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Chevrolet Mi-ray Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors says that its new Mi-ray Concept, which debuts at this week's Seoul Motor Show, pays tribute to the sports car heritage at Chevrolet. Specifically, GM points out that the Mi-ray is "small and open" like the 1963 Monza SS, and "light and purposeful" like the 1962 Corvair Super Spyder. Whatever the case, the Mi-ray (Korean for 'future') is one sharp little roadster.

Powering the Mi-ray are a pair of front-mounted 15-kilowatt electric motors, mated to a 1.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that's partially charged via regenerative braking. The electric motor is mostly used for initial acceleration and urban cruising, but when higher speeds are demanded, power is sourced from the Mi-ray's 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mounted behind the cockpit. This powerplant is mated to a dual-clutch transmission, and what's most interesting, is that apparently the Mi-ray can switch between front- and rear-wheel drive at the driver's whim.

The majority of the Mi-ray's exterior is made up of carbon fiber components, complete with ambient lighting worked into the main character lines along both sides. Out back, each rear fender contains individual storage compartments, and carbon fiber spoilers at all four corners help with downforce and airflow.

Inside, the Mi-ray uses leather, white fabric, 'liquid metal' surfaces and brushed aluminum to create what GM calls "sculptural velocity." A long center console separates the driver and passenger seats, and all of the car's vital information is displayed via a back-projected screen. The rear-view cameras are fully retractable, and in city driving, a forward-facing camera works alongside the car's GPS to overlay navigation information with real-time video.

We highly recommend taking a few minutes to click through our high-res gallery of the Mi-ray Concept below – it's seriously pretty. GM's official press release is available after the jump, as well.

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[Source: General Motors]
Show full PR text
Chevrolet Introduces Mi-ray Roadster Concept

Innovative Hybrid "Mid-Electric" Propulsion System
Celebrates Brand's Design Heritage in Its Newest Market

Seoul –Chevrolet introduced the Mi-ray concept today at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show. The roadster celebrates Chevrolet's 100-year heritage of designing expressive vehicles in the brand's newest market.

According to GM Korea President and CEO Mike Arcamone, "'Mi-ray' is Korean for 'future.' As GM rolls out Chevrolet across Korea, the Mi-ray concept offers an exploration of future possibilities for the brand. It strengthens the bond between car and driver, creating a fresh look at what sports cars of the future might be."

The Mi-ray was developed at the GM Advanced Design Studio in Seoul. Combining cutting-edge hybrid propulsion technology and advanced styling, it balances iconic Chevrolet design cues with a future design vision as Chevrolet celebrates its centennial in 2011.

Classic Exterior

The Mi-ray pays tribute to Chevrolet's sports car heritage. It is small and open like the 1963 Monza SS, and light and purposeful like the 1962 Corvair Super Spyder. Its aerodynamic fuselage is reminiscent of modern jet fighters.

Made of carbon fiber and CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced plastic), the wedged body side is divided by an angled character line, with ambient lighting underneath. This accent creates a sweeping line of light when the car is in motion, bringing a warm glow to the sculptured body. Le Mans racer-style scissor doors open up and out of the way for dramatic access to the interior.

The powerful front end offers a reinterpretation of the Chevrolet face. The Mi-ray's dual port grille is flanked by LED headlamps with new signature daytime running lamps. The front and rear fenders evoke Chevrolet Corvettes of the past and express the concept's sports car spirit. At the corners, carbon-fiber spoilers help control down force and airflow.

Distinctive retractable flaps provide additional airflow control while providing access to the charge port on one side and the fuel filler on the other. The charge port also features an external battery charge indicator. Each rear fender contains individual cargo space for the storage of small items. Under the ducktail surface, the taillamps provide a new interpretation of Chevrolet's twin element identity.

The Mi-ray features aluminum-carbon fiber composite 20-inch wheels in front and 21-inch wheels in the rear. The strong turbine theme evokes movement, even when the Mi-ray is stationary.

The heavily tapered top view enhances the Mi-ray's purposeful image. From above, the cabin has a unique diamond shape.

Sporty Interior

The interior of the Mi-ray echoes Chevrolet's racing heritage. As with the exterior, it takes inspiration from jet fighters. The Mi-ray contains a melange of brushed aluminum, natural leather, white fabric and liquid metal surfaces, for an overall effect of sculptural velocity.

