Earlier today, General Motors showcased a battery-powered version of the Chevrolet Beat in New Delhi, India. The electrified Beat is part of an ongoing demonstration project focused on studying the feasibility of electric vehicles in major metropolitan areas.
A multinational team led by General Motors' Torino Engineering Center and supported by GM India Engineering has announced that production of a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbodiesel engine will start this June. The compact engine, which GM claims will offer "best-in-class fuel efficiency and performance for its size," will crank out 103 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm and a reasonable 74 pound-feet at 1,250 rpm.
The game of musical chairs in the GM product lineup seems to be continuing unabated with the latest casualty being the Chevrolet Orlando. The Orlando won't even be introduced until next month's Paris Motor Show and is still scheduled to go on sale in Europe and elsewhere in 2009. The Orlando was originally scheduled to be built in the Detroit/Hamtramck assembly plant along with the Chevrolet Volt. Those plans have apparently been canceled and it's not clear where the Orlando will be built or why
Testing of the Chevy Beat is officially underway, and our friends at NextAutos have procured the first set of spy shots. The camo'd mule is still sporting the short overhangs and upright silhouette of the concept, but GM decided to equip the squat city car with another set of doors to make ingress and egress easier for rear-seat passengers.
The General, along with the rest of the American automakers, has a long established history of making the most profits from the largest vehicles. Small cars from the Detroit 3 have therefore fallen way behind the imports when it comes to desirability. GM Global Design Chief Ed Welburn went so far as to say, "In North America, we never did a good small car." Ouch. Instead, all the best designs come from overseas, which GM has plenty of experience in. "Today, we are able to draw on resources of de
Whether the Chevy Beat mini-car makes it to the U.S. market is still an open question - although if fuel prices keep climbing it seems increasingly likely. Regardless of its ultimate fate in this market, at least mule vehicles are being tested on U.S. soil. Autoblog reader Rob tipped us off that he had spotted four cars, a pair of what are likely 2010 Cobalt prototypes and a pair of mutilated mini-cars. The minis are based on the body shell of the current Daewoo Matiz/Chevy Spark which is likely
We saw the Chevy Beat concept unveiled a year ago, and now a camouflaged mule has been caught testing in China, fueling speculation that the Beat will succeed the Spark in that market. The Beat is certainly far less dowdy than the Spark, which is also sold, sometimes gratuitously, as the Matiz in other markets. When the Beat debuted as one in a trio of concepts, it was the sportiest of the three and described as a "tuner car" offering substantial levels of customization at the retail level, much