De Amerikaanse ex-giganten moeten vooral aan de toekomst denken, innovatie en klantgericht produceren zijn de sleutelwoorden. Met deze kennis op zak komt GM met de Equinox naar Detroit, een nieuwer, beter, zuiniger SUV. Een brandstofbesparing van maar liefst vijfentwintig procent voor de snelwegritjes brengt deze nieuwe SUV teweeg.
Na de nieuwe Z4 en de Mercedes Mclaren SLR Stirling Moss (MMSLRSM) is dit de derde nieuwkomer op de Amerikaanse autoshow. Als alles door gaat, en vooral als GM doorgaat, dan komt de Equinox medio 2009 op de markt. Vooralsnog lijkt deze alleen op de Amerikaanse markt gelanceerd te worden.
Voor de motorisering zijn op het moment dan ook alleen twee benzinemotoren beschikbaar. Een 182 pk 2.4 viercilinder lijnmotor en een 255pk 3.0 V6 mét DOHC stuwen de Equinox voort. De bovengenoemde brandstofbesparing (25% : resultaten uit het verleden bieden geen garantie voor de toekomst) behaal je echter alleen met de viercilinder. GM verwacht dan ook vooral schamel gemotoriseerde Equinoxen te gaan verkopen gezien de financiële situatie en de schommelende olieprijzen. Het verbruik van deze zuinige viercilinder? Deze voorwielaangedreven MPV/SUV/Crossover/Whatever weet een wereldschokkende honderd kilometer ver te komen op 7.8 liter benzine. Ongekend voor een Amerikaan! Blijken brandstofinjectie, dubbele nokkenassen en vier kleppen per cilinder toch nog ergens goed voor te zijn.
DETROIT – Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 2010 Equinox, a compact crossover that blends distinctive design with outstanding efficiency. A new, 2.4L direct injection engine helps the Equinox deliver expected best-in-segment estimated highway fuel economy of 30 mpg (EPA certification pending) – a 25-percent improvement over the previous model. Chevrolet expects nearly two-thirds of customers will choose the efficient, 2.4L engine.
The new Equinox draws its exterior design inspiration from the Chevrolet Malibu sedan and Traverse crossover; and like those vehicles, the new Equinox complements its styling with attention to detail and unexpected features, according to Ed Peper, GM North America vice president, Chevrolet.
The Equinox makes its world debut at the North American Auto Show in Detroit next month.
“At a time when customers are so concerned about the fuel efficiency of their vehicle, the Equinox delivers,” said Peper. “It offers the roominess and capability of a crossover with great fuel economy. Equinox will provide customers a vehicle filled with refinement, comfort and great value.”
The 2010 Equinox goes on sale in mid-2009. It is available in LS, LT and LTZ trim, with available all-wheel-drive. Two new engines are offered, each with fuel-saving direct injection and variable valve timing technology. Vehicle highlights include:
* New 2.4L Ecotec direct injected I-4 engine estimated at 182 horsepower (135 kW), which delivers an estimated 30 mpg highway, 21 mpg city (EPA certification pending)
* New 3.0L DOHC direct injected V-6 engine estimated at 255 horsepower (190 kW), which delivers an estimated 25 mpg highway, 18 mpg city (EPA certification pending)
* Driving range of more than 500 miles (800 km) with both engines, for less-frequent fill-ups
* Six standard air bags: dual frontal air bags; head curtain side air bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side air bags
* Standard four-wheel disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control
* Standard OnStar and XM Satellite Radio
* “Smart” remote starting system that also activates the HVAC system and optional heated seats depending on the outside temperature
“With the 2010 Equinox, we focused on appealing to the senses – from the overall design to the feel of the interior,” said Peper.
The design features Chevy’s signature global face – the two-tier grille and prominent gold Bowtie insignia. Strong fender shapes, a distinctive premium roofline, wraparound headlamps and dual round taillamps are additional elements that define Equinox as a true Chevrolet, Peper said.
“The new Equinox blends function and style into a very sporty, yet upscale compact crossover,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design. “Both the exterior and interior surprise and delight with careful attention to detail.”
Additional design features include:
* A multi-dimensional hood and wraparound rear side glass and a wheels-at-the-corners stance
* Improved aerodynamic performance through a number of carefully designed exterior features, including moving the base of the windshield forward approximately three inches (75 mm) for a sleeker profile
Equinox’s rocker panels are integrated into the doors to make it easier to get in and out of the vehicle. They narrow the area over which a passenger must step, offering protection for pant legs that could brush against dirty rockers. Also, the select use of chrome trim and flush-fitting ”exposed-edge” windshield and rear glass reinforce Equinox’s build quality and reduce wind noise.
Dimensionally, the Equinox rides on the same 112.5-inch wheelbase (2,857 mm), but is about one inch (25 mm) shorter in length and an inch wider. It also has a wider front track that enhances the ride and handling.
Click here to view the videos on GMtv
Interior amenities, storage and flexibility
Inside, the Equinox features attention to detail – including a number of storage bins, such as an oversized glove box; a closed storage bin in the instrument panel above the center stack; and closed storage under the center armrest large enough for a laptop computer.
A “floating” center stack houses a multitude of ergonomic comfort and convenience controls. Contemporary, ice-blue ambient lighting – featured within and surrounding the center stack, encircling the center-console cupholders and within the door pull cups – accentuates the cabin. The front and rear seats, which include cloth and uplevel, perforated leather-trimmed offerings, were developed to help deliver best-in-class comfort.
The new Equinox retains its MultiFlex rear seat capability, which allows the seat to be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches (203 mm), for the best rear legroom in its class. With the 60/40-split-back rear seat moved all the way forward, the cargo area offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of storage.
The Equinox’s cabin is notable for its quietness. Noise-absorbing elements are built into the chassis, engine compartment and interior.
Convenience, infotainment and connectivity
A variety of technologies are integrated in the Equinox, such as an available seven-inch touch-screen navigation system. Additional features also include:
* Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity
* USB audio connectivity
* DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system with two independent screens to enable DVD viewing on one and gaming on the other
* Internal memory/hard drive on uplevel radios for storing audio selections
* Power, programmable rear liftgate
* Rear-vision camera system, with display in the rearview mirror or in the navigation screen
* Range of premium-feature audio systems with up to eight speakers and 250 watts of output
Chassis and suspension
The 2010 Equinox is built on a body-integral structure with single-piece body side stampings and targeted applications of high-strength steel. Those elements form the foundation of a solid, quiet driving experience, according to Peper. The strong structure enabled engineers to tune the four-wheel-independent suspension system for greater control and driver feedback.
Standard and available features include:
* Available all wheel drive
* Family of 17-, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels
* Fuel-saving electric power steering system
The rack-mounted electric power steering system provides greater fuel efficiency of on 2.4L-equipped models that saves nearly 11 miles per tank of gas, or about 572 miles per year (assuming one fill-up per week). With the Equinox’s estimated 30 mpg on the highway, the electric power steering system saves the equivalent of approximately one tank of gas each year.
“With the outstanding interior execution and comfort, the stunning exterior design, numerous chassis improvements, and the connectivity to the outside world, the new Equinox is the favorite ride among our engineers,” said Tim Herrick, chief engineer. “I have to pull the keys out of their hands in order to take it for a spin myself.”
Chevrolet is one of America’s best-known and best-selling automotive brands. With the largest dealer network in the United States, Chevrolet delivers more-than-expected value in every vehicle category, offering cars and trucks priced from $12,120 to $103,300. Chevy delivers expressive design, spirited performance and great value with standard features usually found only on more expensive vehicles. More information on Chevrolet can be found at www.chevrolet.com.