Volt, Cruze lead charge at reconstituted GM

Chevrolet Volt.



Volt

Chevrolet Volt.

Chevrolet Cruze.



Cruze

Chevrolet Cruze.

Chevrolet Camaro.



Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro.

Chevrolet Silverado HD.



Silverado HD

Chevrolet Silverado HD.

Buick Regal.



Regal

Buick Regal.

QUICKREAD

Chevrolet cars

chevrolet.com

Hot news for 2011: It’s the year of the Volt, billed as the most revolutionary automobile of all time, but there’s also the new Cruze that replaces the Cobalt; Camaro convertible launches in early 2011; Corvette has new packages; new Caprice cop car carries DNA of Pontiac G8 . . . will it wind up as a production ride outside of law enforcement?.

Carryover: Aveo; Corvette; HHR; Impala; Malibu

Gone: Cobalt

Starting line

•  If the only thing Chevrolet was doing for the 2011 model year was launching the Volt electric car, that would be enough, especially considering the investment dollars tied up in technologies that have never found their way into a mass-produced car. However, Chevrolet is also ousting the Cobalt small car in favor of the brand-new Cruze, while at the same time prepping a convertible version of the Camaro for early 2011. You had to expect big things from the reconstituted General Motors and, well, you’re looking at it. The concept behind the compact four-door-sedan Volt is relatively simple. The onboard batteries provide power to the electric motor for about 40 miles of combined city/highway driving, after which a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline generator engine kicks in to charge the lithium-ion battery pack. Total range is an estimated 300 miles before the generator engine needs refueling with premium gas or the 400-pound T-shaped battery located beneath the floor needs charging. “Fuel economy” is an obsolete term as it pertains to the Volt, although it’s claimed that the operational cost per mile with electricity is a fraction of that of a regular internal combustion engine. When the generator is called in to charge the batteries, the common number used is 50 mpg. The generator engine is rated at 60 kilowatts, or the equivalent of 80 horsepower, while the electric motor produces 111 kilowatts (150 horsepower) and 273 pound-feet of torque. A single-speed controller replaces a traditional transmission to engage the front drive wheels. Commuters who want to simply charge up the Volt each night for the next day’s drive can plug into a standard 120-volt electrical outlet that charges the batteries in about 10 hours. However that time is cut to three to four hours when using the optional 240-volt charging “station”.Volt pricing is pegged at hefty-but-expected $41,000, less any government rebates. Standard content includes climate and cruise control, premium Bose audio system, navigation package and eight standard airbags (including front-passenger knee bags). Not coincidentally, Volt’s four-cylinder engine is built in the same plant that produces the new Cruze’s optional engine although for this use it’s turbocharged to put out 138 horsepower since it actually drives the wheels, unlike the Volt. The base Cruze engine is a 138-horsepower non-turbocharged 1.8-liter unit. As a replacement for the Cobalt, the Cruze is similar in size, but there’s a two-inch gain in wheelbase and a nearly three-inch increase in width. The car features a tidy interior and a class-leading total of 10 airbags, including driver and passenger-side knee airbags plus rear side-impact airbags. Expect a hatchback version of the Cruze to make an appearance for the 2012 model year. At the other end of the range — way at the other end — the Corvette is available in new ZO6 Carbon and GT1 packages, both of which relay a sense of racetrack preparedness with the GT1 paying homage to the C6.R racing Corvettes.

Base prices (incl. destination)

Aveo: Tiny hatchback/sedan; $12,700

Camaro: Two-door time machine; $23,500

Corvette: Two-door coupe; $49,900

Corvette: Two-door convertible; $54,550

Corvette: Grand Sport coupe; $55,700

Corvette: ZO6 coupe; $75,300

Corvette: ZR1 coupe; $112,000

Cruze: Compact sedan; $17,000

HHR: Four-door wagon; $19,400

Impala: Full-size sedan; $25,200

Malibu: Mid-sized sedan; $22,700

Volt: Compact electric sedan; $41,000



Buick has a few pleasant surprises in store for consumers for 2011 in the form of the Buick Regal and the Buick LaCrosse, two sedans that may change the way people think about Buick.

The Regal was discontinued in 2004, but has been redesigned, reinvigorated and resurrected with the 2011 model. Although it’s billed as a family sedan, it could just as easily be called a sports sedan. The six-speed automatic transmission, paired with either the 2.4-liter, 182-horsepower engine or a turbocharged 2.0 liter, 220 horsepower engine, gives the car plenty of pop and makes driving a Buick a pleasant little thrill.

“It’s part of Buick’s brand new line,” said Seth Rosa, sales manager for Ed Bozarth. “They’re appealing to a younger generation.”

Likewise, the LaCrosse appeals to those who’ve always enjoyed the smooth ride and plush interior of a Buick. The luxury sedan has proved to be a hit with Buick customers and converts, who are pleased with the performance and style of the vehicle.

Ed Bozarth has LaCrosse models on the showroom floor and expects to get its first shipment of Regal models soon.

For 2011, Chevrolet is introducing the Cruze, an entry-level sedan that enjoys the best fuel economy in its class, rated up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway. Standard features on the base model include 16-inch steel wheels, OnStar, a 60/40-split rear seat, a trip computer and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. The more deluxe models feature a turbocharged engine, leather seats, remote vehicle start, heated seats, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and rear park assist.

With a base price of $16,995, Chevy expects to win the comparison against the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic.

The Chevy Equinox was redesigned in 2010, and consumers couldn’t get enough of the small SUV.

“We could have sold more, but we didn’t have enough at the time,” said Rosa. “Now, we’re getting a steady supply.”

The Equinox offers an array of incredible standard features including OnStar with one year safe and sound plan, XM radio with three trial months, variable assist power steering and mulitflex rear seating. It also has the best fuel economy in its class, with an estimated 32 mpg on the highway.

The best-selling vehicle at Ed Bozarth Chevrolet has been the Silverado, and the dealer expects customers to get excited about the new 2500 HD Duramax Silverado. When talking trucks, HD doesn’t mean high definition, Harley Davidson or Home Depot. It stands for heavy duty, and the new 2500 is built for heavy duty work, hauling and towing. With a standard 6.0-liter V8 that produces 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission, the new truck is meant to be a workhorse. The optional Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel is an entire stable. The pickup is available in regular, extended or crew cab configurations.

The dealership has 2011 models on the floor now.

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