Feature: Chevrolet coupe concepts target new generation of buyers auto articles chevrolet auto brands 2012 north american international auto show detroit
Feature: Chevrolet coupe concepts target new generation of buyers auto articles chevrolet auto brands 2012 north american international auto show detroit
Chevrolet TRU 140S (top) and CODE 130R concepts. Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s web site
Chevrolet Canada

Article and photos by Grant Yoxon

Photo Gallery:
Chevrolet TRU 140s and CODE 130R coupe concepts

Detroit, Michigan – Chevrolet unveiled two coupe concepts at the recent 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit targeted at “millennials”, consumers aged less than 30 who number more than 80 million in North America, or about 40 per cent of the potential car buying public.

Recognizing that such a large group with a combined $1 trillion in purchasing power has been largely overlooked by manufacturers (of anything and not just cars), GM hopes to change that – not only by designing a car that will appeal to younger buyers but by involving them in the process of designing it.

The two coupes shown in Detroit, the Code 130R and the Tru 140S, are the product of discussions held over the past year with young American consumers.  The concepts were incomplete – neither had an interior – but these concepts are early white board attempts to capture the styling and functionality young buyers say they want in a car.

The red Code 130R is a four-seat coupe that features heritage performance-inspired styling and rear-wheel drive. With an aggressive front fascia, Chevrolet fender flares, straight body side and Chevy crossflag emblem, Code 130R reflects Chevrolet’s performance heritage.

Code 130R’s designers conceived the turbocharged engine to be tuned to work in tandem with eAssist technology.  By shutting off the engine at stops, recapturing braking energy, and smoothing torque during acceleration, this concept balances performance with fuel economy.

Feature: Chevrolet coupe concepts target new generation of buyers auto articles chevrolet auto brands 2012 north american international auto show detroit
Feature: Chevrolet coupe concepts target new generation of buyers auto articles chevrolet auto brands 2012 north american international auto show detroit
Chevrolet TRU 140S (top) and CODE 130R concepts. Click image to enlarge

The matte white Tru 140S is a front-wheel-drive four-seat sporty coupe, three-door hatchback designed to be an attractive-yet-affordable sports car. The concept is based off the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze and the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range.

Tru 140S designers wanted to demonstrate technologies typically found in more expensive cars, including direct injection and a starter-based stop-start technology, balancing internal combustion and electrification to deliver high value and improved fuel economy.

Both share attributes that young buyers told them were important – sedan sized functionality, including seating for four, in a performance coupe; 5.8 L/100 km (40 mpg US) and a price in the low $20K zone.

Interior plans include connectivity and convenience with innovative storage, Wi/fi and smart phone integration.

To continue the dialogue with these consumers, GM plans to take the Code 130R and Tru 140S on the road this year to auto shows, college campuses, events and other opportunities to show the cars to their target audience.  As well, Chevrolet will use social media tools to engage potential customers and refine the concepts further.

GM sees this “millennial” cohort as an opportunity, not only to sell more cars, but to involve them in the process of designing cars for the future.  No doubt GM is not alone in recognizing the value of this “next generation”, so the company that gets it right stands to gain much in the long run.

In my much older than millennial view, I think the thoroughly modern Tru 140S has the edge over the retro-sports Code 130R.  Many of my colleagues in Detroit agreed.  The next coupe concept at a future auto show will tell us whether young buyers agree as well.

Connect with Autos.ca