CHEVROLET has just launched an all-new car, the Sail. It is a subcompact car that is targeted to compete against the likes of the Toyota Vios and the Honda City. Their top of the line variant, the LTZ, is priced at around P858,000 and you get a lot of car. What is nice about this car is the in-car entertainment. It has a touch screen monitor that syncs with your smart phone and everything you need in the digital world can be controlled from it. The display can even be set to the same as your smart phone. For all intents and purposes, it is a built-in tablet. This is a feature I did not expect from this category of car. In today’s digital world, it really comes in handy. You can have access to Waze, Spotify and Google Play for even more apps. Now, how cool is that?
The 1.5-liter dual VVTi engine comes with 109 horsepower, good enough for a car this size. It will not make it a rockeship but neither will it be a pedal boat. The inside of the car is spacious and comfortable. It looks small on the outside but big on the inside. It is also the only car in its class that comes with a sunroof in the LTZ variant. Another attraction to this car is the three year or 100,000 kilometer warranty – this shows Chevy’s confidence in the reliability of their cars.
I have not had a chance to test this car yet, but I hope Chevy will give me the opportunity, so I can give a full review on this car. On paper, though it seems that this will give the Toyota Vios and Honda City a run for its money.
The two other variants available are the 1.3L manual and the 1.5LT priced at P688,000 and P768,000, respectively.
EMISSION STANDARDS. To make it to the tighter and tighter emission standards set by the European Union and the USA, there has been a trend now of cars having smaller displacement engines but turbocharged. Forced induction is the answer of the manufacturers to make up for the power loss of small engines.
BMW, for example, has joined the bandwagon by introducing three cylinder turbo engines for their 1 series models. This is something that would be unthinkable10 years ago.
For a while it seemed that in order to comply with required emission standards, direct injection turbo diesel was the way to go. Powerful but eco-friendly diesel engines were being developed in Europe. All the major manufacturers appeared to be going in this direction, including the luxury cars such as BMW and Mercedes Benz. I have this feeling that those diesel engines are actually not as clean as it was supposed to be, especially after that Voltage diesel scandal. These engines could have been developed to pass the emission test as defined by law, but in the real world conditions would still be polluting. Hence we have this sudden shift.
Nissan just last month announced it’s latest gasoline engine with variable compression ratio and turbocharged. They claim that the variable compression ratio engine is so efficient and clean that it will make turbo diesel engines obsolete. The Nissan design actually also alters the displacement of the engine and the different compression ratios is a consequence of such. The new Nissan engine is 2.0 liter turbocharged in-line 4 cylinder. The engine it will be replacing is a 3.5 liter V6. The variable compression engine is said to have the same power and torque of the V6 but it will be 27 percent more efficient.
Things are getting exciting for gasoline-powered vehicles.