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First Coast Gears: Blending Chevelle, Camaro, Past and Future

7:01 AM, Mar 17, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- At the Old Florida Cafe Antique Car and Truck Show on Philips Highway, a 1970 Chevelle SS, which Sunshine State Chevelles President Chris Conover helped restore, was among the classics on display.  

A similar Chevelle (see screengrab in photo slider or in video below) makes a split second appearance in a promotional video for Chevrolet's Code 130R concept, a car that blends styling cues from the current day Camaro and, if the video is to be believed, classic Chevelles.

That had me wondering. Could the Code130R end up being a next generation Chevelle?  Let's take a look.

SLIDESHOW: Old Florida Cafe Antique Car & Truck Show

It holds true to the history of the Chevelle in that it's a rear-wheel drive, two-door coupe that would be a step below the Camaro.

But unlike the top-of-the-line 454 (7.4 liter) Big-Block Cowl Induction Chevelle of 1970, the Code 130R has its eye on fuel economy.  It's powered by a mild hybrid set-up with Chevrolet's 1.4 liter Ecotech turbocharged DOHC I-4 with eAssist.  Although no zero to 60 times have been quoted, Chevrolet does say you're looking at about 150 horsepower and 40 mpg with a starting price in the low-20s.

Depending on weight, turbocharging could still keep performance somewhat lively. EAssist would shut off the engine at stops, recapture braking energy and smooth torque during acceleration.

According to an interview with GM's Dave Masch on motorauthority.com, the Code 130R would be based on the same platform as the 2013 Cadillac ATS.  That being the case, it's reasonable to think handling would be crisp, perhaps like a 1 Series BMW.  It's also reasonable to speculate the ATS's 2.0-liter turbo that makes 270 horsepower might make its way into an SS version, although that's pure speculation.

Despite some retro styling cues, the Code 130R is firmly focused on the future.

"This buyer prizes connectivity. Allowing them to stay connected by integrating their personal devices through MyLink and WiFi enabling the vehicle to be their own docking station," said Frank Saucedo, director of the GM North America Advanced Design studio in Los Angeles.

The Code 130R's future is far from guaranteed.  Chevrolet is also showing off another concept called the Tru 140S. To my eye, the Tru 140S looks like a next generation Mitsubishi Eclipse.  GM is only expected to build one of the two-doors.  But that's exactly why I'm betting on the Code 130R.  With hints of current generation Camaro and 1970 Chevelle, it's got that modern but yet classic Chevrolet look that still turns heads.
 

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