We lost track of the number of times the Chevrolet Aveo RS concept was dubbed a "euro hot hatch" during The Bowtie brand's press conference, and judging by the number of times the word "tuner" was used, Chevy's desperate to rebrand its econobox.
The other reoccurring word: "Concept." This isn't the next Aveo – at least not yet. We expect a more pedestrian, near production version of the RS to be unveiled in the very near future (Geneva?), guaranteed to ditch its lighted brake cooling ducts, 19-inch wheels, slotted rotors and center-mounted dual exhausts. Even the C-pillar's awkwardly integrated door handles aren't likely to make it to production, but we hope the black-on-black interior, contrasting blue stitching and "motorcycle-inspired" dash all get the green light.
The drivetrain is destined to carry over unchanged, with the Cruze's turbocharged 1.4-liter four cylinder sending 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque to a six-speed manual transmission. All of this will surely improve the breed, but it leaves us wondering something...
Jim Campbell, Chevy's general manager, announced that production of the Chevrolet Spark for the U.S. will begin late next year. With the Spark supposedly on the way, how does GM plan to market two economical runabouts in a market that's remained luke warm to the original Aveo? We'll find out next year.