Chevy has 12 World Touring Car Championships under its belt already, and the company is gunning for another with its new WTCC-prepped and stickered Chevy Cruze. Yes, you heard that right — the econobox you can't ignore is undergoing testing and engineering right now with a scheduled debut at Curitiba, Brazil during the opening race of the 2009 season. Chevy appears to be aiming for consistency, with the same team and drivers they've previously used arming up for battle with the new Cruze. We'll see how competitive the new car is on March 8, when the 2009 season kicks off. Full release after the jump.
CHEVROLET PRESENTS NEW CRUZE FOR 2009 WTCC To Continue Chevrolet’s World Touring Car Success ZÜRICH / WELLINGBOROUGH – Chevrolet Europe has shown the first glimpse of the marque’s 2009 World Touring Car Championship contender, today. The all-new Chevrolet Cruze, which recently premiered at the Paris Motor Show, will continue Chevrolet’s presence in the WTCC, in which the marque so far has won twelve world championship races. Testing of the new race car – which is the first to start Chevrolet’s new design language in Europe – has already started and is on schedule, and will continue throughout the remainder of the current season and the coming winter. Developed, built, run and driven by the same team and drivers, the Cruze will be all but guaranteed the same speed, reliability and success. The Chevrolet Cruze’s first competitive outing will be in Brazil at the opening round of the 2009 WTCC in Curitiba. In 2009, the WTCC will again visit twelve tracks, in South and Central-America, Africa, Europe and the Far-East. # QUOTES Wayne Brannon: “Chevrolet has motorsport is deeply embedded in our DNA. With the new Cruze World Touring Car, Chevrolet continues to embrace its long tradition of winning on and off the track.. In the past four seasons, Chevrolet had distinguished itself in racing with an increasing number of victories, not so different from the record sales growth which has developed in Europe. Again this year, sales are up by 23 percent in the first six month, and we are very proud that customers are choosing us in record numbers. For our European dealers, the WTCC has been an extremely useful communications tool, and they look forward to the next season with Cruze. With Cruze, we again look to emphasize the synergy between product and motorsports, and the WTCC is the best possible platform to achieve this. The championship’s slogan is ‘Real Cars, Real Racing’, and that fits nicely with our philosophy to provide real cars for real lives, with expressive design, world class quality / reliability and an impressive list of standard features and content, all at an affordable price.” Eric Nève: “The new Cruze will be the next milestone in Chevrolet Europe’s motorsports history. So far, we have achieved every goal we set in 2005, step by step: challenge the competition, score points, prove we can win and then become regular frontrunners against competition with an established motorsports resume. With the Cruze, we will put the bar even higher and firmly aim at winning the World Championship. Chevrolet’s unique ‘trump card’ is having worked with the same team, engineers and drivers for the past four seasons, with the success we all know. To be able to do this again with the Cruze will only help to increase our chances of achieving our goals.”[GM Europe]