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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chevrolet Won’t Build a New Small Sports Car, Yet


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

Today’s new car marketplace is brimming with zippy performers, many of which retail for highly affordable prices. But amidst the peppy Ford Fiestas, Honda Civics, and Subaru BRZs, there’s one leading automaker you’ll find markedly absent – Chevrolet. 
Chevrolet markets its full-size SS sedan, pony car Camaro, and sports car Corvette but hasn’t tested the waters of a small, low-priced performance model. According to an Automotive News interview with GM product development chief Mark Reuss, that plan of action won’t deviate much in the coming future.


“I love those things,” Reuss said of small performance cars in a recent interview, “We know how to do them really well.” He continued later, “The real question is: Is that a big priority? For now, no. Forever? I wouldn’t say that.”

Chevrolet caused quite a stir at the 2012 Detroit auto show after it debuted its Code 130R concept car (pictured), which sported seating for four, a rear drive layout, a turbocharged engine and a claimed price point within the low $20,000 range. Fans branded it as a future sub-Camaro model however it has yet to come to fruition and there are a number of reasons as to why it hasn’t.


Reuss cited the eventual sales drop-off of many small, sporty vehicles as one main deterrent. One of the more obvious examples remains the highly lauded Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S sports coupes, of which sales fell 42 and 29 percent from 2014 in the opening four months of 2015.

The second deterrent is capital. “On those cars, the price point begins to approach the segment of the next car up,” mentioned Reuss. “We would spend a lot of money and resources, and what are we really doing?” Within the current term, Chevrolet looks to be doubling down on the performance of its higher-priced C7 Corvette and should reap significant benefits from the just-released sixth-generation Camaro, which spans four-, six- and eight-cylinder powertrains and likely a base price point in the low to mid $20,000 region.