Click above for image gallery of the Chevy Beat prototype
AB reader Kyle Swift just sent us a few cellphone pics he took of a Chevrolet Beat prototype lounging around at New York's Rochester Institute of Technology. The camouflaged runabout was spotted in a parking lot on the university's grounds, possibly visiting from nearby Delphi.
As you may recall, the Chevy Beat was the most popular of a trio of concepts Chevy showed to the world at the 2007 New York Auto Show. Based on General Motors' new global mini-car platform, the Beat was designed as the sportiest of the triplets with a 1.2L turbocharged gas engine mated to an automatic transmission.
At the 2007 L.A. Auto Show, Bob Lutz announced that the Beat will go into global production outside of North America in mid-2009. Production is set to begin in South Korea where the car was originally created at GM's design studio in Bupyeong. Since its concept unveiling, the Beat has grown an extra set of doors to ease rear-seat ingress and egress, and sadly, word is that it has also dropped its turbocharger. The production 1.2L 16-valve DOHC inline-four will be mated to either a manual or automatic gearbox, however.
The Beat is expected to make its production debut sometime in 2010 and will go on sale in Europe in early 2011. As previously reported, the Beat won't be coming to the U.S. until it meets federal crash-test standards, which means we probably won't see it until at least 2012. A big hat tip to Kyle.