Chevrolet Sail small car to launch soon!

Chevrolet has commenced testing its Sail hatchback in India. The Sail hatchback will likely replace the present Chevrolet Aveo U-VA small car which is selling in very low numbers. The Sail small car has been an anticipated product from GM India for a while and the test mules hint that the launch is nearing. Let’s take a closer look at what the spy photos of the Sail hatchback reveal.

chevrolet sail photo 1
Photo: The Chevrolet Sail small car could be a game changer for the brand in India

Looks and comfort

The India bound Sail small car looks similar to the Sail hatchback sold by GM in China. The car is expected to measure 3947 × 1690 × 1503 (length x width x height) and will have a wheelbase of 2465 mm which makes it close to the Fiat Punto (3987 x 1687 x 1495 and wheelbase 2510) in size.

The bow tie grille, which is now familiar and common among other Chevrolet cars such as Beat and Cruze, now decorates the Sail small car as well. The side profile of the Sail shows large ORVMs but retains the old door handle design of the present model. The rear of the car has tall mounted tail lamps, bland boot door and rear bumper reflectors. The wheel fenders are mildly pronounced and the ground clearance is slightly higher when compared to the present model.

There are no spy pictures of the interior and hence, it is not clear whether the India bound Sail will have similar dashboard layout as in the Sail sold in China. Overall, we can safely assume the Sail small car to have roomy interiors, large boot space (roughly 248 litres) and decent fit and finish.

Expected engines and performance

The Sail is expected to be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol motor that powers the Chevrolet Beat. This 4-pot engine develops 79.5 bhp and 108 Nm of torque and mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The diesel version of the Sail may get the 1.3-litre Multijet engine from Fiat alike the Maruti Swift and the Tata Vista. The Sail diesel will likely be the volume driver for Chevrolet in its segment.

It has to be noted that the original Multijet engine was developed by GM and Fiat for European markets. Also, the GM’s 1-litre 3-cylinder diesel motor that powers the Chevrolet Beat is also based on the 1.3-litre Multijet engine.

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Photo: From the rear the Sail looks little like both the Figo and the now out of production Ford Fusion

Expected Features

The Sail is expected to come with safety features such as Dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, central locking and speed-sensitive auto latch. With regard to comfort features, the Sail may be equipped with power steering, power windows, electric mirrors, music system, remote tailgate opener, remote fuel lid opener and AC. On the exterior, the top-end variant of Sail may get fog lights, alloy wheels and sunroof and on the interior, the Sail may have chrome coated inside door handles, chrome trims on instrument cluster and central console.

Expected Price

The key proposition for the Chevrolet Sail will be its pricing and the features offered. The Sail will likely have higher local components to help GM price it competitively. We expect the price to be in the range of Rs. 4 lakh – 6 lakh.

Chevrolet Sail vs rivals

The upcoming Chevrolet Sail will face stiff competition from hatchbacks such as the Maruti Suzuki Ritz, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Ford Figo, Fiat Punto, Tata Vista, Nissan Micra, Volkswagen Polo and the Skoda Fabia.

Summary

Chevrolet India has not sold significant number of hatchbacks or sedans in the Rs. 4 – 8 lakh range despite offering products such as the Aveo U-VA and the Aveo for the past several years. However, the Chevrolet Sail hatchback and the Sail sedan could be a game changer for GM just like the Chevrolet Beat, provided they are priced competitively.

(Photo Courtesy: Zigwheels.com)