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By Andrew Ganz

With the Chevrolet Spark set to take over as the bowtie brand's entry-level model, Chevrolet has taken the wraps off of a larger and more upwardly mobile 2012 Aveo hatchback. Making its official debut this week at the Paris Motor Show, the 2012 Aveo will go on sale next year in North America.

The Aveo hatchback is aimed primarily at European and Asian markets, although it will go on sale in North America. A United States and Canada-oriented Aveo sedan will debut at a North American auto show later this season.

Based heavily on the Aveo RS concept that debuted back in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the production Aveo hatchback eschews the outgoing car's humble style for a more aggressive front fascia and a notably more angular side profile.

Chevrolet hasn't released any interior photos, but the automaker says that the car boasts a "motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster" and extensive blue backlighting. "High quality materials" are apparently on offer, as well as Bluetooth, a USB hook up and an auxiliary input jack.

The automaker also hasn't detailed North American-specification Aveos yet, but it did say that European models receive electronic power steering, stability control and ABS all as standard equipment. Several four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines will be offered over the pond, starting with two 1.2-liter variants (70 and 86 horsepower), a 1.4-liter (100 horsepower) and a 1.6-liter (115 horsepower). Two 1.3-liter diesels (75 and 95 horsepower) will be equipped with fuel-saving start/stop technology.

Five and six-speed manual transmissions will be standard, while many markets will receive optional six-speed automatics on 1.4 and 1.6-liter gasoline engines.

A higher-performance model based on the Aveo RS show car is still likely to debut in the future.



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