Chevrolet Cruze Eco Gets Automatic Transmission

Just the Facts:

  • GM will offer a six-speed automatic in the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco.
  • Initially GM said only a manual would be available.
  • Fuel economy numbers with the automatic will be released closer to launch.

DETROIT — General Motors will offer the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco with a six-speed automatic transmission. This is a change from the previously announced plan to give the fuel-efficiency-slanted model a six-speed manual transmission only.

Engineers working on the Cruze acknowledged to media on Friday that the car may lose a slight amount of fuel economy with the automatic. GM has been saying the Cruze Eco will get 40 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission. City mileage figures, and fuel economy numbers with the automatic, will be released closer to launch, GM says.

The Cruze Eco was unveiled earlier this year at the 2010 New York Auto Show. It has a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo engine that makes 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque.

General Motors vehicle line director Chuck Russell said in a test-track video that the Cruze will have “European-like ride and handling, very different from cars we’ve had in the segment in the past.” The Cruze is already sold in global markets throughout Asia and Europe.