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  • CHEVROLET ORLANDO CONCEPT – A Compact, Seven-passenger Hatchback.

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    Chevrolet has released two preview design sketches of the Orlando Concept, a seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle with a SUV-like muscular design which will debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

    It is a five-door, based on the Chevrolet Cruze compact car, which also will bow in Paris in October. They both ride on GM’s new Global Compact Vehicle Architecture or Delta 2.

    The face of the Orlando is patently Chevy, the profile reveals the high beltline and illusion of a low roof in a three-row vehicle billed as spacious enough to be the single vehicle for a European family. Flared fenders are designed to give it a more masculine image. Under the hood of the show car is the same new 150-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-diesel as the Cruze gets for Europe.

    While the Cruze is a definite go for global markets, starting in Europe next year as a 2010 model and making its way to North America a year later as a 2011 model, GM officials are not yet saying if the Orlando will go into production. We see no reason why it wouldn’t be, given the demand today for small, fuel-efficient vehicles with decent interior space.

    According to Chevrolet, the Orlando gives a “clear indication” about the expansion to its portfolio which is currently under consideration.

    It combines the versatility attributes of a sport utility – such as impressive interior space – with those of a family van – such as adaptable seating – and a wagon.

    With flared fenders instead of a flat side-body, Orlando has a muscular stance that gives it the appearance of a sport utility vehicle, yet it offers dynamic ride and handling, excellent fuel efficiency and easy entry thanks to its car-based architecture.

    Inside, the five-door Orlando is designed to meet the needs of families, with adaptable, theater-style seating in three rows that accommodate up to seven occupants.

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    The spacious cabin can be quickly transformed into a large cargo area. A generous 2,760 mm wheelbase and wide front and rear tracks provide outstanding interior roomines

    In the U.S., power would come from GM’s new family of direct-injection four-cylinder gasoline engines, likely turbocharged. We would expect the North American Orlando to be built in Lordstown, Ohio, which is being retooled to build the Cruze.

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