GM's first two vehicles from its JV with SAIC, the Sail and the MPV Concept have been unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo. The Sail, when it is launched later this year, will compete with the Swift/Polo and the likes and by the looks of it, the Sail is indeed a strong contender.
The exterior is in tune with the rest of the Chevrolet family - the 'dual-port' grille as GM calls it and the prominent bowtie badge - and overall, the Sail is a fresh looking car if not overtly dynamic. Unlike the Beat, the Sail is a conservative design and it definitely borrows styling cues from a few Indian hatchbacks. GM's party trick for the Sail lies on the inside, with smart space utilisation being the keyword. To start with, the Sail's fuel tank is placed in the centre of the car, and GM's much endorsed dual-cockpit design makes an appearance on the Sail. The Sail features lots of storage bins and with the tall boy-ish stance of the car, headroom is good too.
The Sail will be available with both petrol and diesel engines although the choice of motors hasn't been announced just as yet.
The other big news from GM is the unveiling of the MPV Concept - a very production-ready looking MPV that definitely will take the fight to the Innova/Xylo's doorstep. It will be available as 7/8 seater and while not much has been revealed about the MPV yet, it will be safe to assume a strong diesel powerplant will be on offer. The exterior is pleasant, to say the least, and while it doesn't resemble the rest of the GM family much, its clean lines will surely find fans in large numbers. Interestingly, the doors for the middle row are conventional hinged doors rather than sliding ones. Also, we spotted the concept running 175/70 R14 JK Ultima radials so you can expect car-like driving comfort.
The unveiling of the MPV and the Sail signifies that the Chinese (SAIC) are in the driving seat. The two cars are SAIC's official entry in India and other products will follow soon. We'll keep you posted!