- Chevrolet unveils three new small car concepts
- Beat, Trax and Groove star at New York Auto Show
- Tasty trio shows off Chevy’s new global design language
Making their all-singing, all-dancing debut at this week’s New York Auto Show, a trio of new concept cars proves that Chevrolet is in tune with buyers’ demands across the world.
With the ‘raps’ well and truly off, the Beat, Groove and Trax could well hint at the next small Chevrolet to climb its way up the charts.
Created at GM’s design studio in Incheon, South Korea, the new supermini supergroup were designed with a global market in mind, and by making their live debut in the USA, the newcomers underline Chevrolet’s commitment to offering its product range across the whole of the world. At the same time they reflect changing tastes in the US car market, where smaller, more fuel-efficient models are recording more and more sales each year.
The most butch-looking of the trio, the Trax, is an urban-crossover concept - a car that would be equally at home tootling round town as it would rocking over rougher terrain. Powered by a small but punchy 1.0-litre petrol engine, it features knock-resistant moulded bumpers, a rear-mounted spare wheel and funky 16-inch alloys.
Inside, it’s even more functional, with a fold-flat load area and high roofline adding to its practicality. But the really clever part is its all-wheel drive system, which features an independent battery pack and electric motor to drive the rear wheels, providing a low-cost, easy-to-fit four-wheel drive set-up with no negative effect on fuel consumption.
The Groove, on the other hand, has more of a retro-styled look, recalling styling cues from swinging Sixties hot rods to create a city car that would really stand out in urban traffic. The 1.0-litre diesel car’s 17-inch alloys are in the extreme corners to help create a practical, spacious cabin, while the upright windscreen adds further to the interior’s air of practicality.
Completing the trio is the Beat - aimed at a younger, even funkier audience. Powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged engine, the three-door Beat has the look of a high-tech, high-performance small car, with bold-looking alloys, bright ‘Vertigo Green’ paint and mean-looking LED headlamps that run the entire length of the car’s bonnet.
Inside, unusual fabric and mesh seats not only provide style and comfort, but also add to the car’s feeling of space, while fibre-optic lights in the headlining give the car a relaxing ‘sky-at-night’ feel from behind the wheel – just the thing for those who want to reach for the stars…
Adding further to the Beat’s musical theme, the standard stereo is replaced by a pop-up juke box, which rises from the dash and incorporates its own satellite navigation system.
All three cars were designed and built with GM’s Global Product Development Process in mind, where the best practices around the world for engineering, styling, powertrain and manufacturing are combined to create cars that can be targeted for any international market, yet is responsive to regional needs.
That means a car for developing economies can be produced from the same architecture as one for Western Europe or the USA, yet at the same time can be specifically tuned for the demands of its local market.
GM’s Vice President of design, Ed Welburn, said: “The Beat, Groove and Trax highlight the strength and diversity of GM’s global design capabilities, as well as its ability to anticipate and quickly meet the evolving needs of diverse markets around the world.”
And while any production car that could result from the concepts won’t be going for a song, it’s sure to represent the fabulous value that has made Chevrolet the world’s most popular value car brand, with sales outside the USA increasing by over 150 per cent since 2001.Published 4 April 2007