By Dave Abrahams
Port Elizabeth - Spring, as they say, has sprung and Chevrolet is celebrating the return of sunny skies and warmer weather with three limited-edition specials.
And what's special about them is that they're not gold-plated versions of luxury SUVs or beefed-up sports models - they're exclusive variants of affordable real-world vehicles.
The first is the Curve, which starts life as a standard 1.2-litre Spark L, then gets extra bling in the form of special go-fast graphics down the sides, neat 15 inch alloys and special floor mats as standard issue.
Only 150 will be made - but here's the kicker: What those 150 customers will be getting is an L with extras, for R5200 less than the price of the standard version.
That's because the Curve sells for R131 000, whereas an off-the-shelf Spark 1.2 L will set you back R136 200.
WORK HARD, PLAY HARD
Then there are two limited-edition half-tonners - the UteWorking and the UteSurf - aimed at opposite ends of the bakkie market, each special in its own way.
The UteWorking comes with tough-guy extras such as a cab protector framing the rear window and a rubberised load box - but lives up to its 'exclusive' tag with special body decals and plastic wheel covers, plus a standard-issue tuner/CD player.
Also standard is a 1.4-litre petrol four rated for 132Nm at only 3200rpm. You can order yours with or without air conditioning, but there are just 200 on the build schedule, starting at R142 900 (which is R5400 less more than the entry-level 1.4-litre Ute).
The UteSurf, on the other hand, is all about fun, with a tubular stainless-steel sport bar and a roof rack/spoiler combination so you can get your playtoys to where it's happening. It looks the part too, with distinctive graphics running down the sides and across the tailgate, headlight clusters with dark surrounds and special five-spoked alloy rims.
Aircon and audio are standard kit, as is your choice of either a 1.4-litre or a 1.8 petrol four (the latter rated at 77kW and 161Nm) but either way, only 400 will be made, starting at R159 200, which is R400 cheaper than the standard 1.4-litre Ute with aircon and ABS.
All Chevrolets come with a five-year or 120 000km warranty.