Chevrolet Cruze wins WTCC, coming to GCC
Failing brand Chevrolet is rejoicing again after minor victories in motorsports. Following a WTCC triumph in Marrakech earlier in the month, the Cruze won both races of the Race of France that took place on the extremely demanding street of Pau in southern France, extending the team’s winning run to four. Drivers Rob Huff, Alain Menu and Nicola Larini secured top honours for the gold bowtie on May 3 in Morocco after taking the new car to the track for the first time in the opening round in Curitiba, Brazil on March 8.
The WTCC features cars close to regular production specification and the championship’s tag-line, ‘real cars, real racing’, encapsulates both the spirit of the WTCC and Chevrolet’s approach to competition. It is one of only three official FIA-sanctioned world championships, alongside Formula One and the World Rally Championship.
This is Chevrolet’s fifth year in the WTCC and the Cruze is its first contender having been designed from the outset with a competition application in mind. The Cruze race car cuts a distinctive presence in this year’s WTCC.
It benefits from some of the road car’s fundamental design advantages, including a wider track, close-to-the-ground stance and a stiffer body structure that promise better handling, improved aerodynamic performance and a greater sensitivity to set-up changes. Great care has also been taken to reduce weight for the race circuit.
The all-new Chevrolet Cruze sedan, due in Middle East showrooms later this year, raises the bar for design appeal, build quality and running refinement in the Middle East’s compact value segment. Backed by an anticipated high level EuroNCAP crash safety rating and an all-new powertrain line-up, the Cruze also heralds the introduction of a new global design language for the Chevrolet brand. The Cruze has been co-operatively engineered at GM facilities in Germany, the United States, Australia and Korea. In key areas, such as the body structure, suspension, safety and electrical systems, engineers have drawn on GM ‘best practices’ around the world.
‘Competition is in our genes’ is an expression often used at Chevrolet. The brand has been active in motor sport since the early 20th century and, apart from collecting numerous victories and titles, the aim has been to use competition experience as a proving ground for new technologies and innovations.
In the Middle East since the 1920s, GM’s vehicle brands sold in the region are Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, HUMMER and Saab supported by a unique set of customer-focused services. GM parts and accessories are sold under the GM Parts and ACDelco brands. The regional office in Dubai covers the company’s operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Yemen. In 2008, GM sold 144, 485 vehicles in the Middle East, a 6% increase over 2007.