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Chevrolet Orlando rear viewGeneral Motors has released official details on the production 2011 Chevrolet Orlando MPV, which will make its first public appearance at this year's Paris Motor Show. As we reported earlier and confirmed again today, GM has no plans to offer the Orlando in the United States – a shame, too, since this would indeed be a fitting replacement for the aging, less-attractive Chevrolet HHR.

Inside, the Orlando offers seating for seven, though we imagine it's a bit cramped when fully loaded with people since this new MPV shares a platform with the smaller Chevrolet Cruze sedan. Nevertheless, GM says that there will be plenty of family-friendly interior amenities, including a hidden storage area behind the audio system's front fascia, first seen on the Orlando concept back in 2008.

European customers will be able to choose from three different powertrains – a 1.8-liter gasoline four-cylinder that produces 141 horsepower, and two 2.0-liter diesel units that offer 131 and 163 horsepower. We don't have official word yet but suspect that all of these powertrains will be coupled to six-speed automatic transmissions and that power will only be delivered to the front two wheels. Speaking of wheels, customers will be able to choose from a variety of alloy options, ranging from 16 to 18 inches in diameter.

As we've said before, it's easy to understand why GM wouldn't want to offer the Orlando in the States. The HHR is hanging in there in terms of sales, and folks looking for something larger are easily stepping up into the Chevrolet Equinox crossover. That said, neither of those vehicles are able to seat seven. You can read GM's own words about the Orlando in the press release, available after the jump.

[Source: Chevrolet]
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Chevrolet's new Orlando family van set to star in Paris

- Function with attitude: striking crossover look combined with 7-seater versatility
- Chevrolet brings great value entry to compact van segment
- World premiere at Paris Motor Show, start of sale in early 2011
- One of four Chevrolet world premieres to be presented in Paris

Chevrolet's first entrant into the European MPV/family van segment, the Orlando, will be one of the star attractions at the Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris on September 30, when the full production model makes its world debut. It will be one of four Chevrolet world premieres at the show.

Based on the show car concept first seen at Paris in 2008, the Chevrolet Orlando is a true family car for the times, combining 7-seater practicality and interior flexibility with striking crossover style design.

Chevrolet's new compact MPV eschews the bland designs sometimes seen in the segment, and instead adopts a bolder look with its low roofline and crossover inspired silhouette, while retaining the distinctive and recognizable Chevrolet 'face' depicted by the split radiator grille and bow-tie badge.

The Orlando's low swept roof line is complemented by the muscular, protruding wheel-arches, housing 16, 17 or 18 inch wheels.

The new Orlando MPV has a key role to play in Chevrolet's continued product offensive in Europe, as Wayne Brannon, president and managing director for Chevrolet Europe explains. "The new Orlando MPV kicks off an ambitious seven-product launch program over the next 15 months.

"We're confident the Orlando not only brings great value for money to the MPV class but also something fresh - function with attitude if you like - and the opportunity for us to continue building our volume across Europe. I believe it will also bring more new customers to the Chevrolet brand."

While the exterior of the new Orlando is sure to draw plenty of attention, the interior too features the latest design cues from Chevrolet such as the Corvette inspired dual cockpit and ambient blue backlighting to the centre console. However, it's the theatre style seating arrangement of the Orlando's three rows of seats, the generous load area and the numerous storage solutions that will also grab the attention of family motorists.

In spite of the sweeping roof-line, the designers have succeeded in raising the second and third row of seats, which means Orlando's occupants get an even better view both forwards and to the side. And with a wide variety of seating configurations possible, the Orlando can be quickly transformed into one of the most voluminous vans in the class when it comes to carrying loads.

Any hard working family car needs plenty of interior storage space for all the 'paraphernalia' that builds up. Like the Orlando concept car, the Orlando obliges with a range of compartments of different shapes and sizes situated in the center console, front and rear doors, rear cargo area and even the roof.

However, perhaps the most ingenious is a storage area hidden behind front fascia of the audio, and within easy reach of the both the driver and passenger. Seen originally on the Orlando concept car, the designers have been able to integrate a usefully large area which is revealed by flipping up the face of the audio, and large enough for such items as an MP3 player, sunglasses and wallets. Within the space itself, there is also a USB port – ideal for re-charging the MP3 or iPod when on the move.

The Orlando is based on Chevrolet's successful and award winning Cruze sedan, already proven to offer excellent ride and handling. Under the hood there will be a choice of three of Chevrolet's latest fuel efficient engines: one gasoline engine will be available, a 1.8 liter with power output of 141 hp and two diesel units, the latest version of Chevrolet's 2.0 liter engine with outputs of 131hp (low output) or 163 hp (high output).

Customers will also be able to choose from three trim levels with standard equipment on all cars including electronic stability control, six air-bags, air conditioning and power mirrors.

Full production of the Chevrolet Orlando starts in October with the car going on sale across Europe in early 2011.

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