Drew Dowdell

Cruze Gains for 2012

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Chevrolet Cruze Gains for 2012

post-51-0-57703600-1305576257.jpg

Drew Dowdell - CheersandGears.com

May 16th, 2011

Being only one year on the market, we wouldn't expect too many changes for Chevy's new compact car. However, Chevy isn't going to sit still on this one. The biggest news is that on Cruze's equipped with the 1.4 liter turbo and automatic transmission gain 2mpg in highway fuel economy. Unfortunately, they don't explain how they do it. There are no axle ratio changes or engine updates listed. The final drive ratio is switching from 3.83 to a 3.53 while other cogs in the 6-speed auto are all getting different ratios as well. (scroll down in thread for details)

For those of you who want to row your own Cruze but aren't interested in all that greenie-weenie stuff included on the Eco, you can now buy the Cruze 1LT and 2LT with a 6-speed manual standard. The 2LT can be loaded up fairly nicely so you can now have a fun manual transmission without foregoing other creature comforts.

There also appears to be some seat changes for the front passengers as the 8 way seats have been replace with 6 way by deleting the seat bottom tilt. This could be a good thing or a bad thing as seat comfort was one of the more touchy areas in the Cruze.

The one thing the Cruze still doesn't have standard in base models? Cruise.

Source: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Online Ordering Guide

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I love a manual transmission, so this is pleasing news.

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+1 also but when in the hell are we EVER going to get a viable diesel option with that manual

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Also, DUH, where's the coupe bodystyle? Where's the dorky looking 5-door hatch? The changes all appear to be positive, but they're still not enough for a corporation with only 4 brands to sell.

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This is very promising... the push button go and cheaper NAV should make this even more competitive. Still eying a lightly used or end of year clearance LTZ in a couple years.

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They should have deleted the terrible base 1.8 while they were at it or at the very least improved it. Adding cruise control as an option on the base should have been a mandatory 2012 change!

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Chevrolet Cruze Gains for 2012

post-51-0-57703600-1305576257.jpg

Drew Dowdell - CheersandGears.com

May 16th, 2011

Being only one year on the market, we wouldn't expect too many changes for Chevy's new compact car. However, Chevy isn't going to sit still on this one. The biggest news is that on Cruze's equipped with the 1.4 liter turbo and automatic transmission gain 2mpg in highway fuel economy. Unfortunately, they don't explain how they do it. There are no axle ratio changes or engine updates listed...

Source: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Online Ordering Guide

Wrong. We know exactly how they did that... for 2012 they dropped the axle ratio on the 6-speed automatic transmission cars to 3.53:1 (FXH), it was 3.87:1 in the 2011 models. They could probably have topped 40 mpg if they went with the 2.87:1 axle ratio used by the Equinox or Malibu with the same 6T40 transmission, but that would cost more loss in peppiness than they think buyers would put up with.

Again, I am not a subscriber to the small displacement = great fuel economy argument. Gear ratios and reducing cylinder / valve count probably works out to be more significant. If going from 2.0 to 1.4 liters (30%) didn't do much, whereas going from 3.87 to 3.53 axle ratio (8.8%) is worth 2 mpg, what does that tell you? Imagine this... the Cruze could have had a 1.8 liter DI-VVT 3-cylinder based on the LFX V6 engine making about 160 hp @ 6800 rpm and 138 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm, all while running on regular 87. This compares favorably to the new Focus's 2.0 liter DI four with 160hp and 146 lb-ft, but with 1 less cylinder, 4 less valves and 0.2 liters less swept volume it will probably beat it fuel economy. Besides a 90hp/liter Three is really unique. It might even make a good engine for the SS version of the Sonic.

Edited by dwightlooi
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Chevrolet Cruze Gains for 2012

post-51-0-57703600-1305576257.jpg

Drew Dowdell - CheersandGears.com

May 16th, 2011

Being only one year on the market, we wouldn't expect too many changes for Chevy's new compact car. However, Chevy isn't going to sit still on this one. The biggest news is that on Cruze's equipped with the 1.4 liter turbo and automatic transmission gain 2mpg in highway fuel economy. Unfortunately, they don't explain how they do it. There are no axle ratio changes or engine updates listed...

