The kids today won't know what hit them.
Chevrolet surprised the audience at the 2012 North American International Auto Show with a pair of compact concepts targeted at young buyers: the Code 130R and True 140S. Both are sporty, two-door four-seaters powered by a common 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 40 mpg, but the similarities end there.
The Code 130R is a rear-wheel drive mini muscle car with looks that draw from the Chevrolet Camaro and, according to GM North America President Mark Reuss, the classic Chevelle. Along with its 150 hp engine, it was designed to use GM’s eAssist mild hybrid system for increased fuel economy and a little extra punch under acceleration.
Power goes to the front wheels of the hatchback Tru 140S, but its sleek cab-forward design apes that of an exotic Italian supercar. Underneath it is the same platform used for the affordable Chevy Cruze.
Reuss says that today’s young drivers are looking for efficient cars that are also emotional and fun to drive. During the conception of the two concepts, the team behind them spoke to over 9,000 people from the so-called millennial demographic – those born after 1980 or so – and plans to engage them further through social media as it continues to develop the cars toward production.
Think of them as a new kind of car from an old kind of car company that’s trying to recapture its youth. If either one gets the green light expect a price tag of around $20,000, but that decision will largely depend on how many people “like” them in the meantime.