It promises to be a big November for Chevrolet in Malaysia – the brand is set to introduce a trio of vehicles to end 2012 with a bang. On the cards are the Trailblazer SUV and the Orlando MPV, but the one set to be the new spearhead here for the marque is undoubtedly the Sonic, the brand’s new B-segment contender.
We’d reported that the Sonic was coming, and it is – the car is set to be launched here in both five-door hatch and four-door sedan forms. Based on a tip that the trio was to be found at Chevrolet Ampang, I popped in earlier today to see if there were indeed there. Turns out they were, two of them at least.
They were tucked away under wraps at the back of the facility – working on the adage that if you ask nicely, you’d usually get somewhere, I did, and was allowed to view the Sonic sedan, removing the cover to snap some photos of the exterior (the car was locked). Didn’t get to take the cover off the Trailblazer though, and the Orlando wasn’t at the facility.
The friendly sales executive, Ahmad, told me that the cars would be launched sometime next month. No word on the trim levels available, but in Thailand, where the Rayong-built car is sold, the Sonic is available as a basic LS (sedan only), LT and top-spec LTZ.
A 1.4 litre Ecotec four-cylinder offering 100 hp and 130 Nm at 4,000 rpm is the single mill on call, mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox, though in all probability we’ll only see the auto.
Meanwhile, the Trailblazer, which is also built at the GM plant in Rayong, is the SUV version of the Colorado. It’s available in two- and four-wheel-drive configurations, and will feature the Duramax 2.5 and 2.8 litre VGT four-cylinder turbodiesel mills as found on the Colorado.
As for the Orlando, that one is well due in – in February last year, we’d reported that the seven-seater MPV was supposed to be launched in Malaysia in the second half of 2011, and it’s already getting close to 2013!
Built upon the Cruze’s chassis with a stretched 2,760 mm wheelbase, the Orlando features three engine choices globally, a 141 PS 1.8 litre petrol engine similar to the one found in the Cruze, a 2.0 litre turbodiesel engines in two different output tunes (130 PS or 163 PS) and a 2.4 litre petrol mill for North America. Chances are we’ll be seeing the 1.8 litre petrol when the time comes.