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Old 04-20-2012, 11:55 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Are They Kidding? GM May Take On Subaru's BRZ With The 130R Concept




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Could General Motors build an all-new compact sports car for under $30,000, with a high-output 4-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive? According to a report in the latest issue of Australia's Wheels Magazine, the answer so far is a secretive "yes."

The rendering is an Aussified version of the Chevrolet Code 130R concept first shown last January at the North American International Auto Show. Wheels is calling it the modern-day Holden Torana, the sporty Australian compact built from 1967 to 1980 that led racing driver Peter Brock to numerous victories in the '70s.

The original Torana was attractive, quick, and affordable -- a winning formula that Hyundai revamped on the 2009 Genesis Coupe and which the 2013 Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are now trumping. For younger enthusiasts who aren't dazzled by larger Camaros and Mustangs, those Asian coupes are the only cars that deliver big performance in a tight, budget-friendly package.

While the Wheels report names no direct sources, the magazine quotes Michael Simcoe, GM's chief designer outside North America, as saying a production Torana "makes sense" given the history of Australian muscle cars.

Annalisa Bluhm, a Chevrolet spokeswoman, told Exhaust Notes that while the Code 130R was not yet planned for production, "it would fit pretty perfectly" against the BRZ and FR-S. So far, Bluhm said the concept has been a hit among Millennials -- the under-35 set targeted by the Japanese coupes.

"We thought the 130R would really resonate because it's hot. It's a racer," she said.

With the short, stubby styling of a BMW 1-Series, the Code 130R and Torana could be built from GM's new Alpha platform, a smaller rear-wheel-drive chassis now underpinning the Cadillac ATS. In January, GM said it could sell a production 130R in the "low $20,000s" with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivering 150 horsepower and 40 mpg.

Holden, GM's Australian division, has catered to speed-seeking Australians for decades. While much of Holden's lineup -- like the Volt and Barina Spark -- are rebadged Chevrolets, the brand retains a very distinct flavor, different from Detroit. (Case in point: the Maloo R8, an El Camino hotrod stuffed with a Corvette V8 that runs on liquid propane.) The 2009 Pontiac G8, a rear-wheel-drive sedan praised for its sharp handling, was entirely designed by Holden and is still sold (and raced) down under as the Commodore.

Given the initial fervor from the BRZ, we're betting GM will be watching this performance segment very closely as it tries to cast Chevrolet as a youth-friendly, premium small car brand.

[Source: Wheels Magazine via Holden]
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
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What's wrong with that?
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:08 PM   #3
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They should just update the Solstice/Sky coupe.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:10 PM   #4
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looks good to me
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #5
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They'll ruin it.

You know it.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:30 PM   #6
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This is a good thing.

I'd love to see a war for the best small, light weight, RWD coupe a lot more than a modern pony car power war.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:44 PM   #7
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I like this idea. And Subaru needs to do a sti varient on the BRZ and produce a turbo model. If GM makes this look like the one in the magazine, this will be a hot seller and give the BRZ a run for its money in the market.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamrock 05 View Post
...And Subaru needs to do a sti varient on the BRZ and produce a turbo model.
Agreed. FI FTW.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:56 PM   #9
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And it will crack a ringland....I kid...I kid
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamrock 05 View Post
I like this idea. And Subaru needs to do a sti varient on the BRZ and produce a turbo model. If GM makes this look like the one in the magazine, this will be a hot seller and give the BRZ a run for its money in the market.
I would buy a STI BRZ in a heart beat
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justincredible View Post
This is a good thing.

I'd love to see a war for the best small, light weight, RWD coupe a lot more than a modern pony car power war.
What you describe IS a new modern pony-car war.

What do you think the original 1964.5 Mustang was? It was called pony, because it was a smaller example than their larger muscle-car clydesdale-like full-size muscle cars.
(seeing as it's 49th birthday was 3 days ago... it is timely to revisit that.)

What were pony cars, have now bloated up, and muscle'd-up to Muscle Car territory.

It used to be Torino Cobra, Chevelle SS, GTO, Charger, etc... were then mid-to-full size cars with big blocks. and Mustang, Camaro/Firebird, and Challenger were the smaller cars, mostly with small blocks, and a few big-block drag-car exceptions, when they started to grow in the early 1970s.

