This compact vehicle from the stables of General Motors looks and feels like a vehicle of 22nd Century and what’s surprising is that the Beat still remains true to the concept which was first unveiled in the year 2007 by retaining the same lines, creases, bulges and audacious shapes. To faithfully translate the cutting-edge design of a concept car into production was a huge feat in itself but one that had to be achieved because there can be no compromise on looks.Aggressive design and styling is a part of the DNA of every new Chevy and that’s evident the instant you clap your eyes on the Beat. The front looks disproportionately larger than the rest of the car, thanks to the massive, split Chevy grille, huge headlights, high bonnet and deep chin. From the side, the Beat looks very coupé-like with a sharply rising waistline and rear door handles that are housed where the quarter-glass usually is. The Beat comes with a fresh 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine which is a completely different unit from the UV-A’s 1.2-litre engine. This twin-cam, four-valve-per-head motor is well specced but in the present company of 1.2 petrols doesn’t really break any new ground. It develops 79bhp at a peaky 6200rpm and max torque comes at a high 4400rpm. While the power output is not quite as good as Japanese 1.2-litre motors, it is pretty respectable. But what blunts the Chevy’s ultimate performance is its above-average weight. At low revs the Beat is incredibly refined and near-silent at idle. The baby Chevy has a perky throttle response, which is useful in stop-and-go traffic but depress the throttle more than halfway and you instantly notice the lack of mid-range punch. It’s not a particularly effortless motor but if you work it hard, it will deliver respectable performance. The gearshift has a long throw and, though light and easy to use, doesn’t have the crispness we would have liked. A small engine in a heavy body has to work hard, more so when the mid-range performance isn’t great. Hence, fuel efficiency is far from class-leading but it’s respectable all the same. In the city, the Beat returned a decent 11.5kmpl while on the highway, the relatively short top gear made the engine spin more to record a modest 15.3kmpl.
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