General Motors used the 2014 Beijing auto show for the world premiere of the next generation Chevrolet Cruze while Shanghai GM launched the Chevrolet Trax, what the brand calls its “new urban SUV”, for the Chinese market. The Trax is Chevy’s version of the Opel Mokka, which is also sold in Buick livery as the Encore. The Encore has done so well in the U.S. market that GM has had to juggle production at its Korean and Spanish plants to keep up with demand. The Trax will eventually come to America, where GM hopes it will repeat the Encore’s success. If it does, some of that success may come at the cost of cannibalizing some Encore sales.
The Cruze is the first vehicle to be based on GM’s all new D2XX architecture, which replaces the Delta platform. It’s also the first application of the new-generation Ecotec small displacement four cylinder engines developed jointly by GM and its Chinese partner, SAIC. The direct injected engine will be available in either 1.5 liter naturally aspirated form with 113 hp and 108 lb.-ft. of torque, or a 1.4 liter turbocharged motor with more power, 140 hph, and 173 lb.-ft. of torque. Also all new and jointly developed by GM and SAIC is the new Cruze’s 7 speed dual clutch gearbox. The Cruze will also be available with the latest 3rd generation of GM’s S6 6 speed automated manual as well as an all new 6 speed manual developed in Europe. GM claims that the new drivetrains will yield “best-in-class fuel economy, ride comfort, emissions and quiet performance.”
The Trax will come with 18 inch wheels, a 1.4 liter turbocharged engine and what is likely the same six speed automated manual that will be available in the new Cruze. Intelligent all-wheel-drive system will also be offered, along with a suite of 8 safety systems including stability control, curve braking control and rollover mitigation. Inside, the Trax features a 7 inch full color touch screen with the latest version of Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system.