Beijing Auto Show: 2010 Chevrolet New Sail hatchback

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

General Motors Co. introduced the hatchback version for the 2010 Chevrolet New Sail range at the Beijing auto show. Earlier this year, GM launched the sedan version in China as well. The sedan was actually the first passenger vehicle created in China by a joint venture. GM had collaborated with Chinese partner, Shanghai Auto, for this model.

With the expansion of the New Sail range, GM is also introducing an electronic manual transmission (EMT). Shanghai GM President Ding Lei said that the Chevrolet New Sail sets "a new standard for its segment" and raises the bar for safety, convenience, quality and overall value for money since it was launched last January.

Ding Lei also said that the consumers will have a "greater choice in the domestic small car segment" with the addition of a hatchback and the EMT transmission.

The hatchback model has a Boxy design concept, which gives more interior space for its class. The car has a rear seat headroom of 965 mm and a luggage area volume of up to 1,215 liters. It's remarkable that the rear seats can be folded in a 4/6 configuration, resulting to a flat floor.

Aside from that, the hatch has a square shape, which makes loading and unloading easier and more convenient. A 15% improvement is offered by the new five speed EMT gearbox when compared to traditional torque converter automatic transmissions.

The gearbox was developed by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive together with Marelli. The same engine range (a 1.2 liter and a 1.4 liter unit) is offered on the hatchback version as the sedan. They also boast of meeting the same safety standards as they both obtained a four-star rating in China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) testing.

Press Release

Chevrolet New Sail Models Introduced at Auto China 2010

The Chevrolet New Sail family has grown with the introduction of a hatchback and the addition of an electronic manual transmission (EMT). Both the New Sail hatchback and a New Sail sedan equipped with the EMT are being shown at Auto China 2010 in advance of their introduction to the market by Shanghai GM in June.

"The New Sail has set a new standard for its segment, raising the bar for safety, convenience, quality and overall value for money since its launch in January," according to Shanghai GM President Ding Lei. "The addition of a hatchback and the EMT transmission will give consumers a greater choice in the domestic small car segment."

Boxy Hatchback Design

The hatchback version of the New Sail is aimed at young urban families who want something more than the ordinary passenger car. It is expected to attract younger customers and more female customers than the original New Sail sedan.

The New Sail hatchback utilizes the Boxy design concept, which is becoming increasingly popular among designers of everything from bags to chairs.

With the Boxy design, the New Sail hatchback maximizes the use of interior space. Rear seat headroom has been optimized; the hatchback offers 965 mm, ensuring a comfortable ride for all occupants. The trunk area has up to 1,215 liters of space.

The rear seats of the New Sail hatchback can be folded in a 4/6 configuration or folded completely flat, providing 180 degrees of interior space. With the seats folded flat, the hatchback can accommodate a 26-inch bicycle or even a child's wardrobe. An integrated sliding rod makes it easy to reconfigure the rear seats in line with individual needs. The hatchback itself has a square opening, making the loading and unloading of goods a pleasant experience.

The New Sail hatchback will come with a choice of 1.2-liter or 1.4-liter engines. The special extra cheese yellow body color is also being offered.

Efficient EMT

Both the New Sail hatchback and sedan will offer the five-speed EMT transmission. The new transmission combines the convenience of an automatic transmission with the better fuel economy of a manual transmission. It also costs less and has a lower maintenance cost than a common automatic transmission.

The transmission features Marelli technology, which has been updated by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) in Shanghai in line with local driving needs and driving conditions.

Gear shifting, acceleration and the clutch are all controlled mechanically. The TCU computer module functions like a brain, choosing the best time for shifting gears based on driving conditions. The result is a 15 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to traditional automatic transmissions.

With the unique Creeping function, the driver only needs to control the brakes when reversing. Acceleration, the clutch and gear shifting are handled by the EMT.

High Standard of Safety

Both the hatchback and sedan have been designed to achieve four-star ratings in China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) testing. The hatchback meets the same safety standards as the sedan, with extensive use of high-intensity steel, steel-beam protection, and an energy-absorbing design for optimum occupant protection. Dual air bags in front, an energy-absorbing steering column, child safety locks and equipment for holding a child safety seat are all available. The New Sail is also designed to help protect pedestrians in the event of a collision.

"GM's largest global brand, Chevrolet, is synonymous with sporty design, driving enjoyment and fuel-efficient technology," said Ding Lei. "It has been acclaimed by the young generation in China. The New Sail lineup is expected to boost the sales of Chevrolet nationwide."

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