North of the border, in Canada, they do things differently. Canadian drivers tend to prefer slightly models than American motorists and over the years we’ve seen a growing number of products land in Canada’s fleets that don’t make it here to the States.
Even for Chevrolet, the Canadian vehicle lineup is different than that offered customers in the U.S. This future Chevrolet Orlando is a perfect example. A seven-passenger vehicle – three rows of seats – despite being about the same length of Chevy’s compact Cruz, Orlando has no counterpart in Chevy’s U.S. lineup.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Chevy came an inch away from introducing the crossover here in the United States. But it was pulled in May 2010, General Motors’ president of North American operations Mark Reuss deciding it just didn’t have the right dimensions and overall fit for the line-up.
It did, however, make it into Chevrolet’s Canadian showrooms in late 2011 as a 2012 model. And now, it appears, there’s an update in the works that just might make it into the States, after all.
What’s new about the upcoming Orlando? As this photo shows, Chevy is planning a new face, at least, for its 2015 version of the small crossover. It appears that the front clip – including grille size, headlights, hood, front fenders, bumper fascia – is in for change.
Other photos disclose that the remainder of this Orlando’s body shape is unchanged from that of the current models. But this may be misleading. In a typical new model development process, engine performance is the first to be tested with the new body style. Development engineers use just the front clip to check out how the engine operates with new coverings, monitoring essentials like engine heating and cooling, AC and heater performance, in addition to front brakes and suspensions.
This Orlando, undergoing cold weather testing near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (of all places) is also checking for rear wheel lockup. Note the turn counters attached to the rear wheel hubs. The counters give precise measurement of the number of times the rear wheels turn for any given distance of travel. Anti-lock brake efficiency on snow-covered roads is the focus of this test.
According to insider talk, Chevy will introduce this Orlando to the U.S. market within two years. But, insiders warn, don’t take this info to the bank.
For comparison, here are the specs on the current Canadian version of the Chevrolet Orlando:
Overall Length: 183.7 “
Engine: 2.4L inline-four
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Passengers: 7 with three rows of seats
Base price: $19,995 Canadian