Chevrolet Has Big Plans for its Small Cars at SEMA

Spark, Sonic and Cruze concepts get performance makeovers.

by on Oct.22, 2012

The Chevy Cruze Upscale is one of an assortment of small car concepts the maker will unveil at SEMA.

For the first time in years, Chevrolet’s small cars are getting some traction and General Motors’s largest brand hopes to gain even more attention with an assortment of new concept cars based on its Spark, Sonic and Cruze models that will make their debut at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas later this week.

“With Chevy’s new small cars attracting young buyers with a taste for customization, Spark, Sonic and Cruze are the perfect canvasses to express their personalities,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “The content, colors and performance of each concept is being evaluated for possible production as Chevrolet continues to seek new ways to give customers more choices.”

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The small-car concept vehicles demonstrate a range of performance-based styling expressions, including the first application of Chevrolet’s Z-Spec treatment for Spark with family traits, such as the mesh grille inserts and graphic accents. The Z-Spec concept demonstrates a cohesive design with a family of factory-engineered accessories and the best of the aftermarket under a single theme.

The Chevrolet Spark Sinister concept.

The Z-Spec parts could be purchased individually to suit customer tastes and budgets. They’re designed for purchase and installation through Chevrolet dealerships with the option of installation at purchase and cost being rolled into the customer’s monthly payments. Z-Spec concepts could spawn limited-edition production models from Chevrolet, according to Jim Campbell, GM’s vice president for performance vehicles and motorsports.

Campbell said the cars on display in the Chevy Garage will include the Cruze Upscale concept. It’s meant to move the compact sedan up a few rungs on the luxury ladder with a Burnished Brandy Metallic exterior and unique exterior appointments. The concept also  features a brown leather-trimmed interior as well as tinted headlamp and fog lamp lenses, dark-tinted windows and custom 19×8.5-inch aluminum wheels finished in Black Ice.

Chevy's Sonic Z-Spec 1 concept.

Another vehicle in the Chevy display will be the Sonic Z-Spec 1 concept with a power-enhancing exhaust system and upgraded brakes. The capability is matched with a custom Synergy Green exterior. Details include: and Sonic RS rear spoiler in Ashen Grey.

The Spark Z-Spec concept, which also will be on display in Las Vegas, is distinguished from production models with a ground effects kit in body color, Z-spec grille with Carbon Flash-painted surround and Z-Spec body graphics in matte blac. It is also equipped with Chevrolet Performance licensed front lowering coil-over springs and rear adjustable springs, concept 15×6-inch split-spoke wheels in Dark Argent with Salsa Red inserts and tire stripes, lowered ride height. seats trimmed with Salsa Red inserts and Chevrolet MyLInk color touch screen.

The Sonic Z-Spec 2.5 concept.

The aggressive-looking Spark Sinister concept blends rally-inspired exterior cues with a black appearance for a night-racing aesthetic that looks at home in the shadows of a city’s industrial district. Its content includes body work with bold rocker fairings, a rear diffuser with dual exhaust outlets, rear wing spoiler and a front fascia with large air intakes, fender flares to cover large, 18×6-inch split-spoke wheels – in Bahia Red – and low-profile performance tires. The package is completed with a Carbon Flash Metallic exterior with Bahia Red accents and matte-black graphics.

Chevy's SEMA stand also will feature a tuned concept version of its new midsize sedan, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept - which makes 259 hp and can launch from 0 to 60 in 6.3 seconds.

Chevy small car sales were up 97% in September. Sonic recorded 7,525 sales for the month, with sales of nearly 65,000 year to date through September. Spark, which went on sale earlier this year in 18 U.S. markets, recorded 2,223 sales in September.

The Cruze compact sedan is one of the country’s best-selling cars, with more than 180,000 sales through nine months of 2012. That includes 25,787 in September.

“The momentum with these small cars continues to build, as more customers discover their fun-to-drive spirits and high-value content, including great infotainment options – such as Sonic and Spark’s MyLink features,” said Chevy boss Perry.





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