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Chevrolet at Geneva

Published: 10 March 2008

What’s new on Chevrolet’s Geneva Motor Show stand?

There were more exciting show stands at Geneva but Chevy did muster up a small – in every sense – global unveil in the shape of the three-door Aveo supermini (the five-door was unveiled last autumn at the 2007 Frankfurt show). The smart-ish new exterior – all big grille and wraparound front lights – is a big improvement on the mundane Kalos it replaces but still a bit of a let down. As only a major facelift with a new name for the UK rather than an all-new model, Chevy presumably couldn’t justify the cost of a more rakish and clearly differentiated three-door version like sister brand Vauxhall’s Astra.

Two petrol engines – 83bhp 1.2 and 100bhp 1.4 – are available from June at an expected £7000 (a month after the circa £7500 five-door). Other news was a six-speed auto for the Epica saloon – don’t explode with excitement now...

CAR highlight

The Aveo hostesses wore unusual outfits made by the winner of a Chevy student design competition. The models still looked fit but not too filthy… refreshing.  

What were they thinking?

A Captiva CNG prototype was also shown. Only problem is that the third row of seats has to be ripped out to make way for three compressed natural gas tanks. It will be launched in Switzerland where tax breaks for such things are still big. Forget the UK.

In a nutshell

Chevrolet really needs more exciting mainstream European product. A GM insider says the Golf-sized Lacetti replacement will be just that car. It will be shown at Paris this autumn, renamed ‘Cobalt’ and use design cues from the excellent 2006 WTCC Ultra rally concept. Let’s hope so. 

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By Guy Bird

Contributor, cultural curator, design commentator

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