At the Paris Motor Show in September, Chevrolet will unveil the Trax compact crossover. The Trax will go on sale in 140 different countries, but Chevrolet says it’s not coming to the U.S.
The Chevrolet Trax isn’t a huge surprise, given that in March we saw patent drawings previewing a Chevrolet-badged crossover that was based on the new 2013 Buick Encore. The car has also been reskinned for European markets as the Opel Mokka, but producing a Chevrolet version will help General Motors sell the Trax in so-called emerging markets like Asia, South America, and so on.
Chevrolet confirms that the Trax won’t be sold in the U.S. because it would allegedly infringe on the territory of the Equinox crossover. Still, there is quite a large margin between the vehicles: the Equinox is 19.3 inches longer and 2.6 inches wider than the Buick Encore, on which the Trax is based. With that in mind, it’s not impossible that the two crossovers could attract different types of buyers. Regardless, the Equinox is one of Chevrolet’s strongest-selling vehicles, so the brand would be loathe to reduce that sales momentum by introducing the Trax in our market.
The Trax will first launch in Mexico by the end of this year, and then Chevrolet will roll out the crossover around the world. There’s no word yet on powertrain options or equipment, though the company promises the Trax, “delivers the flexibility, great fuel economy and car-like handling that urban explorers around the world require.” We wouldn’t be surprised if the same engines found in the Mokka wind up in the Trax; if so, expect buyers to choose between a 1.6-liter I-4, a turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4, or a 1.7-liter turbo-diesel I-4. Expect any of those three engine choices to be mated with a six-speed automatic transmission, along with either front- or all-wheel drive.