New Chevy Montana Small Pickup Truck Launched for South America

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The South American arm of Chevrolet has dropped info and pics on its new Montana ute/truck/thing, and from the looks of it, the US market has avoided a bomb. If memory serves me correctly, the closest thing we've had here was the Subaru Baja, and that ended in tears.

Based on South America's new Chevrolet Agile hatchback, the Montana - not to be confused with the Colorado, another state-themed waste of space - will arrive in January 2011 and offer our friends to the South (not you, Hugo!) the segment's most storage and 1.4 power. The ute has a potential payload of 758 kilograms in its 1,100 liter bed (1,180 without the cover).

The 1.4-liter engine makes 102 horsepower if fed alcohol and a mere 97 ponies when running on gasoline. With alcohol, the car will peak at 170 km/h and hit 100 km/h (62mph) in 12.1 seconds. As expected, running on gasoline adds a few extra ticks (12.3 to 100 km/h and a top speed of 168 km/h). So, this car is like Bender from Futurama: alcohol makes it stronger.

Dimensions are like this:4.51 meters long, 1.70 m wide and 1.58 m high. Inside the oddly-shaped cabin, a dual cabin layout and "embossed seat" technology are present. Apparently it's to make the interior slightly more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable.

As you can see, the Montana wears Chevy's new global face, behind which is a body only a mother could love. Other than that, the Montana will come in two trim levels for "work and fun": LS and Sport.

The base workhorse LS features the most cabin space in the segment at 164 liters behind the seats, has a side step, and rides on 14- or 15-inch wheels. On top of that, the Sport - which is more for daily use - adds standard 15's, black headlight housings, body color mirrors, and other "premium" touches like cruise control and dual airbags.

Other available features include blue backlighting for the gauges, digital temperature readouts, automatic headlights, CD/MP3/USB/iPod player and connections, and power windows and locks.

Any South American readers out there, please weigh in on this one. Do you like?

By Phil "I was working off a Google-translated press release" Alex