Chevy City Express will compete against Nissan’s NV200, on which the new small Chevy van is based, and against Ford’s Transit Connect.
Chevrolet unveiled its compact City Express van and announced more bi-fuel versions of its Silverado Heavy Duty pickups, and is displaying them at the Chicago Auto Show.
The 2015 Silverado and GMC Sierra HD’s bi-fuel, gasoline-compressed natural gas offerings will be available in all cab configurations, short and long box and two- and four-wheel drive models, in 2500HD and 3500HD series, the company says. It was introduced last year only as a 2500HD crew-cab 4x4.
General Motors’ 6-liter V-8 with hardened valves and valve seats enables the vehicle to operate on gasoline or compressed natural gas.
A separate CNG fuel tank enables the driver to switch between fuels at the flip of a switch. When the CNG tank is depleted, the system automatically switches to gasoline.
The Chevrolet and GMC bi-fuel pickups have a standard combined gasoline-CNG range of more than 650 miles, GM officials say.
GM’s bi-fuel option puts the CNG tank in a bed box. Gasoline tank remains below, between the frame rails.
With CNG currently priced about 62% less per gallon than gasoline, a work truck driven 26,000 miles a year can realize a fuel-cost savings of more than $2,000 annually, based on 75% CNG usage and comparable efficiency to gasoline, GM officials say.
The bi-fuel pickup trucks are available to order for both retail and commercial customers through Chevrolet and GMC dealers.
The City Express is Chevrolet’s first entry into the small van segment, and owners will benefit from service and support from 3,000 Chevy dealers, company officials are saying.
The van will be aimed at small businesses like retail and wholesale merchants, tradesmen, computer services people, and food delivery operations.
Division execs are immediately claiming that the Nissan-made compact van compares favorably to Ford’s Transit Connect van, its main competitor, and even the Nissan NV200, from which it’s derived.
City Express features include a 36.7 ft. turning diameter makes for nimble maneuvering on tight city streets. A 2-liter 16-valve dual overhead camshaft 4-cylinder engine rated at 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, and is matched with a responsive and efficient continuously variable transmission.
The powertrain is covered by a 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. The van also will come with a 3-year/36,000 bumper-to-bumper warranty and Chevrolet’s Complete Care, which includes 2-year/24,000 mile scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance.
The cargo area has 122.7 cubic feet of volume, and can be customized with bin and shelf packages to suit the specific needs of the customer. Six standard D-rings are affixed to the interior floor to secure cargo and there are six exterior roof rack mounting points.
Dual sliding side doors and 60-40 rear swing doors allow easy access to cargo. Floor height is less than 22 inches for easy loading and unloading.
The City Express can transform into a mobile office with a center console that can store a laptop and hanging folders, a passenger seat that folds flat to create a worktop space and a 12-volt power outlet for easy charging.
The City Express van will be at dealers this fall.