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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Chevrolet Beat Concept.

Aside from possibly offering a hybrid version of the Camaro, Chevrolet is looking to do everything it can to meet new fuel economy regulations. Despite Bob Lutz' assertion that diesels are not the answer to increase fuel mileage, Ed Peper, Chevy's general manager, pointed out that GM's European diesel technology could find its way here to the States. The 2.9-liter turbodiesel V6 soon to be equipped in Euro-bound Cadillac CTSs is one possibility, as is the utilization of Opel's 1.3-, 1.7- and 1.9-liter oil burners.

Chevrolet execs are also looking to see how the public responds to the smart fortwo. If the reception is good, there's a possibility that Chevy might introduce a vehicle that would slot in below the Aveo both in size and price. A version of the Beat would be an obvious choice, even though GM only plans to sell it outside of the U.S. and Canada.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]



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  • 22 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      The diesels are not Opel's, they are Fiat's (1.3 und 1.9) and Isuzu's (1.7)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Please, please, GM--do *not* bring the Matiz here. It's a shoddy, tinny little bastard of a car from a company who pitches the Aveo/Kalos as a "step-up" model. And after it fails, you'll say "See? We tried making a subcompact. Americans don't want them. Told you so. Which brings us to our new E85 Subdivision..."

      Don't do it!
      • 7 Years Ago
      It only took a $99 refundable deposit to get on those lists. Many of the people on those lists won't ever take delivery of a car.

      Besides, having driven one, it's tough to justify that vehicle for any other reason besides startling gas mileage, which it doesn't even have.

      I predict the waiting list will evaporate, and by the 3rd year, sales will be rather slow. Things haven't been that much different than this for SMART in Europe either.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is it a requirement for GM upper management to be impervious to 'the writing on the wall'?

      How could anyone in the auto industry not see that the growth market for the near future is in sub-compact, and long-term growth market is electric.

      I'll give GM the benefit of the doubt on the electric thing, until we see what the Volt really does... but once again, GM is surrendering a whole market segment to the competition. IF they do try to seriously compete in that segment, they will bring a product that is under-engineered and late to the game, just as they have done so many times in the past.
      • 7 Years Ago
      porchedevotee,

      you're a little off base on this one; and calling someone a jackass, just because you don't like their opinion, is also a little uncalled-for. I'm about as far from sexist as I can be.

      first, over 82% of the lawsuits that were filed concerning Suzuki Samauri rollovers were from females in the 18-25 age bracket. that's a fact. and in over half of the cases, they did indeed drive across hills, instead of driving directly up and down. the question of whether or not they weren't aware of the dangers of this type of driving is irrelevant; it happened.

      I don't quite understand why you've taken this so personally. I have two women who work for me, and each drives over 120,000 miles per year in company vehicles. they take impeccable care of the vehicles, and are as fanatical as I am aboout maintenence. my sister is the same way with her car, too.

      none of this changes the point of who one of the target audiences for the Smart are, and females in this age group certainly are. as a matter of fact, there were two girls picking up their Smarts when I was at the dealership. one was sixteen (Dad was driving a new S-class), and the other was nineteen. in this case, Mom was driving a new Audi A7. when the rep went to show them the maintenence locations (dipstick, etc.), both said don't even bother.

      AZMike
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wouldn't hold my breath to see if the Smart sells well.

      I stopped in a few weeks ago at the local Smart dealer to look, and they had about twenty-five outside, all with 'sold' signs on them. they don't have any salesmen at all; the only employees look like fashion models (average age, 23). I asked why all the cars were still outside, unclaimed. the one rep I talked to said the cars' new owners "were out of town". well, they must be on a world cruise, because I drive by every day, and they are all still there. and by the way,they also said the wait time for an order was over a year.

      I've seen hot-selling vehicles before, and they are almost always gone the moment they hit the ground, not sitting around 20+ deep for weeks on end.

      the concept of allowing anyone to go to a website and order a car with a $99 deposit is ludicrous at best. I'm sure a lot have been ordered by 12 year olds using daddy's credit card.

      the market for cars this small is limited at best. I don't buy into the theory that they will be for urban use only. I know many city dwellers, and have never met one who doesn't leave town periodically. the thought of getting out on a windy interstate with an eight-foot-long car does not seem to appealing to me.

      AZMike
      • 7 Years Ago
      The car in the display snap looks like the Tata Nano's blinged-out cousin! :D
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM has been making ugly cars for poor people for a long time (and not so poor people): Cavalier, Aveo, Geo Metro, and almost everything Pontiac. I looked at this concept and asked myself, "How is it possible to make a microcar look bulky?" Do they have one guy in their design studio whose job it is to add bulky, ugly features to everything going out the door? Send these guys to Europe for a few weeks and let them drive the Fiat 500 around until they get all this crap out of their system.

      I really, really want to like American cars, and I really want to support my fellow American worker, but I also want to drive something stylish and fuel-efficient, so please, please Detroit, at least give me the Volt without tacking on some garish features to muck it up.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't see how the Smart is a smart buy.
      It's only gets 41mpg despite being half the size of the 50mpg Geo Metro, and the same amount of power.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually in principal your right. GM gives the USA half hearted attempts at small cars. They will bring the cheapest thing they can and when it fails, to them it will not be because its a bad car but because they say America's want to drive Tahoe's. Wrong but that is some of their mind sets. Give people a car with the interior room of a Nissan Versa with a stylish body, they will buy it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Diesels do not make economic sense. Diesel prices, at least in Michigan, are 30 - 40 cents more per gallon. A diesel engine adds a 2-5K premium on the price of a car. That equals ALOT of driving to make all of that up.

      Solution is lighter cars, smaller engines. And all Americans should start learning how to drive manuals. Not only is there a slight edge in fuel economy, it makes driving a 1.4L engine more bearable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the article is confusing ... why is GM waiting to see the Smart's success in the US to build and sell a sub-subcompact car outside the US?
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