Chevrolet Cruze hatchback – Click above for high-res image gallery

The long rumored Chevrolet Cruze hatchback was unveiled today by Holden, General Motors' Australian division. The five-door Cruze was designed and built at Holden's Port Melbourne design studio and will be shown publicly at the Paris Motor Show at the end of the month.

The hatchback features a forward sloping rear glass and a shorter rear overhang than the existing four-door sedan but significantly better access to the cargo space. The new body style is labeled as a global model – just like the sedan – but General Motors has not announced if it will come to the U.S. market. If the Cruze hatchback does make it to America, it will be the first C-segment hatchback from Chevrolet since the first-generation Cavalier ended production way back in 1988. GM will no doubt be watching the sales mix for the new Ford Focus, which is being offered as both a sedan and hatch in North America, before deciding. Holden will launch production of the Cruze hatchback down under in late 2011.

Update: Chevrolet has told AutoblogGreen that there are no current plans to offer the hatchback in the U.S. market.


Related GalleryChevrolet Cruze hatchback

[Source: General Motors]


PRESS RELEASE

New Hatchback is next chapter in Cruze success story
  • Cruze hatchback show car to be unveiled at Paris Motor Show
  • Hatchback showcar designed and built by Holden in Australia
  • New model to build on Cruze's global appeal

Holden's design talents will be showcased to the world next month when a five-door Cruze hatchback showcar is unveiled at the Paris Motor Show.

Chevrolet Europe has released the first images of the highly anticipated global model which was designed and built by Holden's Port Melbourne design studio.

The showcar with its sweeping coupe roofline and short overhangs is a precursor to a production model, also designed by Holden that will be built in several countries, including Australia where it will start product in late 2011.

Holden Chief Designer Richard Ferlazzo said the project had been a significant undertaking for the studio which had spent more than 12 months working with GM designers from around the world developing the hatch variant.

"Our brief was to create an alternative body style to the traditional sedan that retained the same dynamic proportions that has made Cruze such a success around the world," Mr Ferlazzo said.

"We are very proud of the result which will be tailored further for the Australian market and given an appearance consistent with the rest of the Holden portfolio next year."

The Holden Design Studio is an important part of General Motors global design network, as one of only three facilities in the world with the capability to design and build prototype concept vehicles for exhibitions and international auto shows.