Officials (who wish to remain anonymous) at General Motors India have confirmed that the Sail hatchback will be launched in India by mid-October 2012. The carmaker is in the process of readying its fleet of test cars which will be handed over to the media for testing purposes between October 8 and 12, 2012. The Sail hatchback aims to take advantage of the festive season as consumers prefer fresher products than mere facelifts or limited editions of the cars that already exist in the market.
While the officials did not give us any further information on the test cars, their specs or variants, we are being told that only the hatchback version of the GM-SAIC Sail will be launched as of now. Its sedan counterpart, which has been rigorously testing in India for quite a while now, will be launched at a later stage. The Sail hatchback will be powered by the 1.2-litre petrol engine from the Beat and puts out 80 PS of power and 108 Nm of torque. The specs of the petrol engine are on par with those of the Sail’s competition, viz. the Toyota Etios Liva, Hyundai i20, Maruti Suzuki Swift and Honda Jazz. Expectedly, the Sail hatchback will repalce the ageing Aveo U-VA hatchback currently sold by Chevrolet in India.
The Sail is also expected to get the 1.3-litre Multijet engine for its diesel variants. The engine will run the common state of tune with a power and torque output of 75 PS and 190 Nm respectively. The diesel engine is said to be assembled at GM’s engine plant in Chakan, Maharashtra in order to save costs as compared to sourcing the mill from Fiat’s plant in Ranjangaon.
We are expecting the Sail hatchback to start at Rs 4.25 – 4.5 lakh for the petrol version and Rs 5.25 – 5.5 lakh for the diesel. While the hatchback will go on sale instantly after its launch in mid-October, the Sail sedan is expected to debut by November 2012 or early next year.