipped with 6-speed automatic gearboxes.

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT will cost you $18,000 (basic price) and with a few upgrades the price reaches the $20k mark. What gives the Cruze the edge over its rivals is the fact that it offers a bundle of features even on the entry-level trim levels, like USB port or Bluetooth. In most cases, such features are present on pricier trims. The inside space and rooms for legs is very generous for a car in this class. The driver has all the space he wants for his knees and both front and back passengers can get full circulation through their extremities, even after sitting in the car for 1-2 hours. The quality of the interior components and the finish of it are good, but not great, definitely there is place for improvements. There is a contrast in quality of the interior parts because the material used for the steering wheel is great, and so is the pattern on the seats, but the plastic insert in the cell phone cubby looks and feels rather cheap. The same contrast can be seen on the plastics used on the dashboard and doors.

The 1LT trim level of the Cruze is the most affordable one that allows you to get the 1.4-liter turbo; the LS entry-level trim is equipped with a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated four. All of the trims come as standard with 6-speed gearboxes (the manual gearbox is available on the LS and ECO trims). As far as the safety features are concerned, all of the trims come with traction and stability control. The LT gets four-wheel disc brakes (optional on the 2LT). There aren’t many cars in this segment that feature four-wheel disc brakes; the only exception we can think of is the Suzuki SX4.

The era of newly developed cars has begun with the Cruze, Focus, Elantra and the Fiesta, we will have to wait and see how takes the first place in this battle.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

The people over at AutoBlog.com, managed to drive the Cruze 1LT and consider that the strongest point of the car regarding the actual driving situation, is the low noise level. However, the Mazda 3 is quicker and lighter than the Chevy and there are other cars that have a more direct steering feel. Plus, there are a bunch of cars under the 3,000-pound mark that give more confidence when braking. A major downside of the Cruze is the fact that similar with other General Motors cars, it does not feature a direct injection power unit.

The 1.4-liter turbo is a very good engine, but not for a car that has a weight similar to the Chevrolet Colorado. Maybe later on Chevrolet will introduce other engines, more powerful, that will be able to make the car a little bit quicker and agile, because although this car wasn’t designed to be fast, it needs some power under that attractive hood.

Without any doubt, the 2011 Cruze is better than the Toyota Corolla, but this does not mean that it will sell better than the Japanese rival. The Corolla is a very popular car despite its flaws (the design would be the major one), so the Cruze will have to struggle to get customers that are very well acquainted to the Corolla, although it is at the end of its lifecycle.

All things considered, the Cruze is significantly better in comparison to the outgoing model, but there is still a lot of room for improvements. Some of the most important minuses of the car are the lack of more powerful engines, a more direct steering feel and higher quality interior components. However, it still looks great and has plenty of features even on the cheaper trim levels, making it a very attractive option.

Source: AutoBlog.com

General Motors Increases Engine Production

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

General Motors is planning on investing about $163 million at the Ohio and Michigan plants for increasing the engine production for the Chevrolet Volt, the Cruze and an unknown new small-sized automobile. In a statement released this morning, GM affirmed that these investments will protect the jobs of 184 people at the factories in Flint, Michigan (engine plant); Bay City, Michigan (components plant) and Defiance, Ohio (casting plant).

The giant automaker will be increasing the production of the 1.4-liter that is used for the Chevrolet Cruze and also a variation of that same engine for the plug-in hybrid Volt. The production at start will be of about 400 engines / day at the Flint facility in the first months of the 2011 and it will increase to about 800 / day towards the end of the year. These investments will allow General Motors to increase the production to 1,200 units per day by late 2012.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Cruze is assembled in Lordstown, Ohio while the Volt in Hamtrack, Michigan. General Motors is planning on manufacturing a new small-sized vehicle at the Orion, Michigan plant, north of Detroit, USA.

Also at the Flint factory, GM is manufacturing the powerful V6 3.6-liter power unit that equips the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Cadillac CTS / STS and the Chevrolet Traverse. These cars are assembled at the Lansing, Michigan plants.

Source: AutoNews.com

Chevrolet Cruze’s pricing not so attractive

Last month, when GM made the official announcement regarding the Chevrolet Cruze, everyone, including us, was pretty excited, because the car promises to be a good one. However, time passes and we find out more details about the cars, that kinda ruin our initial excitement. And we’re talking about the car’s pricing. Though no official prices were released so far by GM, Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper implied that, when it will enter the US market in 2010, the car will cost more than its Japanese competitors, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla.

“Value and price are offshoots of what consumers think about them, what they’re willing to pay for the products,” Peper said. “It’s obviously in our best interest if people think more of our products, the more the value that we provide.” Guess we’ll have to wait and see what exactly he’s talking about, before saying anything, but the pricing difference will probably be substantial, and this might hurt Cruze sales a lot.

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2010 Chevrolet Cruze interior spied

The 2010 Chevrolet Cruze global small car is scheduled to debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show in October. Meanwhile, we’ve got this interior photo of the car and we must say that we’re really impressed. The center console looks very ergonomical, while the whole interior looks quality stuff. We noticed the Daewoo badge on the steering wheel, so we assume this will probably be the Nubira replacement.

The Cruze is based on the Delta 2 platform (GM’s first car to use this platform) and is a part of GM’s plans to turn things around after the recent terrible results. The car wants to be an attractive, efficient and affordable car, and will be the starting point for many GM cars replacements like the HHR, the Cobalt and Opel’s Zafira.

Power for the U.S. version is expected to come from a 1.4L turbo four-cylinder that is expected to get a fuel economy of 40 mpg (5.88 litres/100km) on the highway and around 30mpg (7.8L/100km) in city use. The Chevrolet Cruze is scheduled to enter production in the U.S. in mid-2010 as a 2011 model.

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