Embracing the concepts of “co-creation” and “crowdsourcing,” Chevrolet decided to let the car buying public dictate what they really want in a new car. Then it promised to take those ideas, wants, needs and suggestions and actually step up and build it.
And rather than end up with a vehicle that looks like a platypus on wheels (“It should have tires on the roof in case of a rollover, and be able to float AND fly…”), Chevy’s designers took the wealth of input from the crowd and created a pair of concept vehicles you’d actually want parked in your driveway.
Could this be the future of how all cars are conceived and created? With input from the consumers who may actually buy the vehicle? That may depend on the success of this social experiment.
Heeding one of the comments they heard again and again: “Why does an entry-level car have to look cheap and crappy?” the design team agreed, and came up with the Code 130R (the red car pictured), with heritage design cues taken from classic Chevy performance cars of the past, and the Tru 140S (the white car), an “affordable exotic” with low-slung, sleek lines.
Both cars feature the attributes the people the vehicles are aimed at—first-time buyers—want most:
- A performance coupe that seats four
- An innovative entertainment system that has a hard drive for storage, WiFi, smart phone integration and heads up display
- 40 MPG, with a 1.4L Turbo Ecotec engine with approximately 150 horsepower
- Affordable production price range in the low $20,000s
The two concepts also get unique features. The Code gets rear-wheel drive, an aggressive front fascia, Chevrolet fender flares, straight body side and Chevy crossflag emblem, giving it a link to Chevrolet’s performance history.
But it also had to deliver fuel economy, so Code’s designers conceived the turbocharged engine to be tuned to work in tandem with their eAssist technology that shuts off the engine at stops, recapturing braking energy.
Tru is a front-wheel-drive, four-seat sporty coupe. The three-door hatchback was designed to be an attractive-yet-affordable sports car. Created in an all-new matte white with Chevy performance chrome wheels featuring crossflag emblems, Tru is designed to look exotic, expensive and fast.
Tru’s designers wanted to include 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.
The pair of Chevy concepts will travel to major auto shows, key lifestyle events, college campuses, and other venues. Chevrolet will also continue to talk to customers using social media to decide which of these concepts will actually make it to a dealership near you.
Chevy only plans on putting one into actual production. Voting at these events and online will make the decision. Because just as they were both created by the crowd, one of them fall victim to the crowd. and depending on how well the “winner” does in dealerships, this may be the first, and last time we have a direct say in how cars are designed.