GM’s Most Fuel Efficient Car Coming to Chicago

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And some info about the radio… You have a selection to setup 1, 2 or 3 pages of favorites (6 per page). With AM/FM and XM, you will surely use all 18 and unfortunately, each does not include their own 18 favorites. In Chicago, I have more than 18 AM/FM stations I wanted top preset and had to delete some for XM’s The Blend, a Mix channel, 80’s on8 and 90’s on 9. Still way more than most and a pretty easy setup to get to them from either the steering wheel mounted control or through the favorites button on the radio controls.

    While I detest Remote Start as it is a total waste of fuel, it does have an auto shut off feature. The Cruze ECO does not have it and I doubt any MT equipped Cruze’s do but at least after10-minutes, it will shut down unless forced one more time though a Key Fob button.

    And one of those gee, that was a great idea add-ons! GM has a really nifty addition to the Cruze’s Owner’s Manual entitled “Why Seat Belts Work”. Maybe all GM vehicles have these but it has been a very long time since I opened up a GM Owner’s Manual. In any case, I think most will agree that these two pages are possibly the most important in the entire book when it comes to explaining to the older folks that simply do not get it…

    2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Simplicity at its finest!​

    There are even more graphics and simple descriptions showing where and how the belt should be adjusted with a cutout of a person and his or her skeleton showing. Just brilliant and I wish more manuals had these simple descriptions and pictures in them for all our sakes.

    Wayne
     
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    While there is a ton of stuff in the manual for everyone to learn something from, the only other additional tidbits not covered above were used to fill out the spec sheet and that the Cruze ECO with AT/MT is flat towable at up to 65 mph.

    Engine Oil: 5W-30 Dexos is spec’ed and I am not sure the latest ILSAC GF-5 Mobil 5W-20 is able to be used or not? Even in colder temps, the 10W-30 Dexos is spec'ed down to - 20 degrees F before you can move to a 0W-30 Dexos.

    Handling: The Cruze ECO has this Z-Link (whatever that is) removed. Maybe it’s a simple stabilizer bar of some sort? In any case, the chassis is stiff enough and even with the GoodYear Assurances, this thing handles very well indeed. Why GM is not placing the Cruze ECO’s weight reduction features including the lowered suspension and Z-Link removal on the rest of the Cruze’s is beyond me? The average consumer is NEVER GOING TO NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE between the Cruze ECO and the std. Cruze LTZ’s ride and handling and except for the lack of a spare tire and the rear center armrest, every single Cruze trim should be ECO equipped and not through some special package :( The ECO package is really that good. Whether it is worth the extra $'s or not, we'll do a comparo paragraph or two this weekend.

    I took it out for a little run of my local gauntlet tonight. 20 stop lights within 5-miles on Rt. 43 through Waukegan and into Lake Bluff. It is where I earned my stripes in the early days so it is always great to go back through there and battle the lights at rush hour… Anyway, 57 mpg out from cold and only 47 coming back while throwing the book at it both ways. If you get nabbed by 3 or more of those lights, you can kiss a segment goodbye. I got caught at 2 on the way out and it was just a Smart Brake to get through but caught 5 on the way back and 2 just after a pulse :ccry: I recovered one with an quick hit alternate but there are few alternates along this route… Talk about throwing it away :rolleyes:

    The FE is being measured by the 11.2% negative offset SG-II to cover the advanced techniques. While I doubt the 48-state FE WR record has anything to worry about, in mid-summer, I bet the Cruze could come close. I will do some driving tomorrow to come up with a max but she’s a bit to heavy of a girl to really attack the B and C-Segment wonders at full on driving or the full-Hybrids around town. We’ll see what she offers if the conditions are good tomorrow… All of course being conducted in the low 30’s which takes 7 to 10 mpg from her actual maximums if it were 70 degrees and sunny with no winds to harm or add to her capabilities ;)

    And while I was the first to crack open this Cruze ECO's manual, they are really worth a few hours to go over. In addition, this is why it is a good thing we usually have 7-days to go through all of this stuff. While most reviews on the net are nothing more than flowery impressions (and some that are written really well if I do say so myself), I miss all of this other stuff. Let me know if it is too much detail as this is the way “I think” a Review Blog should be documented vs. the stuff that others upload.

