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Thread: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts


    Size Doesn't Matter: Three Chevrolet Global Minicar Concepts Pack A Lot Of Personality And Style Per Mile

    NEW YORK ? Three Chevrolet minicar global concepts designed to appeal to young car buyers in urban markets prove that art needn?t take a back seat just because the canvas is small. Revealed today at the New York Auto Show, the highly creative Chevrolet Beat, Chevrolet Groove and Chevrolet Trax concepts drive the energy, diversity and excitement of urban life into cars that deliver good-looking fun, fuel economy and value.

    Democracy lovers will even get the chance to pick their favorite by visiting www.vote4chevrolet.com and casting their vote for the Beat, Groove or Trax. The results will help Chevrolet determine U.S. market interest in the minicar segment, and which design/capability package resonates best with potential buyers.

    All three concepts were designed at GM?s Design Studio in Inchon, South Korea. One of GM?s 11 Global Design Studios, the designers in the Korean center are experts in small car product development.

    Built on GM?s global mini architecture, these concepts demonstrate the flexibility, creativity and innovative focus of design in GM?s Asia Pacific region. The Chevrolet Beat concept, a running prototype of a micro import tuner, was built in India; while the Chevrolet Groove and Trax micro urban crossover concepts were built at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Mich.

    ?The Chevrolet Beat, Groove and Trax concepts highlight the strength and diversity of GM?s Global Design capabilities, as well as the ability of our Global Product Development team to anticipate and quickly meet the evolving needs of our diverse markets around the world,? said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design.

    "The design team was so enthused about being given the assignment to develop the perfect small car for urban commuters that they created not one, but three interpretations of how this car may be developed for Chevrolet customers around the world."

    Chevrolet is one of four GM global brands, meeting diverse customer needs in 120 countries with vehicles that range from subcompacts and family sedans to full-size pickups and SUVs and iconic sports cars such as the Corvette. The concepts revealed in New York, for example, offer three different fuel-efficient engines, including a diesel.

    ?The Chevrolet Beat, Groove and Trax concepts have the potential to expand the reach of Chevrolet ? already a beloved brand around the world ? even further, connecting with young buyers on multiple continents who desire fun-yet-efficient transportation,? said Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper. ?These are the same brand attributes that made Chevrolet a household name in the U.S.?

    Here?s a look at Chevrolet?s three minicar concepts:

    * Chevrolet Beat : Designed to evoke the mood of a speedy micro import tuner, the Beat is a front-wheel-drive, three-door hatchback concept built to be personalized, and powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine mated to an automatic transmission. It?s loaded with technology, including a navigation system and premium stereo.

    * Chevrolet Groove: A ?funkastalgia?-themed vehicle too tough-looking to be ?cute,? the Groove concept is a retro-inspired vehicle with bodacious fender flares and an upright windshield. It looks much longer than it is, thanks to its short hood and long cabin. The front-drive Groove is powered by a small, efficient 1-liter diesel engine.

    * Chevrolet Trax: An urban crossover concept that?s equally at home on the trails or in traffic, it gets a low-cost all-wheel-drive system and looks the part of a rugged SUV many times its size, thanks to a voluminous one-piece bumper and fender system in the front and back, a rear-mounted spare tire and a roof rack. Trax is powered by a 1-liter gas engine.

    GM?s Global Product Development process
    The Chevrolet Beat, Groove and Trax concepts were designed and built leveraging GM?s Global Product Development process, created from best practices around the world that integrate design, engineering, powertrain and manufacturing organizations to ensure each vehicle program meets its quality, timing and business targets, yet is responsive to the needs in regional markets.

    As part of its global product development process, GM is growing the skills and capabilities of its design and engineering centers in several emerging markets, using key tools and technologies, such as a global virtual design and engineering network, that allows engineers and designers to collaborate with each other around the world.

    The Chevrolet Aveo sedan and five-door subcompact, engineered and built in South Korea, is a strong contender in the very competitive global small car market.

  2. #2
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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    I voted for the Beat. It reminds me of Mercedes' Boxfish concept.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    I voted for the Beat. It reminds me of Mercedes' Boxfish concept.

    Chip H.
    I still think it'll take a plateau of at least $3 per gallon before vehicles of this kind become mass market, or even a significant portion of total sales....

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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    I think we're heading that way again. National average this week for regular was $2.76

    Plus, for a major purchase like a car that you'll own for several years, the safe bet would be to assume that gas prices are going to be higher.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

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    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    The Beat has shades of Daewoo.

    I guess thats the way of the world. GM that is
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    I think we're heading that way again. National average this week for regular was $2.76

    Plus, for a major purchase like a car that you'll own for several years, the safe bet would be to assume that gas prices are going to be higher.

    Chip H.
    Same here... the news had a story about "pain at the pump" last night. And the summer season hasn't even started.

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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    The Beat has shades of Daewoo.
    "All three concepts were designed at GM?s Design Studio in Inchon, South Korea."

    Maybe that explains it?

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Brand
    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    The Beat has shades of Daewoo.
    "All three concepts were designed at GM?s Design Studio in Inchon, South Korea."

    Maybe that explains it?
    I'd rather have a Mini.... new one or old one!

  9. #9
    TC
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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Brand
    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    The Beat has shades of Daewoo.
    "All three concepts were designed at GM?s Design Studio in Inchon, South Korea."

    Maybe that explains it?
    Is any car design work carried out in the US any more?

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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    Hmm.
    Nissan has a studio in Southern California.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

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    Re: GM unveils its "mini-car" concepts

    I believe that this price spike has everything to do with constrained refinery capacity and not as much to do with oil prices. there have been reports of unplanned refinery shutdowns and the ususal changeover to summer blend of gasoline that have driven the prices north every spring. Thanks to our lovely EPA, we will be stuck with this torch dance indefinitely. The requirement for reforumulated gasoline (to 60 different blends nationwide) results in:

    1. Increased fuel consumption -- cars get poorer mileage on RFG than on regular gas. I estimate that the RFG requirement has increased nationwide fuel consumption about 3-4 percent above what it would be if we didn't have the requirement. Cars running on RFG consume about 10 percent more fuel, while RFG is about 30 percent of the gasoline market.

    2. Production of RFG is dangerous and causes refienery equipment to wear faster. RFG contains oxygenates - oxygen. Oxygen mixed with liquid corrodes metal pieces at a faster rate. This probably accounts for higher rates of refienry breakdowns.

    3. Refinery breakdowns and mandated changeovers constrain supply. Fewer production days mean fewer gallons produced.

    4. Having to produce more than one blend of fuel for each market means that produciton planners have to be very precise about planning. A few gallons off here and there can make one region alot higher than another. This adds to price volatility year round.

    Here you have it. This problem is largely due to environmental regualtions - government mandates-, and of course complicit greed from corporations cashing in on this effect -- with minimal refinery investments.. due again to government.

    Couple that with $65 per barrel oil and you have $3.00 gas when it should cost about $2.45.

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