CLEVELAND (April 21, 2010) — General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet brand is mating Goodyear's Fuel Max radials with lightweight forged aluminum wheels from Alcoa Automotive Wheels on its 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, a high-mileage version of the car maker's new compact.
Alcoa claims the 17-inch wheels GM selected are 20-percent lighter than comparable cast aluminum wheels, helping to reduce the car's weight. The Goodyear Assurance tire fitment size is 215/55R17. GM is promoting the six-speed Cruze Eco version as capable of 40 mpg on the highway.
The four-door hatchback Cruze Eco is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine rated at 138 hp. It also features aerodynamic tweaks such as a lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds to improve aerodynamics and opens at lower speeds to optimize engine-cooling airflow, GM said.
Forged aluminum wheels not only reduce mass to help lower emissions and fuel consumption, Alcoa said, they also improve driving performance and efficiency by reducing unsprung weight.
“Closely following the launch of our Volt wheel program, the Chevrolet team pursued a wheel providing light weight performance that would further extend fuel economy for this latest vehicle,” said Victor Marquez, vice president and general manager for Alcoa Auto Wheels.
Alcoa's contract for the Cruze is a multi-year deal, the company said. The wheels are made at Alcoa's Cleveland plant.
The Cruze is expected in dealers' showrooms this fall. GM has not released sales expectations for the vehicle, which it is pitching as an alternative to hybrids.