The problem with the current Aveo is its crushing mediocrity. But after looking at the Chevy Aveo RS show car earlier today, it's clear this lightly-disguised preview of what's to come is styled much more aggressively than the last one.
The problem with the current Aveo is its crushing mediocrity. There's nothing outright bad about the car, but nothing very good about it either. GM's planning on upending that mediocrity with the next Aveo, moving the car onto a bigger platform, giving it some aggression and actually styling the interior. What you're seeing in this car is about 80% of what we've seen from the production-intent Aveo.
Think of the RS as the fully kitted-out version of a really well done tuner car. That's about as close as the RS is to the real deal. The interior is faithful to what we've seen, tarted up a bit with slightly fancier materials and a dollop of chrome, but other than that, very similar. Hell, this "concept" even has oh-shit handles.
The RS is powered by the same turbocharged direct-injection 138 HP 1.4-liter I-4 Ecotec planned for the Chevrolet Cruze and mated to a six speed manual transmission. The big slotted brakes rotors and four piston calipers are sadly not destined for production, but they sure look nifty in a show car kinda way. Don't expect to see the center exhaust on the production car either.
It's an interesting choice to retain the Aveo name for such a remarkably different (and considerably better) new car. The Aveo has a reputation as a rebadged bottom dollar Korean econobox, and this will slot above the Chevy Spark and below the Cruze and be built at the Orion plant right in Michigan. Time will tell if the name carries too much baggage, but at least they didn't replace it with an alphabet soup.
Chevrolet Aveo RS Show Car: A Wake-Up Call For The Small-Car Segment
o Dynamic hot hatch designed to appeal to young enthusiasts
o Personalization is built into the design
o Roominess and upscale amenities not usually found in subcompacts
o 1.4L I-4 Ecotec turbo delivers exceptional fuel economy with performance when needed
DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced the world debut of the Aveo RS show car at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. It features a European-inspired hot hatch look designed to appeal to young enthusiasts, and hints at the next-generation Aveo.
Longer, wider and more spacious than the current production Aveo, the Aveo RS showcases the car's upscale-looking design cues both inside and out, and presents the many personalization options potentially available on the next-generation car.
"We hope the Aveo RS show car will demonstrate that we are as serious about redefining the Aveo and its place in the small-car segment as we were about reinventing the Malibu," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet general manager.
The Aveo RS show car, finished in electric Boracay Blue, wears global Chevrolet design cues such as the dual element grille, round taillamps and fender flares, but designers turned up the attitude on the show car with low openings and a lower mouth trimmed in a combination of brushed and polished aluminum. Outboard fog lamps are integrated into an exaggerated brake-cooling inlet that flows into the front fender flares, creating an aggressive-looking face.
Exposed headlamps, with their brushed aluminum structural surround, are inspired by the designers' affection for motorcycles. The sleek side profile is characterized by uninterrupted body side lines, a high beltline and low roofline. The side mirrors with amber-colored turn signal indicators carry the same shape as the car and seemingly disappear into the profile. At first glance, the car actually looks like a three-door hatch because the rear door handles are discreetly located in the "C"-pillar area.
"The Aveo RS show car demonstrates how progressive design can inject personality into a small car," said Michael Simcoe, executive director, North American Exterior Design. "We want customers to see it and have an emotional reaction to it."
No performance-minded car earns its street cred without large wheels and tires. The Aveo RS show car's wheels are 19-inch, five-spoke with a gun metal metallic finish Chevrolet logo. The wheel openings reveal large Boracay Blue brake calipers.
The rear of the show car continues the sport theme, with an integrated spoiler that flows from the roof, a center-mounted exhaust and chrome exhaust tips. The exposed motorcycle-inspired rear taillamps feature tinted aluminum housings and a discreet Bowtie logo.
Spacious and stylish interior
With its matte black interior highlighted by gloss black, metallic and blue accents, the Aveo RS show car reflects as much attention to detail as the exterior. The Boracay Blue theme continues inside, with accent stitching across the dual cockpit instrument panel, front and rear door insert, steering wheel rim, gear shift boot, parking brake, leather seat bolster and even the floor mats. The integrated center stack holds the gearshift, HVAC controls and the sound system, including a USB port. Ice-blue backlighting on the audio display, telltale indicator screen and knobs augments the blue stitching.
The motorcycle inspiration also carries inside, with a round, analog tachometer set within an asymmetrical LCD readout also trimmed in milled metal with round cutouts; and round, aluminum-trimmed side vents.
The interior is as functional as it is stylish, with storage compartments in the center stack and doors. The rear seats fold flat for carrying larger items.
The Aveo RS show car is powered by the same highly efficient 138-horsepower (103 kW) 1.4L I-4 Ecotec turbocharged engine that will be available in the upcoming Chevrolet Cruze.
A six-speed manual transmission is designed to ensure the car will provide a spirited driving experience.
For the show car, designers created a special engine cover in graphite silver with a brushed aluminum insert. The coolant and power steering fluid fill caps are rimmed in ice blue, and the honeycomb vents flanking the center of the cover are matte-finished in shadow chrome and designed to match the wheel color.
Chevrolet has previously announced the new Aveo will be built at Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Mich., in 2011, a move that will restore 1,200 jobs to Southeast Michigan. Timing for retooling Orion Assembly for Aveo production is anticipated to begin in late 2010.