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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Corey b Mack Friday
October 17, 2008

Found in a parking lot, the camouflaged Chevy Beat pictured here is actually a four door, which means that no one will be getting the two-door version that was previewed as a concept. GM stated that the Beat would not be sold here in the US, and the speedometer being listed in kilometers per hour confirms this. The interior pic shows two gage pods; the circular pod is for the speedometer, and rectangular pod next to it contains a screen for the odometer that is flanked by circular warning lights. The two pods are also attached to the steering column meaning they tilt with the wheel.


(Click for Full Size Image)


More images including exterior and full story at:
The College Driver.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Besides looking cheap and ill-suited to the US market (especially that center console), this reminds me of something we saw earlier. Most surmised it would see production in a Pontiac (due, in no small part, to the red lighting) but it makes its appearance on a Chevy--for now.

 

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I would consider this interior to be LS level for LT put in a nicer stereo and maybe a LCD screen where the keys are. The final thing I would change would be the seat fabric that looks awful.
 

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I sure hope that this is not going to be the final interior, the design isn't too bad, but the choice of materials and the design of a couple of the elements look absolutely terrible.

Just for example, the black plastic surrounding the radio and air controls looks to be about as cheap as you can get, lets hope that there are different finish options for it and it is just pre production. Also, that instrument cluster is a mess. The circular warning lights surrounding the screen look absolutely terrible. Would it be that much more expensive to shrink the silver trim around it to be just a small frame, and expanding the plastic over the screen to cover the warning lights, so that they are invisible until lit. Not hard or Expensive. Nice looking steering wheel though.

It is just a shame to have such a high-quality concept, just to cheap out to an extreme on the production model.

-Chase
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Obviously there are some of you that are interested in a car from this very entry level market. I might be judging too harshly here, though it may not fare well against more opulent vehicles, driving anything beats (no pun intended) walking or buying a used clunker of questionable reliability. My question to you then, is what would you be willing to pay for the car pictured above, assuming it got fuel economy identical to the Aveo (25/34 auto, 27/34 manual) while making just over 100 hp? Remember that the Aveo starts at $12,625, and the Cobalt at $16,330.

I can't imagine it retailing for over $10K with an interior like that. While I do like the chunky steering wheel and glossy black plastic atop the doors and surrounding the bin above the glovebox, the sea of gray plastic looks very cheap to me. There is always a car out there which everyone uses as their go-to analogy for cheap and crappy, and I fear this would be it. We've had the Aztek, the Pinto, the Yugo, the Gremlin, the Pacer, the Edsel, and countless other historical mockeries. While it might not be deserved, being that this car would (hopefully) be the cheapest vehicle on the market by far, I fear it would not bring the best of associations to the Chevrolet name. It could even become emblematic of all things people despise in cars: Cheap, slow, juvenile, awkward, uncomfortable, poorly maintained, disposable, not fun, etc. Again, that may not be fair, considering the price of entry, but this is what I see when I look inside:


The 1995 Chevy Cavalier

The Beat's switchgear is better and more integrated (although replacing the stereo will be a real pain this way) but melty gray plastic abounds. Unless it featured exposed innards of the sheet metal stampings, or used large box-shaped forms for the dash, I could not think of a way to make that interior look cheaper.
 

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Because it cannot meet US crash regulations and emissions. If you want to take a budget car that cannot meet US crash requirements, then go ahead.
That should be our choice in this free contry. Alas drive carefully and most won't need safty features or you get hit and die. All to save a little gas it should be up to the buyer...




I will keep my Durango thank you.
 

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As Chase said, I really hope those aren't production materials! The interior design is a little too simple to begin with, but those plastics are awful... and I don't normally care about things like that!

FYI Greg, this IS smaller than the Fiesta... the Fiesta is closer to the Aveo in size... but seeing as how the Beat couldn't be sold for much less than the Fiesta in the US, you might be right.
 

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As Chase said, I really hope those aren't production materials! The interior design is a little too simple to begin with, but those plastics are awful... and I don't normally care about things like that!

FYI Greg, this IS smaller than the Fiesta... the Fiesta is closer to the Aveo in size... but seeing as how the Beat couldn't be sold for much less than the Fiesta in the US, you might be right.
Thanks, I think the Fiesta would be trouble for a Smart car as well. We tend to overshoot in both directions sizewise here. The small cars require compromises that in the real world we will not make.
 

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Thanks, I think the Fiesta would be trouble for a Smart car as well. We tend to overshoot in both directions sizewise here. The small cars require compromises that in the real world we will not make.
Yeah, I can't decide if cars like the Beat would actually sell in the US or not. I like tiny cars, and am perfectly happy with one, but some of these dinky Euro cars are pretty tiny. I'm not sure that they would ever be more than a novelty, unless gas got up to 10 bucks a gallon.

Americans are clearly happy enough with the Aveo-Versa-Fit-Yaris class of car, but smaller? The Smart is a toy, and not a good example. I also don't think that something like the Beat or Ford Ka or Toyota iQ will be all that much less expensive than the Aveo and company. How cheap can they go for the US market?!?

I still wish GM would try with the Beat... but I'm not 100% convinced that there's a huge market going to open up. I hope so, but I'm not sure.
 

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Oh, and this is going to sound ridiculous, but I have a rental Yaris for a business trip tomorrow. I left my 104 at work today and drove home in the Yaris... and I felt like I was driving a Suburban! No joke! I didn't realise just how tiny my car was... the Yaris felt too wide for the local country lanes!
 

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Fiesta = Aveo
Beat = Smart
The Beat will be larger than a Smart. The Smart has no engine compartment in front of the windshield, and the 1.0L three cylinder is tucked away above the rear wheels, which are immediately behind the front seats. The back end of the car makes for about a two foot or so deep parcel compartment above the engine. When I was able to drive my Kei class minitruck around, it was actually LONGER than a Smart. As a four door vehicle with a conventional engine compartment forward of the passenger area, it will at the bare minimum, match the size of Kei vehicles in Japan, and is likely going to notch up a size above this.
 
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