This is the Chevrolet Montana and it’s available in South America among other places. For lack of a better description, the Chevrolet Montana is a uni-body, front-wheel drive (FWD), two-passenger, 97 – 102 horsepower (depending on the fuel mixture), 1.4-liter – pickup truck.
Recently, an edict from Roman (A Deo et Rege) reverberated throughout The Fast Lane Car, “I need to move my motorcycles! Who has a small truck!?” This was the equivalent to “I’m too cheap to buy a cheap pickup truck of my own – can I borrow yours?” Big ones are hard to load motorcycles and small ones are… well, they’re pretty much nonexistent. The smallest available in the USA are the base models of the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado.
He wanted to haul his dirt-bikes to have playtime and had no practical way to do so.
The cheapest price you can (truly) get away with when you want the cheapest, small pickup truck in the USA is about $18,000. Realistically, if you get any options, you’ll fork out over $20,000 for a sparely equipped pickup truck. That kind of sucks.
Remember the El Camino, Subaru Brat, Ford Ranchero and Subaru Baja? Basically cars that lost their rear end and gained a pickup truck bed. The Australians call them Utes and they are very popular overseas. Could you imagine something like the Chevrolet Spark with a small, two-person cab, beefed up suspension and a pickup truck bed? That’s kind of what the Chevrolet Montana is.
Check out the Chevrolet Montana’s specifications, lifted right off Chevrolet Brazil’s site.
|Econo Flex 1.4|
|Electronic fuel injection||MPFI (multi-shot) / SFI (sequential injection system)|
|Number of cylinders||4 in line|
|Maximum Power Net (ABNT NBR 5484/ISO 1585 SAE Net or Gross)||Gasoline – 97 hp (71.3 kW / 96 hp) @ 6000 rpm / Alcohol – 102 hp (75.0 kW / 101 hp) @ 6000 rpm|
|Type||Front transverse petrol / alcohol|
|Maximum Net Torque (ABNT NBR 5484/ISO 1585 SAE Net or Gross)||Gasoline – 13.2 mkgf (129 Nm) @ 3200 rpm / Alcohol – 13.5 mkgf (132 Nm) @ 3200 rpm|
|Type||5-speed manual – F15-5 WR|
|Front||Disc brake with floating caliper|
|System||Hydraulic dual circuit diagonal distributed|
Now, to ally any fears that a front wheel drive pickup is the only thing that may come to the United States – IF there is perceived demand, (I know some of you are freaking out), I have some interesting news: Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Chrysler/FIAT and Mitsubishi are all considering bringing back small, modern, rear-drive-biased pickup trucks to the United States.
I will stay on top of this topic and I’ll update you the moment I get something solid.
In the meantime, check out this video debut of another front-wheel drive truck – the RAM ProMaster!
Look, I know some of you are scared. The idea of a front wheel drive pickup/UTE is kind of spooky. I have driven many overseas and I truly believe they can fill a small void in the United States. There are a ton of small companies, tradesmen and working folk who could use something this frugal and capable.