General Motors has handed engineers the task of extracting 44mpg out of the US-bound 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. Meanwhile the next-generation Impala has been approved for a 2013 launch.

The US-bound 2011 Chevrolet Cruze had a claimed fuel efficiency of 42 mpg highway when fitted with a manual transmission. Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner announced this claim a couple of years ago. Lately it seems GM is claiming slightly less, at around 40mpg on the highway as measured by the EPA. Notably this figure is achieved using the 1.4-litre turbo and not the baseline 1.8-litre.

GM has therefore summoned some engineers from its former Performance Division to try and achieve 44mpg via the XFE (Xtended Fuel Economy) efficiency paradigm as seen in the Chevrolet Cobalt XFE and the Silverado XFE. It's a pity the 2.0-litre turbo diesel is not for US consumption as it would probably better those fuel economy numbers while providing stronger performance too.

Still on Chevrolet, word is that a new Impala is being readied for the year 2013 as a 2014 MY. The current car only went into production in 2006 so 2013 sounds about right. However, expect a facelift soon.

The Impala will apparently share its long-wheel-base platform with the 2010 Buick LaCrosse. The same Epsilon II platform in short-wheel-base form will be added to the 2013 Malibu as well.