Following the Australian market launch of the locally made and subtly refreshed Cruze Series II Sedan in March, GM’s Holden division announced today that it has began testing the five-door hatchback version of the subcompact model to fine tune the car before its introduction later this year. Holden also released two new photos of the Cruze hatch, which was designed by the firm’s Port Melbourne design studio.
General Motors previewed the Cruze hatch as a thinly disguised concept car with Chevy’s bowtie logo in early 2010, while the production model made its world premiere at this year’s Geneva Salon. As with the sedan model, the only visible styling differences with Chevrolet’s version of the Cruze hatch concern the front grille and bumper designs.
Holden is still keeping mum on the technical details, but it’s safe to assume that the hatchback’s engine range will mirror that of the Cruze II sedan. One of the cars pictured in the official photographs is equipped with a diesel engine, probably the same 2.0-liter turbo diesel with 161HP and 360 Nm of peak torque offered in the update four-door Cruze.
Other engine choices are likely to include a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline unit and a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated gasoline unit, both delivering 138-horsepower. A hotted up model with the 'SS' moniker sporting Opel's 180HP 1.6-liter Turbo is also said to be in the cards for the future.
The new Holden Cruze hatch will be manufactured at GM’s Port Elizabeth plant in Adelaide, with the first examples expected to reach showrooms in the fourth quarter of the year.