Closely related to the Onix hatchback that was introduced last October, the Prisma slots in towards the bottom of the Chevrolet lineup and competes against well-established sedans like the Volkswagen Voyage and the Toyota Etios.
Visually, the car borrows a healthy dose of styling cues from other members of Chevrolet's global lineup, including the aforementioned Onix and the Spin minivan. Chevy explains that the car's overall look is inspired by both economy sedans and sports cars.
"It's what we call a sports sedan," affirmed Carlos Barba, the design director for General Motors of South America.
To cater to a tech-focused target audience, well-equipped trim levels come with rear parking sensors and Chevrolet's touch screen-based MyLink infotainment system. Power steering, ABS and electronic traction control are also available.
Like the Onix, the Prisma is offered with a 1.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is rated at 80 horsepower and a 1.4-liter four-banger that makes 106 ponies. Both engines send power to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission, but the bigger unit is available with an optional six-speed automatic transmission.
As is the norm in Brazil, both mills can burn either ethanol or gasoline. When burning ethanol, the 1.4-powered Prisma can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 10.7 seconds. The 1.0-liter variant performs the same task in 13 seconds.
Together, the Onix and the Prisma spearhead a major product expansion for Chevrolet's Brazil-based division.
"The launch of the 2013 Prisma represents one of the biggest investments in the 88-year history of GM in Brazil. There were more than five billion Brazilian Reais (about $504 million) used in the expansion and modernization of our factories," said the firm in a statement.
After landing in showrooms across Brazil, the Prisma will be sold in a variety of neighboring countries but it will not make its way to Europe or to the United States.