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Chevrolet Cruze RS hot hatch “absolutely” has potential

The new Cruze hatchback was shown in RS guise, but unlike Chevrolet’s arch-rival Ford, with its Focus RS, the bowtie version is more about looking sporty than offering enormous performance.

That isn’t to suggest that a hotter version won’t eventuate, though. Chevrolet executive vice president Alan Batey indicated at the 2016 Detroit show that a faster version of the Cruze hatch is on the cards.

“We’ve really positioned this as sporty, and to appeal to those young, fashion-conscious consumers that are looking for something in the compact segment,” he said, with the Cruze’s 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine (with 114kW of power and 240Nm of torque) a standard fit for the US market.

When asked if there is potential for a performance model – with a big engine – to come, he said: “Yes – for sure, for sure”.

Batey went on to talk about the fact the car is built on a global architecture that allows engine sharing between compact models, and so a proper hardcore version is “absolutely” possible.

“This is a vehicle we’ve developed specifically to be sporty, to be stylish, and we think the hatchback philosophy delivers on that,” he said.

When asked when we could expect that sort of car, Batey remained tight-lipped.

“We’ve got nothing to announce at this point apart from what we’ve said today.

Batey went on to suggest that he expects the different designs of the Cruze hatch and sedan to appeal to different buyers.

Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

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