Chevrolet New Sail hatchback – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chevrolet has added a five-door hatchback to its New Sail lineup which is only available in China. The new sub-compact hatch is debuting at the Beijing Motor Show. The New Sail is already available as a four-door sedan, but the hatch is expected to draw in more young and female customers.

Like the sedan, the New Sail hatchback is powered by either a 1.2- or 1.4-liter engine. Both body styles are also available with a new Marelli-developed electronic manual transmission (EMT). The EMT is the same type of automatically actuated manual that is so reviled in cars like the Smart ForTwo. In reverse, the new transmission offers a creep function that allows the car to slowly backed up simply by managing the brake pedal.


Related GalleryChevrolet New Sail hatchback

[Source: General Motors]


PRESS RELEASE

Chevrolet New Sail Models Introduced at Auto China 2010
Hatchback and EMT Increase Small Car Choice

Beijing – 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."

General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 217,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM is the joint global automobile partner of World Expo 2010 Shanghai along with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC). More information on the new General Motors can be found at HYPERLINK "http://www.gm.com" \t "_blank"www.gm.com.