Chevrolet's transformation continues unabated with the new Orlando seven-seat MPV. Unless you've been on an unusually long and distant summer holiday, you will have noticed that every manufacturer is whetting gourmands' appetites for a feast of new metal at the Paris motor show 2008 – and the Orlando is one of a handful of new Chevrolets being readied for the French auto salon.
The Orlando pictured here is a concept car, but the production version coming by the end of the decade won't look much different. It's a seven-seater like its cousin the Vauxhall Zafira
, but takes many SUV design cues, say the stylists. It's aimed squarely at the likes of the Dodge Nitro
It's one of an eye-popping series of new Chevrolets. Today CAR reveals how the company is planning to launch a brand new product every 16 weeks from January 2009 to December 2012.
First up: the new Chevrolet Orlando
This new MPV show car is based on the new – and also recently unveiled – Cruze family hatch. That's the replacement for the unloved Lacetti. So it's a front-drive package with a range of 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 petrol and diesel engines.
The Orlando show car is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel powerplant, developing 148bhp and 236lb ft of pull.
Seating is arranged over three rows and Chevrolet vows the 2760mm wheelbase (that's longer than a Zafira's 2703mm axle stretch) should credibly free up space for seven passengers. We'll know for sure when we report live from the Paris show on 2 October 2008. Stay tuned until then as we publish all the key photos and stories that matter.
Click 'Next' to read about what else Chevrolet is up to
It's five years since GM took over Chevrolet...
Indeed it is – and the pace of change is finally hotting up. We've built up a dossier on the future models under development at Chevrolet and here are all the new cars on the drawing board.
One of the most exciting cars on the block is the new Camaro muscle car, due over here on 1 January 2010. It will be a halo car, not a serious seller (no kidding) – but the brand is serious about raising European sales from last year's 440,000 to 1 million by 2012.
Chevrolet goes SUV crazy
The US brand’s most senior man this side of the Atlantic is keen for more models with more attitude to tempt people to try out the brand formerly known as Daewoo. Wayne Brannon, executive director of Chevrolet Europe, told CAR Online: 'I’m not going to tell you what vehicles we’re going to do, but I can tell you where the gaps are. On SUVs, the ideal strategy would be to have a vehicle smaller than Captiva
and one bigger. These are not approved programmes, this is my wish list.'
Interestingly, he also ruled out a hybrid version of the Captiva for the foreseeable future. It was a vehicle widely expected to be Chevy’s first hybrid in Europe, but Brannon said it wasn’t what customers wanted.
SUV factories mothballed
Does Chevrolet really want more SUVs? GM chief executive officer Rick Wagoner this summer announced a strategic review of Hummer’s future as part of the GM family. He also revealed four Stateside factories that build SUVs are being mothballed.
But Brannon also suggested there was space in the Chevy line-up for what he called ‘monocabs’ – an industry term used to describe MPVs. This is the Orlando model unveiled today, but Brannon also revealed that Chevy pick-up trucks for Europe were also under consideration.
'It isn’t a massive market over here, but it’s big enough to be in'.Click 'Next' to read more about Chevrolet's sports cars and city models
Matiz successor on the way
Brannon let slip to us that the Beat concept
from this year New York Motor Show would form the basis of a Matiz successor, and go on sale in October 2009.
We'll see another Beat mini concept car at the 2009 Geneva motor show and the production one will surface at the 2009 Frankfurt fair. It will be a five-door, not a three-door this time round.
Brannon spoke to CAR at the launch of the Aveo five-door supermini,
a replacement for the Kalos but which still has no diesel option. 'We’re planning for one for the next generation car in this segment, which will be launched in two or three years,' he said. 'It will be a 1.3- or 1.4-litre unit, and it could be sourced from our joint venture with Fiat or somewhere else.'