General Motors is developing a new compact Chevrolet SUV with three rows of seating, GM Authority has learned from sources familiar with the project. The new SUV, or more specifically – a unibody crossover, is being developed by GM’s Brazilian division specifically for developing markets.
According to our sources, this next-generation Chevrolet SUV will use a long-wheelbase variant of the new GM GEM platform, short for Global Emerging Markets. The architecture was introduced earlier this year by the new Chevrolet Onix Sedan as well as the new, second-generation Chevrolet Tracker crossover SUV. Along with the larger dimensions, the new crossover will receive new structural reinforcements as well as a rear suspension design that will be capable of adequately accommodating a third row of seats.
It is worth noting that this future compact, three-row Chevrolet SUV will share its version of the GEM platform and various other mechanical components with the upcoming all-new Chevrolet unibody pickup, also in development by GM Brazil. In fact, the two models will be the only two members of Chevrolet’s new family of GEM-based vehicles engineered exclusively by The General’s Brazilian subsidiary.
Passenger capacity is expected to be seven passengers, in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Although there is no official information to back up this claim, we believe that this upcoming compact Chevrolet SUV could replace the current Chevrolet Spin. In fact, the model could even keep the Spin name, recreating the MPV as a more rugged vehicle, as GM Mercosur executives have referred to the MPV since the launch of the “adventurous” Spin Activ variant.
In any case, this future seven-seat Chevrolet SUV will be positioned between the new Tracker and the current Equinox. And unlike Spin – which is only sold in a select few countries in South America – this new utility will have a greater commercial reach and will be marketed in more emerging markets in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Like the small unibody pickup, the utility is not planned to be sold in China.
While the rest of the Chevy models based on the GEM platform will be powered by a new family of three-cylinder 1.0- and 1.3-liter engines, both the new seven-seat Chevrolet SUV and the compact pickup will use the turbocharged 1.4L I-4 LE2 engine, which was offered in the second-generation Chevrolet Cruze. The posted four will make roughly 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. It will likely be coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The upcoming three-row Chevrolet SUV is one of five GEM-based future Chevrolet models that GM will start manufacturing in South America over the next two and a half years. It is expected that the vehicle will go on sale during the 2021 calendar year, as the last model from the first-generation GEM family.