The Fast and the Furious Chevrolet Miray and Colorado Rally Concepts posted on 16 August 2011
- Two exciting concepts to celebrate European premiere in Frankfurt
- Colorado Rally Concept builds on Chevrolet’s strong truck heritage
- Colorado’s interior includes high-performance steering wheel and fire-fighting system
- Small and open, light and purposeful appearance characterises Miray concept car
- Information displayed via back projection onto the Miray’s instrument panel
Over the course of its 100-year history, Chevrolet has created and refined an array of startlingly beautiful car designs. Some of these have moved on to become true road legends, such as the Belair, the Suburban, the Corvette, or the Camaro. Though Chevrolet cars are very diverse in their appearance, reflecting the different uses they have, there is a common design and brand DNA and a set of exterior and interior features that distinguishes them from a multitude of competitors.
Among the global Chevrolet design themes in evidence today is a dynamic tension which once again can be sensed across the entire range. Whether it is the Spark mini-car or the Captiva SUV: Chevrolet designs are expressive and assertive, evoking sense of pent-up energy and strength. Likewise, modern Chevrolet designs acknowledge the heritage that made the brand great, revisiting concepts from the past without becoming locked in a retro focus.
Both the Chevrolet Miray and the Colorado Rally Concept, which will celebrate their European premiere in Frankfurt, embody these design principles and take current trends in their respective segment a step into the future. Whereas the powerful Colorado Rally Concept previews the next generation of this midsize pickup truck, the futuristic-looking Chevrolet Miray merges a jet-inspired exterior with an advanced hybrid powertrain technology.
Chevrolet Colorado: Broad-shouldered proportions, tightly wrapped bodywork
Sitting atop an AWD chassis, the double-cab Colorado Rally Concept, first revealed at the Buenos Aires International Auto Show, conveys strength through every square centimetre of its bodywork. It aims to deliver maximum authenticity and was designed with a rally raid category in mind.
With its wide, confident posture, 18-inch aluminium wheels with mud terrain tyres, a height-adjustable (up to 50 mm) suspension system and Fox Racing Shox shocks (travel distance: 140 mm), the second show version of the Colorado midsize pickup truck communicates durability and performance. The first Colorado show truck was unveiled at the Bangkok Motor Show in April this year.
“Chevrolet has built trucks right from the start and they are an essential part of our brand. Through its purposeful design, refinement and uncompromising capability, the Colorado Rally Concept creatively reinterprets our proud heritage,” said Wayne Brannon, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe.
Large headlamps with LED lighting elements, Chevrolet’s signature dual-port grille, a carefully sculpted hood and muscular fibreglass fenders define the Colorado’s front appearance. Two additional lights let into the front edge of the roof and into the side mirrors, acrylic rally-car windows with air inlets and front and rear tow hooks underscore the car’s off-road credentials. The Colorado Rally Concept is powered by a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine and sports two 5.5 hp winches that have been incorporated into its front and rear bumpers.
While the Colorado’s bodywork is painted with a triple coat of pearl white and sprinkles of ‘golden’ particles, its roof and bumpers, the stylised roll-bar as well as the inside of its load bay, which carries a spare tyre and tool boxes, are made of charcoal-colored plastic. The decklid has two large openings for improved aerodynamic performance and a better rear view. Other fine details include the exposed fuel cap and, of course, the Chevy bowtie that is proudly emblazoned on the front and the decklid.
Inside, designers focused on ergonomics, safety and functionality. A dark, ash-grey color dominates the interior, which contrasts nicely with the silver painted roll cage and other metal details. The occupants sit in neoprene-lined seats with orange stitching whereas the upper instrument panel is made of textured leather.
A high-performance steering wheel designed for aggressive handling helps the driver navigate the truck through rough terrain. It features integrated LEDs that function as a quick display tachometer. Direction-finding assistance is provided by a satellite navigation system positioned in front of the navigator. The Colorado’s five-point seatbelts are directly attached to the roll cage. Meanwhile, a dedicated fire-extinguishing system ensures that any fire in the passenger cabin and the engine compartment is quickly brought under control.
Further interior highlights include:
- A master switch that is integrated to the centre stack. It has two key functions: starting the engine and disconnecting every system in the vehicle, in case of an emergency.
- An “air boost” system that quickly cleans the cabin after the car has entered a dust cloud during an off-road chase.
- A hydration pack positioned behind each seat. A food solution is delivered to the occupants through a small tube.
Chevrolet Miray: Strengthening the bond between car and driver
First unveiled at the Seoul Motor Show in March this year, the Chevrolet Miray concept offers a fresh interpretation of some typical Chevrolet design cues while paying tribute to Chevrolet’s sports car heritage. The Miray is propelled by two front-mounted, battery-powered 15-kW electric motors for quick acceleration and zero emissions in urban driving.
“‘Miray’ is Korean for ‘future.’ The concept strengthens the bond between car and driver and takes a fresh look at what a sports cars of the future might be,” explains Brannon. “Many of the components used in its drivetrain are an extension of our systems. The Miray demonstrates the potential for rescaling and extending today’s propulsion technologies.”
Being small and open like the 1963 Monza SS, and light and purposeful like the 1962 Corvair Super Spyder, the Miray has an aerodynamic fuselage reminiscent of modern jet fighters. Its 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. Carbon fibre spoilers at the corners help control down force and airflow. From above, the cabin has a unique diamond shape.
The wedged body side is made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRP) and carbon fibre. An angled character line, with ambient lighting underneath, 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 underscore the Miray’s racy looks.
At the rear, the tail lamps which have been placed under the ducktail surface are a nod to Chevrolet’s twin element execution. The Miray sports 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rear wheels made of aluminium carbon-fibre composite. The strong turbine theme evokes movement, even when the Miray is stationary.
A radically stylish interior
The interior of the Miray features a melange of brushed aluminium, natural leather, white fabric and liquid metal surfaces for an overall effect of sculptural velocity. Its passenger compartment is surrounded by a carbon-fibre shell, which gives it a lightweight yet rigid structure. The wrap-around twin cockpit has drawn inspiration from the iconic Chevrolet Corvette: It is driver-focused while fully engaging the passenger in the driving experience.
Designers took a unique approach to displaying information, using back projection on the instrument panel. Information in front of the driver has been prioritised into three zones, which eliminates unnecessary visual clutter and allows the driver to focus on the thrill of driving.
The centre touch screen flows down to an aluminium support, which evokes a fighter jet’s nose with the landing gear down. The exterior surface flows down into the interior to meet the reinforced console, connecting the front and rear of 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-fibre shell and mounted on a single aluminium rail. The headrest area follows the exterior form, integrating with an air scarf for open-air driving.
An interesting detail is the centrally located start button. When it is pressed, the column-mounted retractable meter cluster rises like the canopy of a single-seat aircraft 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.
Flexible propulsion system matches Miray’s futuristic looks
The Miray’s “mid-electric” propulsion system, located primarily behind and beneath the driver, has been engineered to maximise performance and fuel efficiency. Its two front-mounted 15-kW electric motors are powered by a 1.6 kWh lithium-ion battery that is charged through regenerative braking energy. The system can be switched from front-wheel to rear-wheel drive.
A 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-charged engine mounted behind the cockpit combines with the electric motors for performance driving. It provides spirited torque, while seamlessly integrating electrification technology that sets a new standard in the compact roadster segment.
A dual-clutch transmission obviates the need for a torque converter, thereby enabling a reduction of the engine’s size. Shifts are quick and firm, with the shift pattern having been tuned for improved top speed in performance mode. A start-stop system operates in conjunction with the Miray’s dual-clutch transmission.