Although it is striking from a design perspective, the unveiling of the Cruze hatch concept is a bit of a disappointment. The car is little more than a rebadged version of the concept shown at last September's Paris Motor Show, and means Australian consumers will have to wait until later in the year to get a good look at the production model, which is already on sale in the UK and Korea in Chevrolet guise. (Some pre-production images of that car can be found in the gallery below.)
The Australian-designed and Australian-made Holden Cruze hatch will become one of the most important cars in the country when it hits showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year. The Cruze hatch will be built alongside the Cruze sedan (and the Commodore and Caprice) at the Holden Vehicle Operations plant in Elizabeth, South Australia.
The hatchback range is expected to mirror the Holden Cruze Series II sedan range, consisting of the CD, CDX, SRi and SRi-V model variants.
The sedan's drivetrains are also expected to carry over. The Cruze sedan is offered with three engines (104kW/176Nm 1.8-litre petrol, 103kW/200Nm 1.4-litre turbo petrol and 120kW/360Nm 2.0-litre diesel) and three transmissions (five- and six-speed manual, and six-speed automatic).
Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mike Devereux, said the addition of the hatch was expected to push the Cruze further up the sales charts in 2012.
"Cruze has been a stand-out success, from the moment it launched it quickly became one of the country’s favourite nameplates,” Mr Devereux said.
“We achieved this sales success with only one body style, so we’re looking forward to adding this great looking hatch to the range and seeing Cruze go from strength to strength. We think the hatch will hit a sweet spot with buyers looking for great design, versatility and practicality."
Full pricing and specification details of the 2012 Holden Cruze hatch will be revealed closer to the vehicle's launch in the fourth quarter of this year.
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