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by Adam Lynton
General Motors is looking to turn things around in South America with the introduction of the Onix subcompact at the Sao Paulo Motor Show exclusively for the local market.
Brazil accounts for more than half of GM's sales in South America, which is why the 2012 Sao Paulo Auto Show was the ideal location to reveal Chevrolet's new Onix subcompact model. Built to do battle with the revised VW Gol and Hyundai's new HB20, the Onix rides on the same Gamma II platform shared with the Cobalt sedan and Spin MPV. Riding on a 2.53-meter long wheelbase, the five-door hatch will come in three trims (LS, LT and LTZ) and offer two four-cylinder engines.
A 1.0-liter unit is good for 78 horsepower on gasoline and 80 hp on ethanol, and a 1.4-liter unit is rated at 98 hp on gas and 106 hp on ethanol.
Inside, the Onix will feature modern tech including the MyLink multimedia system that can be integrated with the driver's smartphone. Prices for the subcompact range from 29,990 Brazilian Reals (about $15k in US Dollars) for the base LS 1.0L to 41,990 BRL (~$20k) for the top-of-the-line LTZ 1.4L.