Detroit 2009: Chevy Orlando Concept comes stateside, production version due in 2011 [w/VIDEO]

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Chevy Orlando Concept

Among the array of various concept and production vehicles at the GM display was the Chevy Orlando Concept that made its world debut in Paris just a few months prior. Based on the same platform as the Cruze, the Orlando offers seven seats in a relatively compact design. At its debut we found the Orlando to be a much more appealing than the HHR and hoped that GM would consider bringing it to the U.S. as a production vehicle. Our wish has been granted, and the Orlando will arrive in dealers as a 2011 model along with the Spark mini-car. Follow the jump for the press release from GM, video from the live unveil, and check out new high-res photos in the gallery below.

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Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

The Chevrolet Orlando show car will make its North American debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The compact, seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle has the versatile attributes of a sport-utility, a family van and a wagon.

Based on the recently introduced Cruze compact sedan, the Orlando show car carries Chevrolet's signature design language into a new vehicle segment. Cues include a two-tier grille, expressive headlamps that flow into the front fenders and muscular fender forms that wrap around the wheels.

"The Orlando suggests a possible addition to Chevrolet's global product portfolio, while adhering to its mission of offering value, quality and fuel efficiency," said Ed Peper, GM North America vice president, Chevrolet. "It offers adaptable seating, more than expected interior room and a powerful yet economical powertrain – features that were designed to suit a variety of needs in different markets."

Fuel-efficient power for the Orlando show car comes from a 2.0L turbo-diesel that generates 150 horsepower (112 kW) and a strong 235 lb.-ft. of torque (320 Nm). The small-displacement four-cylinder engine combines excellent fuel efficiency with surprising performance, thanks to high torque available across the rpm band. The car-based architecture of the Orlando – the hallmark of a true crossover – further contributes to the vehicle's efficiency with lower overall mass and better aerodynamics.

Inside, the five-door Orlando is designed to meet the needs of families and those who need plenty of seating capacity. It has reconfigurable, theater-style seating in three rows that comfortably accommodate up to seven occupants. The seats in rows two and three conveniently fold flat into the floor, whenever load carrying becomes a priority.

A long, 108.6-inch (2,760 mm) wheelbase, along with wide front and rear tracks, enhance the interior's spaciousness. Those dimensions also support a smooth, compliant driving experience, with assistance from a strut-type front suspension, compound crank rear suspension and a speed-sensitive, electric power steering system.

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