Chevy Beat - Skids
The Beat concept microcar (which is actually not that small when you see it in person - see the pics below) has been selected to become a global car called the Spark in 2011 (but available in Europe in 2010). GM says it will get at least 40 MPG, and apparently it will appear (either in Beat or Spark form) in the big Hollywood sequel to Transformers.
"Every morning when you wake up, you yearn to be a hero that day," said Kim, assistant manager of the minicar exterior design team at GM's Design Center in Inchon, South Korea. And in Kim's mind, that hero is driving the Beat, Chevrolet's concept interpretation of a micro import tuner that's "simple, free and casual, with a strong heart."
The Chevrolet Beat is a front-wheel-drive, three-door hatchback wrapped in a bright Vertigo Green exterior finish that exudes energy and extends into the interior. The overall mood of the exterior and interior design is that of a high-performance, high-tech micro tuner car, with fascias, rocker panels, lamps and wheels enhanced for personalization, a strong trend among buyers in this market.
The Beat exterior lines convey speed, with a fast, dramatic, sloping rake from the top of the rear spoiler down to the hood, and elongated front LED headlamps that seem to extend from the base of the twin-port grille to the A-pillar. Integrated door handles set flush within the B-pillar give the doors a clean, uncluttered look. Big, bold, 17-inch wheels are pushed to the corners, and brake calipers in matching Vertigo Green provide a dash of drama at the wheels. The rear fascia carries Chevrolet's trademark twin taillamps; these are set vertically, extending just under the rear glass.
The high energy continues inside the Tachyon Black/Titanium interior with a wraparound dash in Vertigo Green, and a dashboard that features color-coordinated fabric. The green is further pulled through with contrasting stitching on the fabric and mesh seats. The black headliner features fiber-optic lights that create a "star" effect.
Young buyers expect technology, and the Beat delivers, with a center stack that has a pop-up feature. When pushed up, the door reveals a navigation system and when pushed down it reveals a useful center storage compartment. The premium Alpine sound system features six speakers and a trunk-mounted subwoofer. "The sound system and the pop-up juke box will always make you the life of the party," said Sungtae Baek, interior designer for the Chevrolet Beat. Keeping the Beat on the move is a 1.2-liter turbocharged gas engine mated to an automatic transmission.
The Beat is believed to have been ruled out for U.S. sale because it would not be able to meet federal safety requirements without a significant investment, though rumors of North American sale persist. Its production for other global markets is going ahead at full steam, however, as these photographs show.
Americans won't be left out in the cold entirely. A replacement to the current Aveo, based on a larger version of either the Groove or Trax concepts shown alongside the Beat when they debuted at last year's New York Auto Show, is expected to head to production sometime around 2010, though there has been no official confirmation of the model yet.
Chevy Beat Gallery
Chevy Beat Spoiler