Korea-made Chevrolet Trax unveiled

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Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - GM Korea unveiled Wednesday the Chevrolet Trax, a new compact sport utility vehicle that GM's small vehicle development team has been leading the engineering and design of over the past five years.

Amid the growing acceptance of small-engine, fuel-efficient vehicles globally, carmakers have recently been betting big on the niche segment - compact SUVs. And the Korean-flavored Trax is the first of its kind to be introduced here.

"Trax is a vehicle of a new concept. It combines functionality of SUVs and comfort and stable handling of sedans," said GM Korea's vice president Ankush Arora during an unveiling event held on Jeju on Wednesday.

He cited Kia Motors' Sportage and Hyundai's Tucson SUVs as key competitors, but added that the Trax competed against all segment vehicles due to the new car's unique, unprecedented concept.

Except for vehicles for the South and North American markets that are currently produced in Mexico, all the Trax cars that will be marketed in Korea and other overseas markets are manufactured at the Korean unit's Bupyeong factory in Incheon.

When it comes to design, the Trax features a simple shape that conveys athletic agility and movement despite its bold look that succeeds the family look of the Chevrolet brand. Its spacious interior is boosted with a front passenger seat that folds flat.

Instead of diesel engines that are more widely adopted by SUVs, the Trax comes equipped with a 1.4 liter turbocharged gasoline engine, whose production has started in Korea following at GM's U.S. and European operations.

As the result, the Trax offers up to 140 horsepower and a fuel efficiency of 12.2 kilometers per liter, the carmaker said.

Other distinctive features include Chevrolet MyLink, GM's next-generation smart infotainment system, and a premium Bose sound system.

The local price tag of the car ranges from 19.4 million won ($18,000) for entry-level to 22.89 million won for the high-end model, slightly higher than market expectations of 17-20 million won.

"The pricing is competitive," said the vice president, hinting that some 200 pre-orders were made a day ahead of the official launch on Feb. 25. Its global launch in more than 140 countries is expected to be made in the coming months in phases.

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