Holden has revealed its all-new 2012 Barina hatch at today's Australian International Motor Show opening, following its international unveiling late last year as the Chevrolet Aveo (Sonic in some markets).
On sale from October, the next-generation Barina represents a push into relatively new territory for the iconic small Holden.
At a special press unveiling earlier this week, Holden boss Mike Devereux said that while the current Barina can be described as utilitarian, the new model is "a stylish and properly desireable small car."
“The introduction of this new model shows Barina has really grown up. This is a world-class vehicle with leading design and safety credentials. We think it’s going to be a real hit in showrooms around the country,” Mr Devereux said.
“The eye-catching design of the all-new Barina will make it stand out from the crowd and deliver what Australian small car drivers need and want."
Acknowleding the slow-selling status of the current Barina, outclassed by many of its rivals, Mr Devereux added that the new Barina is designed "to beat other entries, not just compete with them."
Like the new 2012 Colorado, Holden has maintained much of the Chevrolet Aveo's design in the look of the new Barina, keeping the American brand's 'dual port' grille and replacing the Chev bowtie with Holden's familiar lion badge.
Unlike the internationally-led design of the Colorado however, the styling of the new-look Barina is the handiwork of Holden design Ondrej Koromhaz, leading a team of designers and engineers at GM's South Korean design centre.
“After several years in the making, it’s very satisfying to see the finished product ready to hit Aussie roads. I think customers in this country will respond really positively to the new Barina,” Koromhaz said.
“We worked hard to give it an assertive appearance with lots of character that will appeal equally to men and women.
Koromhaz is responsible not only for the new Barina we see here, but also its concept progenitor, the Chevrolet Aveo RS - built right here in Australia.
Mechanical and Features
Full specifications - including power and performance figures - are still to be revealed, although Holden has confirmed the new Barina will be driven by a four-cylinder 1.6 litre petrol engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic.
Safety features will include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution and traction control. There is also a total of six airbags, including dual front, front side and full-length curtain airbags.
In the cabin, the Barina's standard features will include Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB and iPod connectivity, cruise control and steering-mounted audio controls.
The new Barina will go on sale from October. Pricing will be revealed closer to launch.