GM India has an interesting lineup of cars for the 2012 Auto Expo. We expect GM India to showcase the Sail hatchback and sedan versions, the face lifted Cruze with a new diesel engine, the Captiva facelift, the Beat facelift, Spark 800cc, a MPV based on the Wuling Hong Guang and a minivan based on Wuling Hong Tu.
GM has been in the Indian market for more than seven years. It has established itself as a trustworthy brand through its volume drivers; the Spark and the Beat small cars. However, the rest of its model lineup such as the Aveo, Aveo U-VA and Optra need facelifts or complete replacements to rope in buyers. We hope, GM India will breathe a fresh lease of life into Chevrolet by means of its 2012 model line-up. Let’s take a quick look at each of these cars.
Captiva facelift – January 2012 – Rs. 19 lakh*
The Captiva facelift will have noticeable changes on the exteriors, interiors and will likely perform better than the outgoing Captiva. The new Captiva will have a sporty bow tie grille as seen on the Beat and Cruze, refreshed headlamps and redesigned taillamps. With regard to interiors, the new Captiva will have a dual cockpit; again, a design which is similar to what was featured in the Beat and Cruze.
There are expectations that the new Cruze will get a better 2.2 litre CRDI diesel motor that produces 184 bhp of maximum power which is up by 36 bhp when compared with the 2.0-litre 148 bhp motor that powers the current model. The 2012 Captiva will likely be priced roughly Rs. 1 lakh above the present model which has a price range of 18 lakh – 19.7 lakh.
Cruze facelift – January 2012 – Rs. 12.5 lakh*
The 2012 Cruze will get a new engine and a few cosmetic upgrades. The upcoming Cruze will be powered by GM’s Z series, 2.0 litre, DOHC, common-rail diesel motor that produces 163 bhp (presently it is 148 bhp) of power. There may be minimal changes on the exterior, but on the interiors, expect improved headroom for rear passengers.
The 2012 Cruze may be offered in three variants: the 2.0 LT, 2.0 LTZ MT and the 2.0 LTZ AT alike the present model. The price of the new Cruze may be slightly more than the outgoing Cruze which is priced in the range of Rs. 12 lakh – Rs. 14.44 lakh.
Hong Tu – January 2012 – Rs. 4 lakh*
Chevrolet will challenge Maruti Suzuki Eeco and Tata Venture with its India-bound GM Hong Tu (yet to be named). This minivan will likely be based on the Wuling Hong Tu 8-seater sold in Chinese market. When compared to its chief rival Maruti Eeco, the Hong Tu is taller, longer and wider thereby offering more space to its occupants than the Eeco. The Hong Tu has a 2500 mm wheelbase and a length falling within 4 meters for excise duty sops.
The Hong Tu is expected to be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol motor and a 1-litre diesel motor sourced from Chevrolet Beat diesel. The Hong Tu may be offered in three trim levels, with the top-end model featuring airbags and ABS. Chevrolet may likely price the Hong Tu in the range of Rs. 4 – 6 lakhs.
Sail – March 2012 – Rs. 4 lakh*
The Sail has Chevrolet’s trademark bowtie grille as in the Beat and Cruze. The car’s rear has high mounted tail lamps as in the Fiat Punto and Ford Figo. The large dimensions suggest its spacious interiors which could become the car’s unique selling proposition. Overall, we feel the Sail has enough styling to attract small car buyers.
The Sail is expected to get the 1.2-litre petrol motor from the Chevrolet Beat which puts out 79.5 bhp of power. The diesel version of Sail may get the GM’s version of Fiat’s 1.3-litre Multijet engine alike the Fiat Punto, Maruti Suzuki Swift and Tata Vista. High local components will help GM India to price the Sail competitively. We expect GM India to price the Chevrolet Sail in the Rs. 4 lakh – 6 lakh price range.
Beat facelift – April 2012 – Rs. 3.8 lakh*
The Beat facelift will come with cosmetic upgrades. For instance, it will feature a new bow-tie grille, slightly modified headlamps and taillamps, new alloy wheel pattern. On the inside, expect new features such as Bluetooth connectivity, an LCD screen for infotainment and new plastic materials.
The facelifted version will likely be powered by the same 1.2 litre petrol engine and 1.0 litre diesel engine that power the present model. The 1.2-litre petrol motor puts out of 80 bhp of power and 108 Nm of torque while the diesel motor puts out 57 bhp of power and 150 Nm of torque. The diesel motor is the more frugal engine as it returns 24 kmpl (claimed mileage). The cosmetic upgrades may force GM India to hike the price of Beat. At present, the Beat has a price range of Rs. 3.59 lakh – 4.63 lakh for petrol version and Rs. 4.29 lakh – 5.45 lakh.
Spark 800 cc – May 2012 – Rs. 3 lakh*
The entry-level small car segment is witnessing new entrants such as the Hyundai Eon challenging the Maruti Suzuki Alto and Alto K10. Chevrolet may not want itself left behind and hence, may consider launching the 800 cc version of the Spark.
The Spark 800 cc engine may have 50 bhp of power and will likely have a performance in par with its rivals, the Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon. The Spark 800 is expected to come with as many variants as the current model which includes: standard, PS, LS and LT. The Spark 800 could be priced around Rs. 30,000 lower than the outgoing model which has a price range of Rs. 3.23 – 3.85 lakh.
Hong Guang – July 2012 – Rs. 8 lakh*
The GM’s India bound Hong Guang (yet to be named) will challenge the Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo. The Guang will be an 8-seater in the 2 + 3 + 3 layout. When compared to the Xylo and Innova, the Hong Guang is roughly 200mm shorter in length, but it offers better head room even for third row passengers unlike its rivals. The Chevrolet MPV will likely be powered by a 1.4-litre petrol motor that produces 102 bhp of power while the diesel engine could be the Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre Multijet with VGT (Variable geometry turbo) that churns out 90 bhp. Expect GM to price its upcoming Hong Guang MPV in the Rs. 8 – 13 lakh range.