Now GT500, Camaro, and Challenger weigh in on the margins around 2 tons, with 400+ horsepower in the V8 models, and 300+ on the base models, except perhaps a tad lower on Challenger V6.

BRZ, 130R, Nissan's proposed S-chassis revival or small-Z, and even Genesis 2.0T might be considered, are the new pony cars, with 200-300hp, and weight on the margins of 3000lbs, plus or minus.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:08 PM   #12
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Saw this car at the NY auto show. It was UGLY as sin. The 140r on the other hand looked very very nice. Reminds me of the last celica but much better looking. It's a shame it's FWD and not RWD like the 130r. Biggest mistake ever.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:43 PM   #13
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Buyers could do worse than a Holden. It would be good to see this car in the USDM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty25RS View Post
They'll ruin it.

You know it.
Details?
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:58 PM   #15
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I like the look of the 130R, it just needs to pack more than 150bhp. Make an "SS" version with 200+bhp, weighing the same as the BRZ, at the same price as the BRZ.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:12 PM   #16
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Chances are, they will.

the 1.6 turbo is likely the equivalent of Ford's 1.6 eco-boost, the smallest engine with acceptable performance by being light-pressure turbocharged with almost no lag, but across the whole rev-band. Basically using a turbo as a thermal-recovery device all the time, making it act like it has more displacement than it does, rather than a huge power-booster with a big rush of high pressure at the top end that most people think of when they think "turbocharged".

A Solstice GXP/Sky Redline equivalent Ecotec turbo drivetrain (longitudinal mount, rear-drive) will probably be the performance engine.

Being Chevy... it will probably get the SS designation, as the Cobalt SS did, and this rear-driver will probably take the place of a Cruze coupe... and perhaps even share some of the non-drivetrain pieces from Cruze, like the dashboard and such.

The 2.0-2.4 DFI+Turbo engine, and a high-feature V6 engine option (3.2-3.6 liter) will probably be the choice for the Alpha-platform Caddy ATS.

Last edited by HipToBeSquare; 04-20-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:15 PM   #17
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code named (one of the most awesome and terrifying corners in grand prix racing)

Im interested.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:59 PM   #18
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Chevy will screw this car up in the same vein as the Pontiac solstice. They will half ass it in an attempt to steal the show, but they will put a truck transmission in place of an aisin or equivalent. Then they will make sure the car has no place for a proper trunk. The car will come out as a convertible first and then right before killing the car put it on the market as a coupe.

BlitZ
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:39 PM   #19
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^^^

GM's biggest problem with the Kappa (Sky, Solstice) was that they were losing $10,000 on every car sold.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Almost a Ghost View Post
^^^

GM's biggest problem with the Kappa (Sky, Solstice) was that they were losing $10,000 on every car sold.
If you can't produce something while making a profit, either your means of manufacturing suck, people don't like your brand, or someone is doing things better. Pretty sure gm falls under all 3 of these bad things when it comes to the pontiac solstice.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg View Post
Chevy will screw this car up in the same vein as the Pontiac solstice. They will half ass it in an attempt to steal the show, but they will put a truck transmission in place of an aisin or equivalent. Then they will make sure the car has no place for a proper trunk. The car will come out as a convertible first and then right before killing the car put it on the market as a coupe.

BlitZ
For reference, the trunk of a Solstice:
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:39 PM   #22
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Also, this is a GM product... so I have to agree, while I want it to be a good competitor, I have little faith, and PERSONALLY

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Old 04-21-2012, 12:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
For reference, the trunk of a Solstice:
Keep in mind Code 130R is based on Alpha, not Kappa.

Kappa was built solely to be a two seat sports car convertible, and house the fuel tank somewhere.

Alpha is intended to be a sedan first and foremost. It will have a trunk.

Not that GM won't find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory... all of the car companies seem to do that to varying degree.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:51 AM   #24
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Considering that the Sonic is 2800lbs, I don't have much faith in GM building a light vehicle. Damn near every one of their cars are the heaviest in their segment.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:19 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quentinberg007
Considering that the Sonic is 2800lbs, I don't have much faith in GM building a light vehicle. Damn near every one of their cars are the heaviest in their segment.
Well, the Sonic does have a 5-Star crash rating and 10 airbags...
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