    The Cruze ECO is turning out to be a darn nice highway cruiser thanks to the tall ratios and safe beyond reproach! Safety for everyone with those 10-airbags ready to save yours and anyone sitting anywhere within the car's life if heaven forbid you are in an unavoidable situation leading to a crash and airbag deployment. I doubt the mighty 12 Focus or 11 Elantra can compete on a g to g comparison even if they both reach 5 Stars on the NHTSA's 2011 tests or not!

    Good Luck

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  3. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Re: GM’s Most Fuel Efficient Car Coming to Chicago

    The Z-Link is a variation of the familiar Watts Linkage.

    Cars with trailing arms and a simple beam axle in the rear have a few options for lateral location (side to side) of the axle. The simplest method is a torsion beam, which is the placement of the "axle" further forward so the trailing arms and beam form a rigid "H" shape (when viewed from above). While it's simple and cheap, the bushings for the trailing arms need to be stiffer so the "H" shaped assembly can't flex and cause toe errors.

    On larger cars, the next stop would be a track bar, which attaches at one end to the beam axle, and to the subframe or car body at the other end. The disadvantage to this setup is that the bar must push/pull the axle left/right as the axle moves up and down and the track bar follows the arc around its pivot on the subframe/body mount.

    The best solution is the Watts Link, which uses two bars connected to the subframe near the wheels, while their inner ends are connected to via a link to the beam axle. That central link is placed diagonally when the car is at normal ride height, so the two bars and that central link would look like a "Z" when viewed from the rear. The advantage to the Z-Link (Watts Link) is good lateral location of the axle, which in turn allows the softer trailing arm bushings (for better ride and NVH reduction) while minimizing toe error. Unlike the track bar, there is very little lateral push/pull during vertical axle movement.

    GM's Z-Link differs from a typical Watts setup in that the two bars are attached to the axle at their outer ends and the vertical linkage is in the center, attached to the frame.
     
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Chris:

    The extra 35 or so pounds (or whatever it weighs) to lose some NVH and gain a slightly better rise with softer trailing arm bushings may be worth it? And again, the extra 35 pounds for the Z-Link, the extra 5 pounds for the rear center armrest... It is not going to show up as a FE hit for the average Joe or Jane Q.

    GM, just do this already! Taller ratios and if need be, spread them out if you have to but do this for your sake and the rest of us! We need big FE now and your Cruze ECO offers it up in spades by comparison to the regular Cruze LT and LTZ’s :(

    I wonder if GM could touch 29/43 city/highway with DI and another 50 + pounds taken from the structure somewhere?

    Wayne
     
  5. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    I'm not sure where they'd find that other 50 pounds of fat to trim. They actually developed a method to shave the welds on the body seams to save a couple of pounds. They developed presses that could stamp body and frame parts to have varying thickness to get lighter panels while maintaining crashworthiness and durabilty. The only thing I could think of would be to remove the infotainment and air conditioning. But there's no way a car would sell in any volume in this "Sweatin In Silence" configuration.

    On the flip side, I don't know why GM didn't just take their brilliant weight reduction technology and just use it on every Cruze that rolls down the line. My guess - maybe the production equipment used for the Eco model is more expensive and can't handle the volume (number of presses before overhaul) or takes too long (trimming the seams) and so it is not practical for a volume product?

    Leaving DI out was a cost issue for sure. Here's hoping they will roll out DI as the development and tooling costs are amortized and they are making enough money on them to throw a few bucks into the powertrain.

    I have come across some GM patents for 8 and 9 speed automatic transaxles, and the overdrive ratios are very interesting. Who knows if such a design could be a secret weapon to boost the Eco automatic version past 40mpg.
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Chris:

    GM can and will be removing weight as time goes on. It is the next bastion of tech heading towards us from all the manufacturers… GM only needs to look at their comp as the 11 Elantra Limited with the 6-speed AT and every known option including the sunroof weighs 132 pounds less than the Cruze ECO w/ a stick with the base 12 Focus coming in at 100 pounds less. Hyundai uses its own internally sourced HS steel structure which gives it an advantage up against the Cruze ECO’s outside sourced HS steel.

