The most American of General Motors’ many worldwide brands, Chevrolet has been making rapid gains around the globe since GM emerged from bankruptcy – and nowhere is that more apparent than in Europe, where it is one of the very few makers to post both sales and market share gains for the first eight months of 2012.
Considering the near-collapse of the European market, that’s no mean feat – and one that will rely on new products to keep the momentum building. New products like the Chevrolet Trax making its debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show.
The Chevrolet Trax is a Korean-made compact crossover based on GM’s Gamma II platform – which is shared with several other models including the new Opel Mokka and the Buick Encore. A modified version of the platform is also used for the new Chevy Sonic model that’s gotten off to a good start since its U.S. introduction for the 2012 model-year.
The 2013 Chevrolet Trax will be offered with a choice of three engines, including a 1.4-liter inline-four making 140 horsepower and 149 pound-feet of torque, as well as a naturally aspirate 1.6-liter gasoline powerplant. Considering the strong European market for diesel, however, the most popular powertrain could prove to be the 1.7-liter TDI making 130 hp and 221 lb-ft.
All-wheel-drive will be optional, though Chevy hasn’t yet said in what combinations. The turbo gas and diesel engines, when paired with six-speed manuals, will also come with fuel-saving auto stop/start.
Chevy is pushing to add the new MyLink infotainment system to its European line-up and the new Trax will get a version that includes a 7-inch touchscreen on higher-trim versions of the crossover.
Copying a concept just introduced by Chevy on some U.S. offerings, the Trax system will provide a new, low-cost approach to navigation. Instead of including all the technology in the car, Trax’ version of Chevrolet MyLink will access a special app users download onto a smartphone. The map, however, will then be displayed on the Trax touchscreen. That feature will become available early next year.
The maker also hopes to appeal too potential customers with the flexible seating system in Trax, which can fold on not only the 60/40 rear bench but the front passenger seat, as well. That will yield as much as 48 cubic feet – 1370 liters by European measurement – of cargo space.
Don’t expect to see the Trax in the U.S. market, at least not anytime soon. GM isn’t convinced there’s a market for such a small crossover – though the Chevy Trax will show up in Canadian showrooms reflecting the fact that our northern neighbors generally opt for smaller products than those sold in the States.
American Chevy buyers will have to settle for the larger Equniox crossover unless and until the bow-tie brand decides there’s a plant for the Trax to make tracks into U.S. showrooms.
Tags: 2012 paris motor show, auto news, car news, chevrolet crossovers, chevrolet europe, chevrolet news, chevrolet paris, chevrolet trax, chevy cuv, chevy equinox, chevy europe, chevy paris, chevy sonic, chevy suv, chevy trax, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, thedetroitbureau