The interior compartment is surrounded by a carbon fiber shell, which gives it a lightweight yet rigid structure. Its flowing, yet slightly tensioned, twin cockpit tightly wraps around the driver and passenger. The cockpit is driver focused, drawing inspiration from the iconic Chevrolet sports car. However, the passenger is also fully engaged in the driving experience.

Asymmetric seats flow from the door, forming a symmetric interior that gives the driver a feeling of being fully connected with the car. Ambient lighting, which starts from the upper instrument panel and flows into the seat back area, adds a sense of luxury. Seat cushions and headrests are connected by the lightweight carbon fiber shell and mounted on a single aluminum rail. The headrest area follows the exterior form, integrating with an air scarf for open-air driving.

Designers took a unique approach to displaying information, using back projection on the instrument panel. Information in front of the driver has been prioritized into three zones. Immediately in front is vehicle performance. It is flanked on the left by range and on the right by navigation and mileage figures. This eliminates unnecessary visual clutter, allowing the driver to focus on the thrill of driving.

The center touch screen flows down to an aluminum support, which evokes a fighter jet's nose with the landing gear down. The exterior surface waterfalls down into the interior to meet the reinforced console, connecting the front and rear of the car.

The centrally located start button is also inspired by a jet aircraft. When the button is pressed, the column-mounted retractable meter cluster rises like a jet fighter canopy and "Interactive Projection" appears on the white surface.

Retractable rearview cameras, which replace traditional rearview mirrors, extend from the side glass electrically. In city driving, the forward-facing camera operates in conjunction with GPS to overlay navigation information with real-time video.

Fuel-Efficient, High-Performance Propulsion System

The Mi-ray features a concept "mid-electric" propulsion system, located primarily behind and beneath the driver, that maximizes performance and fuel efficiency.

"Many of the components in the Mi-ray's propulsion system are a logical extension of GM's current technology portfolio," said Uwe Grebe, executive director for GM Powertrain Advanced Engineering. "The concept shows the potential for reconfiguring, rescaling and extending today's propulsion technologies."

The Mi-ray is propelled by two front-mounted 15-kW electric motors for quick acceleration and zero emissions in urban driving. The motors are powered by a 1.6-kWh lithium-ion battery that is charged through regenerative braking energy. The Mi-ray has the capability of being switched from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive.

For performance driving, the Mi-ray's 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine combines with the electric motors, providing spirited torque control to both the left and right wheels as needed. The high-tech engine, mounted behind the cockpit, drives the rear wheels while seamlessly integrating electrification technology that defines a new standard in the compact roadster segment.

A dual-clutch transmission (DCT) enables a reduction in the powertrain's size by eliminating the torque converter. Shifts are quick and firm. The shift pattern has been tuned for improved top speed in performance mode. A start-stop system works in conjunction with the DCT.

"The propulsion concept fits perfectly with the rest of the vehicle, delivering big performance in a small footprint, on the road and in the environment," said Arcamone. "By combining GM propulsion technology and visionary design, the Mi-ray points to the future of Chevrolets around the globe – expressive, youthful and entertaining."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      odd. just odd. not bad, but the front grill feels forced and totally at odds with the lines of the car, akin to jag's recent concept.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They have the Kappa platform (Solstice/Opel GT) engineered & just sitting there, so why not? An easy halo car like the Volt, but saying "green performance". Many other companies are moving in that direction like Porsche, BMW, Fisker & Tesla, with others hinting of future products like Nissan & Mitsubishi.
        This is such a no-brainer. And if you add the Orlando-based plug-in hybrid, a good shot at the upcoming Prius line of vehicles.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mi Ray Fa So La Ti DOH!!!

        To quote Public Image Limited, "This is not a love song".

        Yes this is a Citroen, and no that would not be a compliment, not even in the event that the Mi Ray had been badged as a Ctiroen. Instead of taking what they got right with the GT, namely the proportions, what has been preserved here is only the bad, the baroque and twisted surfacing that evokes the desperate subterfuge typical of someone in over his head with no clue what he's trying to say. Maybe this is just a hiccup but another such hiccup will be taken as an indication (confirmation) of what is currently going on behind the scenes at GM Design.