    As discussed earlier, DI had to be left out for the $100 up charge just as it was left out of the 11 Elantra :( The 12 Focus has the advantage here with more power from initial tip in all the way to redline but it is due more to its 2.0L mill then the DI. The DI however surely helps the std. Focus keep the Elantra and Cruze ECO in sight from the FE perspective with the SFE matching or besting the lot when AT’s are figured into the equation.

    Wayne
     
  7. joesgot4

    joesgot4 Well-Known Member

    wayne, if i were GM,FORD,HYUNDAI,TOYOTA,MAZDA,NISSAN,DODGE, OR HONDA there would be a fight to get you on my company's payroll! have you ever considered getting a job with one of them as an adviser or something so you can teach people or advise on fuel efficiency!
     
  8. southerncannuck

    southerncannuck Well-Known Member

    Re: GM’s Most Fuel Efficient Car Coming to Chicago

    I think that if the designers start thinking that a few pounds matter they will shave a lot of weight. A few pounds at the time.
     
  9. LadySpirit

    LadySpirit Member

    Re: GM’s Most Fuel Efficient Car Coming to Chicago

    Wayne:

    The red car against the house with the trees is a great picture. Distance is the key from the object of interest to the background. Beautiful picture.

    Mom
     
  10. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Hyundai managed to bring the elantra in much lighter then the Cruze. 350 lb less than even the lightened ECO Cruze. (link) (link) They're nearly identical in size and volume, too. Somewhere in there there are more weight savings to be had.
     
  11. joesgot4

    joesgot4 Well-Known Member

    alright when are we getting an update on the mpg numbers?
     
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Joe:

    I had too much work yesterday so the Cruze ECO did not even leave the driveway :( I may be heading up to Miller Park and back for some pics later this afternoon however.

    Wayne
     
  13. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    Re: GM’s Most Fuel Efficient Car Coming to Chicago

    Will you be around to record this week's podcast this evening?
     
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Kacey:

    I just got home...

    A lot of pics and info to go up tonight but per Joe's request, here are some of the details...

    Temps from 28 to 37 degrees F with ~ 20% city/suburban and 80% Interstate. Winds were out of the East which is a straight on cross wind while heading both North and South.

    From the previous top off to the one I just finished up, the Trip 1/2 showed 133.0 miles which matched the ODO at 2,087 to start and 2,220 to finish. Take off the 1.5% overage that the OEM displays vs. actual per the Odometer study and we have 131.005 miles traveled.

    I topped off with 2.212 gallons for a 59.22 mpg actual average using basic, intermediate and some advanced techniques when and where appropriate.

    More to come but let us say her P&G capabilities are almost nill as the small engine is consuming to much fuel during a Pulse to make that advanced regimen work out. 47 to 49 mpg is all she is worth with little to no impediments in poor (37 degree and 10 mph side wind conditions.

    Wayne
     
  15. uabcar

    uabcar Well-Known Member

    Re: GM’s Most Fuel Efficient Car Coming to Chicago

    Hey Wayne - what kind of speeds were you maintaining on the highway segment?
     
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Uabcar:

    The average for the entire second tank was 38.9 mph. I snapped a pic and will post it later.

    This second measured tank consisted of mostly 45 to 62 mph highway speeds, < 25 mph avg. suburban speeds and < 20 mph avg. city speeds plus some 0 mph stops on the Interstate with lane closures up near Miller Park and coming back out again.

    Wayne
     
  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Remember when I was writing about the 12 Volt being really high? Here is a pic caught at near peak from the MFD. The highest peak I saw per the SG-II was 14.9 which corresponded to 15.2 on the OEM MFD.

    2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO

    [​IMG]
    14.7 per the SG-II and 15.1 per the Cruze MFD at this instant.​

    Good Luck

    Wayne
     
  18. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    That doesn't throw an over-voltage light?

    I wouldn't want to plug anything into that car.

    Also, wouldn't a smart alternator allow it to reduce the alternator's load on the engine?
     
  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Uabcar:

    Here is the second tank avg. speed pic with 20% city/suburban and 80% highway.

    2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO

    [​IMG]

    Wayne
     
  20. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    Re: GM’s Most Fuel Efficient Car Coming to Chicago

    I understand, just have to shut the studio down earlier at this house, vs the free-for-all allowed at my first bachelor pad
     

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