The production version of the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer has been revealed. As a proper SUV in a market increasingly dominated by crossovers, the new Trailblazer is a “haul-anything, go-anywhere” vehicle that will go on sale around the world — beginning with Thailand in June 2012 — with a long list of standard and optional features.
Initially making its world debut as a concept at the 2011 Dubai International Motor Show, the production Trailblazer maintains most of the concept’s design elements. The SUV uses the all-new Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck’s body-on-frame architecture and features a 7-passenger interior with three-row tumble and/or fold-flat seats. It is offered with two variants of GM’s new four-cylinder Duramax turbo-diesel engine, one a 2.5-liter and the other a 2.8-liter unit. Both engines can be equipped with either a six-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual gearbox.
The 2.5-liter unit produces 148 horsepower (150 PS) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque, while the 2.8-liter engine makes 177-HP (180 PS) and 346 lb-ft (470 Nm) of torque when using the automatic and 324 lb-ft (440 Nm) when using the manual gearbox.
Despite using the platform of a truck and, thus, being a proper SUV, the new Trailblazer is said to drive like a regular crossover.
“The Trailblazer will cater to a wide range of driving styles and requirements. It is car-like responsive and premium in its ride quality while offering the off-road capability that our customers demand. That makes it the complete SUV package,” said Brad Merkel, GM’s Global Vehicle Line Executive for Midsize Trucks and SUVs.
The 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer will make its world debut at the 2012 Bangkok Motor Show in Thailand. GM says the new SUV will not be sold in North America.
New Chevrolet Sonic Debuts in Southeast Asia
Better late than sorry, the old saying goes. After going on sale in North America and Europe almost half a year ago, the all-new Chevrolet Sonic has finally made its Southeast Asian debut at the 2012 Bangkok Motor Show in Thailand. Offered in both sedan and hatchback variants, the Sonic slots under the larger Chevrolet Cruze and will replace the Aveo in the region.
The Sonic is built on GM’s Gamma-II compact car platform and can be fitted with a variety of engines, including three petrol engines with displacements of 1.2-litre, 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre, respectively, with outputs ranging from 70 to 115 horsepower. It can accommodate a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, although the automatic will likely be the flavor of choice in the Southeast Asian region.
Chevrolet‘s design brief was for the Sonic to have a sporty demeanor in an effort to distance itself from the boring Aveo. Going by the reviews form North America and Europe, the company’s engineers seem to have succeeded in achieving that objective. Chevy’s new subcompact is fun to drive.
Though retaining some semblance to the old Aveo, the Sonic sports a more aggressive design, largely thanks to its prominent dual-port grille, wider stance and more pronounced wheel arches. Inside, it gets motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster and theme, as well has higher quality materials. The car was clearly designed with the young ones in mind.
The all-new Chevrolet Sonic will go on sale in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and The Philippines, as well as other markets in the ASEAN region, later in 2012.
New Ford Focus Finally Launches in Southeast Asia
For the first time in more than a decade, the world gets just one Ford Focus, rather than several regionalized versions. But before it can truly claim the title as Ford‘s global compact sedan, the car needs to be sold in every relevant market, or at least have the same reach as the last-gen Focus had. Making its Southeast Asian debut at the 2012 Bangkok Motor Show in Thailand, the new Focus takes one step closer to helping Ford realize its “One Ford” strategy.
The Southeast Asian version of the third-gen Ford Focus is virtually identical to its North American and European counterparts, sporting the same athletic look and the same interior design. It comes available with Ford’s new Duratec 2.0 litre Ti-VCT GDi engine, which at 170 PS and 200 Nm of torque, offers almost 20 percent more power than the 2.0 litre Duratec in the old model. The engine is mated to a six-speed, dual dry-clutch PowerShift transmission with paddle shifters.
Also available is the Duratec 1.6-litre Ti-VCT engine found in the smaller Ford Fiesta. That engine can be had with either a six-speed Ford PowerShift transmission or a five-speed iB5 manual gearbox.
The latest Ford Focus is equipped with more affordable smart technologies and features, including the Ford SYNC hands-free, voice-activated in-car connectivity system. Other smart features, some of which are first-in-market for ASEAN, include Active Park Assist, Active City Stop, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Smart Keyless Entry.
The new Ford Focus will be offered in both sedan and five-door hatchback variants. It will go on sale in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and several other markets in the region. Available features may vary from country to country.
Mercury Production to Stop in September?
A new report from Automotive News claims that production of all Mercury vehicles will cease by the end of October. According to three Mercury dealers familiar with FoMoCo’s plans, the wind-down will begin by the of September.
Production of the almost-antique Grand Marquis will stop on Sept. 30, the Mountaineer on Oct. 1, the Milan on Oct. 2, and the Mariner on Oct. 3. Ford has yet to make official dates given any dates on when any of these actions would be take place. Stay tuned.
Source: Automotive News