Source: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Online Ordering Guide

Wrong. We know exactly how they did that... for 2012 they dropped the axle ratio on the 6-speed automatic transmission cars to 3.53:1 (FXH), it was 3.87:1 in the 2011 models. They could probably have topped 40 mpg if they went with the 2.87:1 axle ratio used by the Equinox or Malibu with the same 6T40 transmission, but that would cost more loss in peppiness than they think buyers would put up with.

Again, I am not a subscriber to the small displacement = great fuel economy argument. Gear ratios and reducing cylinder and valve count probably works out better. Imagine this... the Cruze could have had a 1.8 liter DI-VVT 3-cylinder based on the LFX V6 engine making about 160 hp @ 6800 rpm and 138 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm, all while running on regular 87. This compares favorably to the new Focus's 2.0 liter DI four with 160hp and 146 lb-ft, but with 1 less cylinder, 4 less valves and 0.2 liters less swept volume it will probably beat it fuel economy. Besides a 90hp/liter Three is really unique. It might even make a good engine for the SS version of the Sonic.

It just wasn't listed in the changes page:

This is how the 2012 Cruze transmission is on the ordering guide.

<table align="center" border="1" bordercolor="#999999" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="90%"><tbody><tr><td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">Transmission model</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">AUTOMATIC 6-SPEED HYDRA-MATIC 6T40</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">RPO Code</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">MH8</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">GEAR RATIOS</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> First </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">4.58</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Second </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">2.96</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Third </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">1.91</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Fourth </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">1.45</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Fifth </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">1.00</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Sixth </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">0.75</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Reverse </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">2.94</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">Transfer design</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">three-axis design, output chain</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">TORQUE CONVERTER</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Element types </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">Variable bleed solenoids</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">LUBRICANT CAPACITY (pints/litre)</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">MAX GVW(lbs/kg)</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">1932/876.3552</td></tr></tbody></table>

Here is the 2011 Transmission:

<table align="center" border="1" bordercolor="#999999" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="90%"><tbody><tr><td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">Transmission model</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">AUTOMATIC 6-SPEED HYDRA-MATIC 6T40</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">RPO Code</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">MH8</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">GEAR RATIOS</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> First </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">4.6</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Second </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">3.0</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Third </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">1.9</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Fourth </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">1.5</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Fifth </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">1.0</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Sixth </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">0.8</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Reverse </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">2.9</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">Transfer design</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">two-axis design, output chain</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">TORQUE CONVERTER</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Element types </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">Variable Bleed Solenoids</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">LUBRICANT CAPACITY (pints/litre)</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%"> Fluid Capacity </td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">8.21/3.884972</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="50%">MAX GVW(lbs/kg)</td><td align="center" valign="top" width="50%">4400/1995.84</td></tr></tbody></table>

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It just wasn't listed in the changes page:

Actually if you clicked on the link to the 2012 ordering guide, under STANDARD EQUIPMENT it states the axle ratio under "FXH Axle, 3.53 final drive ratio

1 - Included and only available with (MH8) 6-speed automatic transmission."

The 2011 Axle ratio is 3.83. So the new 2012 cars are getting taller gearing.

Edited by dwightlooi
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This is good news all around. The Cruze Eco is still my choice of the compact class.

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So, let me see if I understand correctly.. this is a change that can be flashed onto 2011 models as well, no?

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I don't think you can flash a differential ratio in the transmission unless you have it on board the Starship Enterprise & use the replicator. :AH-HA:

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I don't think you can flash a differential ratio in the transmission unless you have it on board the Starship Enterprise & use the replicator. :AH-HA:

Why? That's not an option? :AH-HA: Sorry, I don't know how this works... I thought maybe it was like some sort of computer programming that told the transmission where to shift or something.

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Nope physical steel gears need to be replaced in the differential section of the transmission.

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Nope physical steel gears need to be replaced in the differential section of the transmission.

Interesting. So from a performance standpoint, how does it change the car's driving characteristics?

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Nope physical steel gears need to be replaced in the differential section of the transmission.

