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Chevrolet: What's coming in 2010

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro left-front view

2010 Chevrolet Camaro RS

Photo © Aaron Gold

CONFIRMED FOR 2010:

AVALANCHE: The stereo gets a USB port, and 4x4 models get a single-speed transfer case; last year's low-range transfer case is now an extra-cost option.

AVEO: Horsepower is up from 106 to 108, the manual transmission gets higher 4th and 5th gear ratios for better fuel economy, and 2LT models get a standard trunk spoiler. Also new: Wintergreen Metallic paint.

CAMARO: (photo) Chevrolet re-introduced its classic sports car for 2010, with a strong emphasis on bang-for-buck: The base-model Camaro offers a 300 horsepower direct-fuel-injected 3.6 liter V6 for around $23,000, while the Camaro SS comes with a Corvette-sourced 6.2 liter 426 horsepower V8 for $31,000.

COBALT: The sedan version of the hot-rod Cobalt SS is being discontinued after just one year of production. (I wonder if that will give it collector-car status?) The SS coupe lives on, and now gets a sunroof and performance computer as standard. LT models have a new MY LINK package that includes a stereo with USB input jack, Bluetooth, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, OnStar and 16" alloy wheels.

COLORADO: Side-curtain airbags are now standard, and the optional 5.3 liter V8 gets variable valve timing.

CORVETTE: All Corvettes get standard side airbags, revised interior console trim, and optional cross-flag embroidery on the seats. 'Vettes with manual transmissions get launch control (see CORVETTE ZR1, below) and convertibles get a Z06-style trunk spoiler. Z06 buyers can now choose any color in the standard Corvette palette, including Torch Red, which returns for 2010. The new Grand Sport edition (photo) replaces the Z51 handling package on the base-model (LS3) Corvette. The Grand Sport combines the 430 hp LS3 engine with specific wheels, tires, suspension tuning, wider fenders, and Z06-size brakes with functional brake cooling ducts. Manual transmission Grand Sports get unique gearing while automatics get a specific rear axle ratio, changes which boost 0-60 times by 0.2 seconds compared to the standard LS3.

CORVETTE ZR1: A new Performance Traction Management (PTM) system provides launch control; when the driver floors the accelerator and dumps the clutch, it modulates the engine's torque output for fast, consistent starts. PTM also manages engine power when the driver floors the accelerator when exiting a corner. Like lesser Corvettes, the ZR1 gets standard side airbags and available Torch Red paint, as well as optional Competition Gray wheels.

EQUNOX: (photo) The Equinox is all new for 2010, with an emphasis on sharp styling, a quieter ride, and better fuel economy. Power choices consist of a 2.4 liter direct fuel injected four-cylinder engine or an optional 3.0 liter V6, also with direct injection, and Chevy claims that both engines will run up to 500 miles between fill-ups. Features carried over from the old Equinox include a rear seat that slides 8 inches fore-and-aft, allowing owners to maximize rear-seat legroom or cargo space.

HHR: Early reports that the turbocharged HHR SS would get the axe for 2010 were, I am happy to say, wrong; the SS will be back for 2010. The HHR gets a few new paint colors and a new rear-view camera, but is otherwise unchanged.

IMPALA: The V8-powered Impala SS has been discontinued, leaving the 2.5 and 2.9 liter V6s as the sole engine choices.

MALIBU: The four-cylinder engine is now E85 flex-fuel capable, and mid-level LT models get the LTZ's six-speed automatic transmission as standard.

SILVERADO: All V8s (including the Silverado Hybrid) are now flex-fuel capable, and the 4.8 and 5.3 liter engines get variable valve timing. The 5.3 also gets a six-speed automatic and a revised rear axle ratio. All 1500 models get standard electronic stability control, seat-mounted side airbags, and side-curtain airbags. All stereos get a USB port and the backup camera is available on more models.

SUBURBAN: The 6-liter V8 is now flex-fuel capable. 4x4 models get a single-speed transfer case; a low-range transfer case is now an extra-cost option. Stereos gain a USB input port, and option packages have been revised.

TAHOE: The 5.3 liter V8 is now flex-fuel capable; other changes are similar to the SUBURBAN.

TRAILBLAZER: Discontinued.

TRAVERSE: Premium stereos get a USB input jack.

BEYOND 2010:

AVEO: After the Spark (see below) makes its debut in 2012, the Aveo will be reborn as a larger, sportier car, available as a 5-door hatchback or a 4-door sedan.

CAMARO: The long-awaited Camaro convertible is expected to arrive in 2011.

CAPRICE PPV: (photo) The good news: Chevy will field a rear-drive car (based on the same platform as the Pontiac G8) for 2011! The bad news: Unless you own a police department, you won't be able to buy one.

CRUZE: (photo) The Cruze will arrive in North America in early 2010 as a 2011 model and will replace the Cobalt. Powertrain choices will include a 140 horsepower turbocharged 1.4 liter four-cylinder as well as a 138 horsepower non-turbo 1.8. A six-speed automatic will be among the transmission offerings.

MALIBU: The Malibu will be redesigned for 2012, with more aggressive styling and a flatter roofline that should ease rear-seat access.

ORLANDO: Originally slated as an HHR replacement, the 2011 Orlando has grown into a three-row CUV with wagon-like proportions, similar to Ford's Flex.

SPARK: Chevy's new small car, based on the Beat concept car, will go on sale in Europe in 2010 and should arrive in the US in 2011. It will be smaller and less expensive than the current Aveo.

VOLT: (photo) The Volt is expected to hit the road in 2010 as a 2011 model. The Volt uses a battery and an electric motor to drive the wheels. When the battery's 40-or-so-mile range runs out, a small gasoline engine will supply electricity to keep the car running. Primary charge for the battery comes from plugging the car in. A new EPA fuel economy test for range-extended EVs gives the Volt a city fuel economy rating of 230 -- that's two hundred thirty -- MPG.

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