The Chevrolet Aveo we have known for its past several years as Chevrolet’s subcompact offering has been the automotive equivalent of a McDonald’s hamburger: reasonably nutritious but hardly inspiring. Then Chevrolet displayed the Aveo RS concept at the Detroit and Geneva auto shows earlier this year as sort of an appetizer on wheels.
We haven’t seen the production version in person yet, but Chevrolet has released photos today of the version that will debut at the Paris Motor Show and go on sale in Europe later this year and in the U.S. in 2011. We won’t know until we drive it but the new Aveo at least has the look of the hot hatch Chevy is pitching it as.
As part of Chevrolet’s efforts to spread the brand worldwide–even in Korea where the Aveo until now has worn the Daewoo brand–the new Aveo will sport the “dual port” grille that’s the current Chevrolet styling trademark. Chevy also describes the body, with its short front and rear overhangs and wide stance, as a “body in , wheels out” profile. The Aveo not only looks larger but grows in length and width, increasing interior and cargo volume.
Hot hatch fans that we are, we’re anticipating a look at the inside of the 2011 (European market model year designation) Chevrolet Aveo as well as the out. The dash is said to have a wrap around design that extends into the doors and can be “color-coded.” The center stack is backlit and the instrument panel has a “motorcycle-inspired” analog tachometer/digital speedometer combo. With the Aveo likely to have a significant younger demographic, modern audio is a given, with USB, auxiliary-in and Bluetooth.
Chevrolet touts the rigidity and the chassis tuning of the Aveo, though we’ll have to drive before assessing, of course. However, electronic power steering, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes will be standard in all markets.
Details will be attuned to local needs, as will powertrains that will be offered. In Europe this fall, the 2011 Chevrolet Aveo hatchback will be available with three four-cylinder gasoline engines, a 1.2-liter, a 1.4-liter and a 1.6-liter. Chevrolet says the engines will feature variable valve timing and double variable cam phasing and common rail fuel injection for the two versions of the 1.3-liter diesels that will be available.
A 6-speed automatic will be Chevrolet’s first on a small car, optional with the 1.4 and 1.6, with five or six-speed manual transmissions standard, depending on engine choice.
Engine availability for the North American market hasn’t been announced, but the 2010 Chevrolet Aveo will be carried over for the 2011 model year in the U.S. That vehicle is powered by a 1.6-liter 108-horsepower four cylinder engine which will certainly be replaced by the new 1.6-liter 115-horsepower four used in Europe.
Maybe we can hope that the new Ecotec 1.4L I-4 turbo rated at 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque will be optional. Then the 2012 Chevrolet Aveo would not only look like a hot hatch, it would act like one as well.
Or would jalapenos be too much to ask?