At the New York Auto Show later this week Chevrolet will debut their new super fuel-efficient mid-size sedan, the Cruze Eco. Clocking in at 40 mpg without hybrid technology means great gas mileage without the hefty hybrid price tag. Along with the fuel-efficiency news Chevy announced that all North American Cruze models will be produced in Ohio. The heightened production will create 1,200 new jobs to support the 2011 launch. Coupled with the Chevy Volt this new model adds to Chevrolet’s eco-auto cred.

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Chevy says the Cruze Eco is, “powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine with variable valve timing that achieves an estimated 40 mpg on the highway when combined with a six-speed manual transmission.” The model also sports improved aerodynamics and lightweight wheels that assist in improving the vehicle’s efficiency. Chevy invested $350 million into their Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant — where all 1,200 new jobs will be located — to ramp up production efficiently. The 40 mpg of the Cruze Eco is better than comparably sized hybrids on the market now — like the Nissan Altima Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Honda Accord Hybrid.

Electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt are a more plausible long-term solution to our petroleum driven automotive problems but the Chevy Cruze Eco is a great mid-point. We don’t yet have the country-wide infrastructure to support a complete American electric fleet. Until we build that we need short term solutions. The Chevy Cruze Eco is proof that the American automotive industry has the information they need to create fuel efficient cars now without the price tag that recent hybrids have pushed on consumer’s wallets. Cheers to Chevy for making a green fleet. We can’t wait to see the Cruze and the Volt roll out on the streets.

+ Chevrolet

Via USA Today