GM debuted two concept cars earlier this year in Detroit, which have just now meandered their way into Los Angeles County for us to get a look in person. The two concepts are the Chevy Code 130R (pictured here in a slick grey) and the Chevy Tru 140S (in yellow). These stylistic design concepts are an attempt from GM to capture a share of the young enthusiasts’ imagination who is seeking more affordable, approachable, yet exciting vehicles.
With the Code 130R, it seems GM is trying to grasp a segment of the market that now includes the spawn of Toyota and Subaru, the Toyota 86, which masquerades as three different vehicles, the Toyota GT86 in Europe, and both the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ in North America. This under 30 demographic is pining for a stylish and affordable sport coupe with the three main ingredients for fun: engine in front, manual gear box in the middle, and drive wheels at the back. The 130R reportedly shares its Alpha rear-drive platform (and 109.3 inch wheelbase) with the Cadillac ATS, but is powered by a 1.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine equipped with eAssist mild hybrid technology. The eAssist provides regenerative braking, a slight boost in engine power with a smoother torque curve, and also allows for auto off and on at extended stops, further increasing fuel economy which GM says could boast up to 40 mpg highway. On the fun side, the engine produces 150 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque, which may or may not be ample since I couldn’t find any specs on curb weight. A six speed automatic transmission will be standard with a six speed manual transmission optional.
GM has been asking, listening, and taking notes from its youngest potential buyers to aid with the design of this concept, and in addition to affordable fun, they also need their connectivity. Expect this vehicle to have all the tech-centric bells and whistles available should this car ever make it to production.
I find the smooth, yet aggressive styling to be visually pleasing and could almost be the lovechild of two BMWs; the classic 2002 and the current 1 Series. I have read others compare it to the Datsun 510, with which I agree. In any case I could easily see this concept becoming quite popular with today’s demographic if left relatively unchanged. Well, they should at least fit an interior as these two lack that minor detail. One portion of Chevy devotees that isn’t impressed however, is the Vette Heads. From what I read on a few club sites, they are not happy with the two concepts flashing the cross flag emblem, a detail that has become synonymous with Corvettes, even though many other Chevrolets in history have sported the badging. Although I understand that badging alone does not impart heritage and history, these concepts are worthy of a shot to do the cross flag justice and I really hope I get the chance to drive a production model 130R in the near future.