General Motor's New Chevrolet Beat Diesel review, test drive

At a time when the petrol price is the biggest foe of the car-buying middle class General Motors is sure to make everyone sit up and take notice as they prepare to launch the smallest diesel offering in the country by way of the Beat Diesel. Powering GM’s first oil-burning hatch in the country is a three cylinder version of the famous Multijet diesel unit that was co-developed by GM and Fiat. The engine has been in the works for over 2 years, being constantly refined to deliver the right amount of fuel efficiency, driveability and smoothness.  Does the Beat deliver?

For the most part the Beat Diesel is a pleasant surprise, right from the first time you crank it. The engine settles down to a smooth idle and you can barely feel the vibe from the 3-cylinder motor. Noise is also well suppressed in the small hatch. As soon as we were out onto the narrow Goan roads it was apparent that the Beat was happy to amble along. 57 bhp of power and 15.29 kgm of torque from the 936cc motor isn’t particularly impressive. However, GM has chosen shorter gear ratios so that driveability at city speeds is satisfying. The engine too really feels like in its sweet spot from the 1600rpm mark up to the 3000rpm mark, giving the Beat Diesel a useful mid-range. Ambling around in third gear at 40kmh you just need to step on the throttle to get past the rickshaw without making a fuss. It’s just that there’s no zest or punch in the proceedings. NVH levels are also impressive with the Beat feeling particularly smooth around the 2000rpm mark. You can barely hear the motor and there are no vibes at hand.

However, things change once you hit the highway. The three-cylinder diesel thrum becomes apparent once you get past the 2500rpm mark and is hard to shake off when cruising along on the highway. The shortfall in grunt also becomes more obvious as quick overtaking maneuvers require a shift or two down on the gearbox.  Rev the engine to its 5000rpm red-line is pointless as in the last 1500rpm the engine gets noisy without adding any pace.

What is apparent is that the new gas-charged shock absorbers and the wider 165/65 R14 tyres have made the ride a lot more pliant. The Beat now rides over bumps and potholes without the sporty firmness that was felt on the petrol Beat. There’s a softer, more accommodating feel to the way it handles bad roads. The new electric power steering also offers a more tactile experience. It has lost that distant, inert feel replacing it with a more direct communicative link to the front wheels.
Overall the Beat Diesel is a very interesting and exciting package. Its engine offers the kind of drivability that makes short work of city traffic and rounds it off with good NVH levels. What will pique interest levels further is the company claimed fuel efficiency figure of 24kmpl.  Now all that remains to be seen is the pricing. GM could price the Beat Diesel around the Maruti Swift, Ritz and Figo. However, we expect the price to be below these established players, and that will put the Beat Diesel in a very enviable position.


Overview of Chevrolet Beat Diesel

Chevrolet India is planning to launch the Beat Diesel in India on 27th July. GM India has announced the manufacturing of 1-litre (936cc) diesel engines (57 Bhp-150 Nm) from their Talegaon manufacturing plant which will be doing duty for the latest hot hatch Beat. Company is also planning to increase production of two of their cars – Beat and Cruze to meet the customer demands. The diesel variant of Chevrolet Beat is expected to be priced 40-50 thousand more in comparison to its petrol siblings.

Here is what General Motors India Vice-President (Sales, Marketing & Services) Ankush Arora had to say, “The one-litre diesel engine will be rolled-out from Talegaon early next year for our small car, Beat.We are planning to increase the production of Cruze to 900 units from the current 600 units and intend to raise production of Beat units to 4,000 from the present 3,300 units.”

Fast Facts About Chevrolet Beat Diesel

- Expected to be launched on 15th July
- Will be powered by a 936cc TDCi diesel engine
- Maximum power will be 57 Bhp
- Maximum torque will be 150 Nm
- Is expected to be available in 4 variants
- Is expected to be priced around four lakh rupees for base model
- Top variant will feature automatic climate control system and airbags
- Is expected to be available in seven shades
- ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 24 kmpl
- Excellent NVH deadening, silent operation
- Very less turbo lag, linear acceleration
- New Electric Power Steering replaces the hydraulic unit

Expected Variants of Chevrolet Beat Diesel

Chevrolet Beat Diesel is expected to be available in four variants:

- Chevrolet Beat Diesel PS
- Chevrolet Beat Diesel LS
- Chevrolet Beat Diesel LT
- Chevrolet Beat Diesel LT Option

The base variant of Beat Diesel will come with AC and power steering. The top of the line LT Option pack consists of ABS, Alloy wheels, Dual Airbags and Seatbelts with Load limiters. The Beat Diesel will come with host of features including Automatic Climate Control, Integrated Centre Stack Audio with USB and Aux-in Port, Tilt steering, Steering Column mounted LED back-lit speedometer & LCD digital tachometer, 60:40 Split folding seats, Tubeless Tyres, Satin Silver Roof rails.

Engine Of Chevrolet Beat Diesel

- New 936cc TDCi diesel engine
- Generates maximum power of 57 Bhp
- Develops maximum torque of 150 Nm

Chevrolet Beat Diesel will be powered by a 1.0 litre (936cc) TDCi diesel engine which will generate 57 Bhp of maximum power at 4000 rpm with 150 Nm of maximum torque at 1750 rpm.

Expected Price Of Chevrolet Beat Diesel

- Chevrolet Beat Diesel PS - Rs. 4,00,000.00
- Chevrolet Beat Diesel LS - Rs. 4,20,000.00
- Chevrolet Beat Diesel LT - Rs. 4,60,000.00
- Chevrolet Beat Diesel LT Option - Rs. 5,00,000.00

It is expected that Chevrolet India is going to price the Beat Diesel very compitively at Rs. 4.00 lakhs for the base variant.

Expected shades to be available in Chevrolet Beat Diesel

It is expected that Chevorlet Beat Diesel will be available in seven attractive shades:

- Olympic White
- Linen Beige
- Caviar Black
- Misty Lake
- Moroccan Blue
- Green Cocktail
- Super Red

More official details, exact specifications, photos and price of Chevrolet Beat Diesel after its launch on 27th July.

 that's it for now.............Drive safe make sure you wear your seat belts and please do not use high beams...........


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