Outclassed: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ

The trials and tribulations of the North American auto industry shook the world a few years back. We almost lost two of the Big Three companies. If not for a little government intervention, things could be very different than they are today.

General Motors came out of the challenge with a new focus on business and one product that's been paying off for its efforts is the Chevrolet Cruze. This seemingly simple vehicle has taken the world by storm and has become a best-selling car in the United States, Canada, Europe and elsewhere.

Outclassed: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ

Rick Bottom of Medota, Ill. chose an 2011 LTZ model as the platform for his 38th creation for the SEMA show since 1997. He chose this car because it's nice, gets good fuel mileage, has a smooth ride, is relatively quiet inside and would serve as a nice platform for a build.

Outclassed: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ

Some of the more simple modifications include a K&N intake system and a Borla cat-back exhaust system to assist the 138-hp, 148 lb-ft of torque turbocharged four-banger. An ECU upgrade from the GM engine management experts at Trifecta Performance is said to pony up an additional 30 percent more horsepower and almost 40 percent more torque on this configuration.

Outclassed: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ

3D Carbon and Air Designs body components have been grafted on and the car given a two-tone paint job. Planet Color and Sherwin Williams collaborated on the Gold Mist, Golden Umber paint and that is topped off with a Turnin’ Orange pinstripe. Grill inserts from E+G Classics round out the clean and effective look while healthy-sized 20-inch Axiom three-piece wheels wrapped with Pirelli PZero 235/35 rubber provide effective traction. The suspension has also been replaced with Pedders Xa coil-over system so that ride height can be set perfectly.

Metra Electronics of Holly Hill, Fla. is well known for its dash kits and wiring harnesses products. The Metra demo vehicle has been undertaken to show off some of its other lesser-known brands such as Fli, Tsunami, Ballistic, Shuriken and Axxess.

Outclassed: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ

The dash, of course, features one of the new Metra Cruze dash kits. It also features a Metra's double-DIN Freeway source unit that passes a video signal to a pair of Helios headrest monitors; and audio to a pair of Fli Underground amplifiers. A FU 1000.1 sub amp takes care of a pair of Fli FU10 subwoofers while a FU720.4 multichannel amp drives the Fli FU6 mids and highs.

Outclassed: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ

The A/V system is kept alive by a pair of Shuriken batteries and Tsunami capacitor. Everything is tied together with Tsunami wiring and interconnects. Epic Garage in Sugar Grove, Ill. is responsible for the audio build, including the classy vinyl work in the trunk; though the interior upholstery work though comes by way of Trent’s Trick Upholstery in Baltimore, Ohio and includes custom leather seats with red contrast stitching. This red accent is picked up with red paint on the dash kit, center stack and steering wheel. An American Brothers Design chrome shifter, sill plates and speaker trim rings finishes off the interior with some shine.

The Cruze made its debut at SEMA 2011 where it won a pair of GM Design awards – Best Compact and Builder’s Choice. Onlookers usually comment 'That’s a Cruze?' when they see his creation and it’s usually followed with 'I love the colors,' which gives Bottom satisfaction that his combination of classic themes and a clean look is well respected by the public.

Outclassed: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ

Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ
Owner: Rick Bottom
Location: Mendota, Illinois
Engine Displacement: 1.4L
Horsepower: 190 hp
Website: www.rickbottomdesigns.com

K&N (air intake, air filter)
Trifecta Performance ECU programming

Borla Exhaust cat-back system

3D Carbon and Air Designs body kit and ground effects
E&G classics grills

Axiom 3-pc., staggered width step-lip wheels – 20x8 (F/R)
Pirelli P-Zero tires – 235/35R20 (F/R)

Pedders USA Xa coil-overs

Metra Electronics Cruze dash kit
American Brothers Design (chrome shifter, sill plates, speaker rings)

Metra Freeway head unit
FLi Underground (FU 1000.1 sub amp, FU 720.4 multichannel amp, FU 10 subwoofers (x2), FU6 component speakers)
Helios video monitors (x2)
Shuriken SK-BT-45 batteries (x2)
Tsunami (X15HCAP-20 capacitor, wiring, interconnects)

Axiom Wheels
Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes
3D Carbon
Air Designs
American Brothers Design
E&G Classics
Metra Electronics
FLi Audio
Pedders USA
Trent's Trick Upholstery
Borla Exhaust

More Vehicle Features

Cool as Gold: 2010 Nissan 370Z

While out doing errands the other evening, I heard the rasp of a well-tuned engine going the other way – a quick glance over my shoulder and I saw the tail end of a bright orange Datsun 240Z. It put…
Read More

Street Smarts: 2012 Scion iQ Review

The world isn’t getting smaller, there are just too many damn people in it. Unless you’re somewhere in the middle of the United States growing corn on a farm, there isn’t much space around to do anything. I just got…
Read More

American Beauties: 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T & 2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE

Imports have been the spotlight of the sport compact scene over the past couple of decades, so it’s easy to forget that good old American muscle is where racing bloodlines started. This is North America, so a little refresher course…
Read More

ReinART.Design's 2008 Audi R8

Just as a stock is the base to a chef, the Audi R8 is to the automotive connoisseurs at ReinART.Design. The bespoke automotive performance and styling consultancy has always had one clear objective: to stand out from the rest by…
Read More

Skyscraper: Iram Ochoa's 2015 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD

New Mexico's Mobile Luxury Tower. A skyline is sometimes all you need to identify a city. For example, New York’s Empire State Building or Toronto’s CN Tower are famous and timeless identifiers of their respective locations. Weirdly, there’s a strange…
Read More