American car maker General Motors is developing a new low cost small car that will sit under the Beat hatchback. The low cost, small car is likely to replace the Spark hatchback in India, when it makes its debut sometime in 2017. The new low cost car project, code-named Amber, is meant for emerging markets across the globe.
The low cost car will be General Motors’ new entry level car for emerging markets while the Beat is likely to remain an entry level car for the developed markets of the world. Design and development of Project Amber is said to be progressing at Brazil, which is likely to be the first market to receive the new car.
The necessity of a new, entry level car in India is acute for General Motors as the Spark’s sales are at all-time lows. Despite the car being a well rounded hatchback, the Spark has not been doing well in India, with cars such as the Maruti Alto 800, the Hyundai Eon and the Datsun Go outselling it many times over.
The Spark’s 1 liter-4 cylinder petrol engine, which consumes more fuel than 3 cylinder engines on the Alto 800 and the Eon is one major reason why fuel efficiency conscious car buyers in India prefer the Alto and the Eon to the Spark. The larger engine has proved to be the Achilles heel in case of the Spark sold in India.
Therefore, the new car that General Motors is putting together under Project Amber needs a more efficient petrol engine that gets a 3 cylinder layout and an engine capacity in the whereabouts of 800 cc. Since the car will arrive in 2017, a small capacity turbo petrol motor could be in the works as the world is now shifting to turbo petrol power.