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Just recently General Motors launched the updated versions of both the Chevrolet Captiva and Chevrolet Cruze in the Indian market. At the launch of the company mentioned that the Sail hatchback will be called the Sail U-VA and will hit Indian roads in July. GM also clarified that it will be offered with both petrol and diesel engines. The diesel will be the 1.3-litre Multijet engine which will also do duty on the Enjoy MPV (in a slightly different set of tune) and the Sail sedan. However the petrol engine will not be the 1.2-litre motor which does duty in the Beat.

Instead GM has decided to use the 1.4-litre petrol engine on the Chevrolet Sail U-VA. The decision is quite surprising as it will lead to a higher excise duty on the Sail U-VA. GM plan to position the Sail U-VA as a premium hatchback, which again is a very surprising move. Neither does the Sail U-VA looks premium from any direction, nor does it carry modern interiors (the power window switches are placed in the center, which is something Tata Motors thought off almost 10 years back with the original Indica and Indigo)!

Naturally, the Chevrolet Sail U-VA even with higher excise duties won’t be priced very high, however positioning it against the Maruti Suzuki Swift or the Hyundai i20 will turn out to be a very wrong decision indeed. The Sail U-VA is a Chinese vehicle, made by SAIC and thus a low cost vehicle which should be priced around Rs. 4.5 lakhs for the base variant, if it wants to succeed in the highly competitive Indian market. It remains to be seen how GM plan to position the Sail U-VA.

The 1.4-litre petrol engine in the Sail U-VA is expected to produce around 90 PS of peak power and 125 Nm of peak torque. This is the same engine which does duty in the Aveo sedan but could be down-tuned for better mileage. A mileage of around 16 km/l is expected from the petrol engined Sail U-VA while the diesel engined Sail U-VA should return something around 20 km/l.

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Update – The Chevrolet Sail U-VA will be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine and not a 1.4-litre petrol engine. The latter will do duty in the Sail sedan.