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Old 04-04-2007, 03:01 PM   #7
KILLER74Z28
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2007 New York Auto Show: Chevrolet searching for minicar cool with Trax, Groove, and Beat Concepts
A trio of minicar concepts from GM

Chevrolet has chosen to use the New York Auto Show to show off three new concepts as well as gauge the market for the microcar segment in the U.S. Dubbed Trax, Beat, and Groove, the three concepts all take different approaches to what a minicar can be. All three were developed in GM's South Korean design studio and aim to appeal to younger buyers.

The Trax (who's cover was blown earlier this week ) is a four-door, front-wheel drive micro-SUV with an electric limited slip differential that features a battery and electric motor to drive the rear wheels in the event they are needed for traction, resulting in a low-cost all-wheel drive vehicle.

The exterior is painted a vibrant Blaze Orange with Burnt Orange accents (and Flame Yellow brake calipers), but despite its fun appearance the Trax builds in practicality with fold-flat rear seats, a functional roof rack, and an efficient 1-liter gasoline engine.

Featuring equally attention-getting Vertigo Green paint that extends to its dashboard and brake calipers, the Chevrolet Beat is a three-door micro-hatchback. A 1.2-liter turbocharged engine and automatic transmission deliver power to the Beat's front 17-inch wheels.

Designed with tuners and customizers in mind, the Beat features stylized rocker panels, headlamps, wheels, and fascias with a high-performance theme to appeal to this market. The headliner of the Beat is fitted with fiber-optic lights that produce a star pattern and a navigation unit is hidden in the center console. An Alpine six-speaker stereo is also included along with a subwoofer mounted in the trunk.

The Groove was inspired not by the tuner market but by a military helmet. Perhaps an unorthodox inspiration for a car design, but the intention was for the Groove to feel safe simply looking at the vehicle.

The idea behind the Groove was to make a departure from small cars that are labeled as "cute" and to develop a small car with a tough stance. The Groove's 17-inch rear wheels were placed as far aft in the chassis as possible to create the perception of great length, while the long, flat cabin provides more interior space that would be expected of such a small vehicle. The front-wheel drive Groove is powered by a 1.0-liter diesel unit and features a Lunar Quartz exterior with contrasting satin silver chrome details.

All three vehicles are on display at the New York Auto Show this week and by going to www.vote4chevrolet.com, you can vote for your favorite. Chevrolet will use the results to determine what kind of market there might be for the development of a microcar for U.S. consumption.
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