GM  Hatch GM Hatch 

General Motors has taken the wraps off its new hatchback model that will become the company’s new city car in 2011.

Penned by Australian designer Ondrej Koromhaz, the new car will be sold under the Chevrolet Aveo, Holden/Vauxhall Barina and Daewoo Kalos badges, and will be in direct competition with the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris.

The styling retains the look pioneered in the concept model shown during January’s Detroit Motor Show, which was also penned by Koromhaz.

The car will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show at the end of the month, and has increased its size to a five-door model with the hidden rear door handle styling borrowed from Alfa Romeo.

The shape itself bears resemblance to the company’s current city hatch, although it bears a more athletic appearance with the use of sharper creases, a rising waistline and the aggressive grille treatment first pioneered in its larger sister car, the Cruze.

The car will be exported from its GM Daewoo Korean manufacturing base, as its predecessor – which continues to enjoy strong sales despite only having a two-star crash safety rating – did. GM has also boasted that the interior and luggage space will be among the best in its class.

European import versions of the car will be offered two 1.3-litre diesels with stop-start technology, in addition to a range of petrol engines ranging between the 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre capacities. Transmission choices are likely to be between a standard five- or six-speed manual and the option of a six-speed automatic gearbox.

More pressingly for the decisions of potential buyers, the crash rating on this model has improved to a four-star rating.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.