General Motors Co. plans to launch the Chevrolet Trax at the Paris auto show in September and to roll out the small crossover in more than 140 global markets excluding the United States. GM will build the Chevrolet Trax on the Gamma platform that currently underpins the Chevrolet Sonic.
GM will also introduce two other small crossovers built on the Gamma same platform: the Opel Mokka that would roll out by end of 2012 and the Buick Encore that will hit showrooms in early 2013.
According to the company, the main reason for the decision not to roll out the Trax in the US was the success of the larger Chevrolet Equinox crossover. The Buick Encore, which has the same platform as the Trax, is 19 inches shorter than the Equinox and offers less cargo space.
A Chevrolet spokesman disclosed that GM will first introduce the Trax in Mexico in the last quarter of 2012, then in selected countries in Europe and Asia. Dave Sullivan, a product analyst for AutoPacific Inc., expects GM to roll out the Trax in eastern Europe, where a similar product, the Mokka, will not be marketed, thus avoiding product overlapping. The Chevrolet spokesman revealed that GM will assemble the Trax in Korea as well as in other locations.
GM is positioning the Trax to continue the impetus of its flagship Chevrolet brand. Chevrolet posted a 7 percent year-on-year increase in its global sales of for the first three months of 2012 to 1.2 million units. The brand’s unprecedented rise in sales could be partly attributed to the phasing out of the Daewoo brand in Eastern Europe, Korea and other markets where Korea-made vehicles are rolled out under a Chevrolet badge.
Chevrolet Trax is designed in such a way that it has ample space for five passengers (all seated in a comfortable high seating position) and delivers car-like handling while keeping true to its off-road nature.
It comes down to a choice of three engines: a 1.4L turbocharged gasoline unit, a 1.6L gasoline engine, and a 1.7L diesel engine. The 1.4L and 1.7L engines are mated to a six-speed manual transmission allowing the former to produce 140 hp (103 kW) and maximum torque of 200 Nm while the latter cranks out 130 hp (96 kW) and 300 Nm maximum torque. A six-speed automatic gearbox is also offered for both variants. All manual transmission variants also have a Start/Stop functionality.
Also, when mated to a manual transmission, the 1.7L diesel engine has a fuel consumption of 4.5L/100km while the 1.4L turbo on the other hand, requires an average of 6.5 liters. In terms of CO2 emissions, each produces 120 and 149 g/km, respectively.
For the 1.4 turbo gasoline engine and 1.7L diesel engine variants, an AWD system will be available and will function by automatically adapting to prevalent road conditions as well as improving traction when traversing through slippery or graveled roads.
Various passive and active safety features/systems are installed in the Chevrolet Trax to ensure minimum damage to its occupants during unexpected situations. Such features include its unibody structure made from high-strength steels, as well as six standard airbags, a releasable pedal assembly and three-point seatbelts attached on all seats.