It does make me question why its 2011 and we don't have CVDs... Continuously Variable Differentials. Or at least a two speed diff, that could provide added economy or performance.

Obviously weight is a factor and 6,8,14 speed transmissions negate some of the benefit.

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Nope physical steel gears need to be replaced in the differential section of the transmission.

Interesting. So from a performance standpoint, how does it change the car's driving characteristics?

Generally, it hurts it, unless the engine has a ton of grunt.

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Nope physical steel gears need to be replaced in the differential section of the transmission.

It does make me question why its 2011 and we don't have CVDs... Continuously Variable Differentials. Or at least a two speed diff, that could provide added economy or performance.

Obviously weight is a factor and 6,8,14 speed transmissions negate some of the benefit.

Because that means adding a shaft to the transmission and it takes up a lot of room. If you are going to put up with the added size, weight and complexity you won't put the shaft next to the differential, you'll put it in the transmission itself and turn it into a 8 or 9-speed. In fact this is exactly what they are doing... the 8-speed boxes tend to have a ratio spread of between 7.0 and 7.5, which is better than than 5.9~6.05 we see in 6-speed autos. That one point is roughly equivalent to being able to switch between a 2.9 and 3.5 axle ratio.

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Nope physical steel gears need to be replaced in the differential section of the transmission.

It does make me question why its 2011 and we don't have CVDs... Continuously Variable Differentials. Or at least a two speed diff, that could provide added economy or performance.

Obviously weight is a factor and 6,8,14 speed transmissions negate some of the benefit.

Because that means adding a shaft to the transmission and it takes up a lot of room.

Why do you need an extra shaft between the diff and transmission? Is this how the big truck multispeed diffs work?

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Nope physical steel gears need to be replaced in the differential section of the transmission.

Interesting. So from a performance standpoint, how does it change the car's driving characteristics?

Generally, it hurts it, unless the engine has a ton of grunt.

Or you lower the ratios for 1st - 4th... which is what Chevy did. Take off should be about the same. It will be more shift happy in 6th on hills

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Boss' wife is picking up her 2011 Cruze on Thursday evening, a tan LT.

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Why do you need an extra shaft between the diff and transmission? Is this how the big truck multispeed diffs work?

The Axle ratio is basically the difference in the diameter between the transmission output gear and the differential's ring gear. You can have your choice of ratios, but only one at time is possible. To make it 2-speed you need to introduce a shaft in between the two. The transmission output carries two gears which permanently engages two free spinning gears on the shaft. A set of dog gears slide up and down the shaft so you can select between the two. This intermediate shaft then drives the differential ring gear at a fixed ratio. Basically, it's a 2-speed manual transmission where one of the shaft is the transmission output, the other is the intemediate shaft and the differential is still the differential. You can do this or you can introduce a planetary set with clutch packs. Either way you need to put something between the transmission output shaft and the differential ring gear if you what more than a single fixed ratio.

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Why do you need an extra shaft between the diff and transmission? Is this how the big truck multispeed diffs work?

The Axle ratio is basically the difference in the diameter between the transmission output gear and the differential's ring gear. You can have your choice of ratios, but only one at time is possible. To make it 2-speed you need to introduce a shaft in between the two. The transmission output carries two gears which permanently engages two free spinning gears on the shaft. A set of dog gears slide up and down the shaft so you can select between the two. This intermediate shaft then drives the differential ring gear at a fixed ratio. Basically, it's a 2-speed manual transmission where one of the shaft is the transmission output, the other is the intemediate shaft and the differential is still the differential. You can do this or you can introduce a planetary set with clutch packs. Either way you need to put something between the transmission output shaft and the differential ring gear if you what more than a single fixed ratio.

Ah... I was thinking in terms of a conventional RWD drivetrain, and I thought you meant you needed a second shaft externally in addition to the driveshaft. I agree that it is basically a 2 speed manual transmission, but I was trying to think in terms of a CVT, as applied to a differential... controlled electronically.

Again, probably not something worth the effort.

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Nope physical steel gears need to be replaced in the differential section of the transmission.

Interesting. So from a performance standpoint, how does it change the car's driving characteristics?

Generally, it hurts it, unless the engine has a ton of grunt.

Ouch.

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