Chevrolet has continued with the test and development programme of its new Cruze during two days of testing at Estoril.
The car, which will replace the Lacetti in the World Touring Car Championship next season, had already undergone private tests at the MIRA proving grounds in the UK and at Guadix in Spain but the Portuguese test marked its first outing in public.
The test also marked the final time that the Lacetti was used in a testing capacity as Rob Huff and Alain Menu completed a series of back-to-back tests to get a good baseline with the new car.
“It was the first time I drove the Cruze and I can already tell the car feels good,” Menu said. “The wider track makes it easier to drive in certain portions of the circuit, while lap times show promise but also indicate the amount of work still needed.
“The car responds well to all set-up changes which should make it easier for us to make progress throughout the winter months.”
Chevrolet motorsport chief Eric Neve admitted he was pleased to see the new car hit the track and said he was hopeful that it will be a success when introduced next year.
“It is always a special moment to see a new race car out on a real race track for the first time,” he said. “The Cruze is Chevrolet Europe's new core model and the launch of the new road car in the showrooms blends in perfectly with the start of the 2009 season, so the WTCC car will once again have an important role to play for the market place.
“With the success and experience we have gained in the past four seasons incorporated in this new race car, I am convinced that the Cruze can achieve new ambitions for Chevrolet in the WTCC.”