General Motors India will release a new model of its charming little hatchback named the Chevy Beat this week, the country’s car blogs are reporting. And the engine, a compact 1.2-liter job made on the Subcontinent, will run on propane.
The LPG-powered Beat will sell for more than its petrol-burning sibling. Though early estimates have the propane version winning in sales, as car buyers consider the long-term fuel savings. GM-India is also expected to put out a diesel model later this summer.
It’s hard to read these headlines without wondering: What carmaker will bring a dedicated propane vehicle to the US market? At the moment, it’s just school buses here. The primary option for drivers that want LPG is to go with a conversion service, like Roush, which will adapt a Ford F-150 for $5,500. Importing a Beat is probably a no go, too, since India is a drive-on-the-left country — so perhaps the right vehicle for a rural letter carrier.
Meantime, the national automaker Tata is working on a compact propane burner, too, forecasting an increasingly big appetite for propane in India.