Chevrolet Cruze Eco is fuel efficient hybrid-like

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Chevrolet revealed the compact 2011 Cruze Eco with its new high-efficiency Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine and variable valve timing. The 2011 Cruze Eco achieves a blistering estimated 40 mpg on the highway in a six-speed manual transmission, and that is comparable to some hybrid cars such as the Ford Fusion.

“The Cruze Eco delivers hybrid-like efficiency without the price tag,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet marketing. “Along with the Volt electric vehicle, it demonstrates how Chevrolet is working to bring new products to market that range from gas-friendly to gas-free.”

Although city mgp on the 2011 Cruze Eco hasn’t been published, we guess that it would be around 32 mpg in the city. GM announced that the city fuel economy rating will be finalized closer to launch time of the 2011 Cruze Eco.

Other enhancements to improve fuel efficiency include enhance its aerodynamics, minimize weight and reduce rolling resistance, a lowered ride height, a lower front air dam extension, and a lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds to improve aerodynamics and opens at lower speeds to optimize engine-cooling airflow.

You wouldn’t buy this car for speed but just for just for fun, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco can muster from 0-60 mph in about 10 seconds with the manual transmission and nine seconds with the six-speed automatic.

With gas prices soaring and a hybrid car is not cheap either, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a viable option for the hybrid alternative.  Optional RS appearance package for Cruze LT and LTZ trim levels are also available.  And it will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010. Jump to press release below to see more details of other trims.