The compact car market has been in full swing for some time. Cars like the Mini, Smart and Scion have helped pave the way for these new little beasties and help them become solidified as something more than just and automotive trend. While walking through the GM display I noticed two new little guys that I had not seen before. The Chevrolet Aveo RS show car and the GMC Granite were drawing oohs, aahs as well as they occasional WTF, from onlookers.
Up first is the Chevrolet Aveo RS show car. Now keep in mind, this is based off of the standard Chevy Aveo – a car that is by no means a performance oriented compact. For the show car however, Chevy took hold of the little 1.6 liter I-4 Ecotech and slapped a turbo charger on it. This bumped power from 106 hp to a semi-respectable 138 hp that is put down by a 6-speed manual transmission. Granted at 138 hp this is no pavement shredder, but when you consider the car weighs in at just over 2500 lbs. it’s actually not that bad.
Other performance oriented accents include a macho-ized twin grill, flared fenders, some funky round tail lights as well as pretty cool looking rear exhaust ports. 19 inch five spoke wheels with really beefy Brembo brakes and rotors off the Camaro SS round out the package. I’ll be honest, I like this car. It’s cool, aggressively styled and looks as though it would be a blast to drive on some windy back roads. Question is, will Chevy actually make it?
Next up is the GMC Granite – this was more concept than anything that might actually go into production, but nonetheless was entertaining to look at. Since the Granite is coming from GMC its styling is more burly and hardcore to reflect GMC’s truck roots. At first glance it’s almost like a Scion XB on steroids. The front end has elements of a Sierra pick-up truck, which is good if you’re building a pick-up, this however is a sport compact… you see where I’m going with this?
The body is amass with flared wheel arches and side scoops that culminate in a decidedly block like rear end. It’s not all bad, but I just don’t know if there is a market for a compact that looks like a truck. Wheels were easily 19 inches and covered what looked to be a 13″ inch rotor, again, aggressive but not overly stimulating.
Where the Granite really shines is the interior. Suicide doors reminiscent of a 1964 Lincoln Continental open to reveal a very stylized interior that utilizes a mix of earth tones and greys to give one the grand impression they are driving a rock… hmm. GMC builds trucks and nice ones at that, so how’s about stickin’ to that and leave the car building to Chevy, Cadillac and Buick. Just my two cents…