India bound 2012 Chevrolet Sail hatchback to be available in diesel and petrol variants
The 2012 Chevrolet Sail hatchback will be launched in India before the Indian festive season of Dusshera-Diwaliand this car will be positioned in the B+ hatchback space, populated by the likes of the Maruti Swift, the Hyundai i20 and the Ford Figo. This car will replace the Aveo U-VA hatchback, which has been a perennial dud for GM India, ever since it was launched in the Indian market many summers ago. The 2012 Sail hatchback, developed by GM’s Chinese partner SAIC, will also bring a key change to the table, in the form of a diesel engine under the hood.
This was one big factor that held back the Aveo U-VA from becoming a decent performer at the hustings as the car was available only with a petrol engine, while rivals offered diesel engines. Now, the need for a diesel engine option is more acute than ever given the huge disparity between petrol and diesel fuel prices, favouring the latter heavily. So, GM India will launch the Sail hatchback with the 1.3 Liter Jet Turbo Diesel (JTD) engine that the automaker developed jointly with Italian car maker Fiat. This engine is expected to pump out 74 Bhp-190 Nm, with an ARAI certified mileage figure of about 20 Kmpl.
This diesel engine will also be used on the Enjoy MPV, which is essentially the rebadged version of the Wuling CN100 MPV. GM could launch the 7 seater Enjoy MPV in the next couple of months. The other engine of the Sail hatchback will be a 1.2 Liter, 82 Bhp-108 Nm petrol unit, also mated to a 5 speed stick shift gearbox. The aRAI fuel economy figure for the petrol Sail hatchback is expected to be 17 Kmpl. While the fuel economy figures for both the petrol and diesel variants of the Sail hatchback seem to be par for the course, official figures are yet to be published by GM India.
The Sail sedan, which will be launched after the hatchback, will be positioned to take on the likes of the Dzire-Etios-Manza brigade and will replace the Aveo sedan. Expect competitive pricing for both these cars as that is perhaps the only way that GM can garner enough interest around these cars as the design and styling of these cars lean more towards plain Jane than saucy Sally. That said, both cars have the potential to be no-nonsense, spacious and value-for-money products.