        So, what to do? Whatever it takes; if necessary go back to three-martini lunches followed by the occasional romp with a working girl before coming back in. Seriously, if you are the man in charge, get someone with firm convictions and the courage to act on them to run the place as your deputy, then take all the credit and pride you would rightly deserve for having had the foresight to do it. There is no better way to insure your and GM's future.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Probably started out as a Pontiac design and had the Chevy grill grafted on.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, the front flowing into the rear fenders is the best part of the car. It's a major advancement / adaptation of the Chevy corporate face, and nicely executed. Well-sculpted, muscular & aggressive.

        Note that Chevy *inverts* the common puffed-out "cheek" detail for a lighter, sharper edge that races down along the headlights, while integrates well into the front brake vent..

        Deep front lip definitely won't make production, but looks great and screams sport, especially combined with the lower rocker extensions.

        Strongly rising side character line makes for a deep wedge, again reinforced by the lower rocker cut.

        Long, unbroken sweepline from front grille corners to rear wheels conveys speed & motion from all forward angles.

        Rear and taillights are very sophisticated, very well done. In particular the long, sharp CHMSL "V". I also really like the taillights, don't know why that hasn't been done before.

        The only thing I don't like is the rear fender detail. It's too big, too high, and too prominent. Bring the arch down 2", and follow the body angle a bit tighter, and it'd be perfect.

        Overall, solid A- effort. Car looks light on its feet, quick and aggressive. Well-balanced proportions. If this is the future of GM's hybrids, I'm all for it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Original though, (with the exception of the Audi A1-shaped headlights) Its gotta be challenging to come up with something fresh with the amount of competition these days, and still make it attractive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "a few minutes to click through our high-res gallery"

      theres only 4 folks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Likes: headlight treatment, interior lines, overall lines.

      Dislikes: too pudgy.

      Overall a pleasing design, but IMO just looks too stumpy. Id LOVE to see this with an elongated hood.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It looks pudgy because it is a small, short wheel base car. TT suffers from the same problem. If you want something sleek you need to go 175" in length or even more.

        To me it looks great for what it is. I hope they'll try to put into production unchanged - i'm not sure the windshield can survive safety testing in the current form though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ok, I understand switching between AWD and RWD... but why would someone CHOOSE to use FWD, if they have either of the other two choices on board?

      They styling has potential, but the back end of the car is far too busy.

      The headlights look interesting, but the grille treatment looks tacky.

      The interior doesn't look inviting at all. Over-styled, rather than correctly styled once the ergonomics are right.

      I wonder how much it is going to weigh, with two drivetrains, AND batteries on board. The car may be small, but it is likely going to be heavy, with as much storage space as an MR2 Spyder had... as in NONE.

      If you can't bring a weekend's worth of luggage for two passengers, or a few groceries, while simultaneously having a passenger in the 2nd seat, then it is too impractical. If it is that limited, one might as well have a motorcycle.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think you guys MISSED my point.

        I wasn't talking about choosing AWD cars, vs. RWD cars, vs FWD cars, as three different types.

        I was talking about those modes on THE SAME CAR.

        This Mi-Ray concept supposedly has a switchable drivetrain. You can supposedly choose those modes, on that car.

        Why would someone choose a FWD mode, when RWD mode, or AWD mode ARE ALREADY BUILT IN. The car doesn't get lighter in FWD mode, as the redundant drivetrain is still there.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lots of people would choose FWD, just not "enthusiasts." Lots of people prefer the predictable handling in snow without having to pay extra for AWD, not to mention the lifetime costs of the reduced fuel efficiency.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My guess is because AWD and RWD would both involve using the gasoline engine. FWD would be if you wanted to drive all-electric.

        So use FWD all-electric around town or commuting to work (or in one of the European cities after they ban gasoline-powered cars); use RWD for sporting gas-powered driving (and highway cruising); and use AWD gas-electric combo for track or for an added power boost.

        On a side note: I can't believe GM reference the Corvair in a press release. The Monza GT is one of my all-time favorite concept cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stretched, widebody and a proper roof - that I think it would truly great.
      Theoretically, you could switch between fwd (who wants that in a roadster?), rwd and awd with a flip of a switch...that#s nice :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks cool from the front
      • 4 Years Ago
      this looks every bit like a hot wheels car. next up hot wheels inspired race tracks!
      • 4 Years Ago
      PLEASE bring it to the states...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another car that won't be built. Yay.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The world's first Schizo-mobile. Hurts my eyes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they make it so some one who is 6'2 fit I will buy it now!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why is gm copying honda/acura and Mazda designs?
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