This teaser photo is our first look at the Chevrolet Spin, a new five- or seven-passenger people mover that will be built in Indonesia. Chevrolet says the Spin will initially be sold in Brazil and Indonesia, followed by other markets (read: not ours) at a later date.
The Chevrolet Spin is halfway between a minivan and a crossover, lacking sliding doors but able to seat either five or seven passengers depending on configuration. It's likely that this vehicle rides on the same global platform as cars like the Chevrolet Sonic, and shares that model's powertrain. Chevrolet so far has only confirmed that the Spin has a six-speed automatic transmission. The only engine choices will probably be small four-cylinders; the American-spec Sonic offers a choice between a 1.8-liter inline-four and a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four.
Of course, General Motors already has a people mover on sale in Europe and Canada: the Orlando. That model, too, is based on Chevrolet's front-wheel-drive small-car platform. It made its debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show and went on sale in Canada last fall. However, Chevrolet decided not to sell the Orlando in the U.S. market lest it steal market share away from the Equinox and Traverse crossovers. The Spin is probably cheaper (both in quality and price) than the Orlando, making it more suitable for sale in markets like Brazil and Indonesia.
Chevrolet promises that the Spin blends "car-like handling" with the "muscular" design of an SUV. By lightening the provided teaser photo, we're able to make out large headlights, bold sheetmetal creases above each wheel, and an almost totally flat roof that ends in a vertical hatch. The design is a lot less graceful than modern crossovers, but it sounds like Chevrolet wanted the Spin to look more like a traditional SUV.
In a speech given yesterday to stockholders, GM CEO Dan Akerson called the Spin, "a great-looking and affordable choice for families."
The Chevrolet Spin goes into production in early 2013. Expect more details to emerge before it launches in South America within the next few months.