Wednesday, July 29, 2009

First Sketch: 2010 Chevrolet Agile

General Motors has announced that it will launch a new compact hatchback primarily for the South American market in the fourth quarter of 2009. The Chevrolet Agile, as it has been named, is a "compact, versatile car with great design," according to a translated GM document.

The vehicle will be built in Rosary, Argentina, where a plant is already being retooled to begin production. With a showroom debut looming in a matter of months, we'd usually be seeing a production-ready version of such a vehicle right about now. Strangely, though, GM has only released rough design sketches of the new compact vehicle, along with photos of the Gpix (called Agile in Brazil) concept crossover -- a vehicle said to have provided styling references for the Agile.

From what we can make of it, the Agile seems to slot in somewhere between compact hatchback and crossover, with the roughly translated GM document suggesting the "near space and aspect of a crossover." True to its name, the Agile has been designed to combine practicality and comfort with a fun-to-drive character and a youthful feel. More from a new Agile consumer site claims, "Agile is the symbol of the new Chevrolet vehicles; it implies rapidity, dynamism, and flexibility -- qualities of the new GM that is being born."

With the South American market and the Agile's segment in mind, we'd venture the car will be fitted with a variety of small-displacement four-cylinder gasoline engines, no doubt including a version of GM's 1.4-liter unit.

Could the Agile come to the U.S.? Not long ago, we reported on the 2011 Chevy Viva -- a subcompact five-door hatch that we currently believe will be built in South Korea and could serve as the replacement for the current Aveo. While the Agile was designed in South America and will be built in Argentina, there is also the possibility that a version of the Agile will end up being the small car that will be built at the Lake Orion, Michigan, plant, which has been announced by GM as the facility that will build an as-yet-unspecified small car. That, along with a GM reference to the Viva platform (translated as "Alive" in the release below), means that the Viva and Agile could essentially be one and the same, but we'll have to wait for official details to be sure.

What do you think of the Chevrolet Agile? Does GM need such a vehicle in the U.S. and, more importantly, would it sell?

Thanks to: Motor Trend

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