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Is GM Pondering A Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ Rival?


2012 Chevrolet Code 130R Concept

2012 Chevrolet Code 130R Concept

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If you’re looking for a front engine, rear drive car with some entertainment value, GM brand Chevrolet would be happy to sell you a Camaro, Corvette or (soon) an SS sedan. While the Corvette fits most enthusiasts’ definition of a sports car, its $50k starting price puts it beyond the means of drivers on a budget.

The Camaro is more affordable, with V-6 models priced from around $24k, but it’s a little portly to be called a sports car (especially with V-6 power). If you’re shopping for a Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ, chances are good the Camaro isn’t on your “must drive” list.

GM’s last attempt at an affordable, rear-drive sports car was the Pontiac Solstice and its fraternal twin, the Saturn Sky. Both were killed off when the Pontiac and Saturn brands were shuttered, but Australia’s Drive is reporting that a rear-drive sports car may be back on the table at GM.

Saying, “it’s on the list,” GM’s North American president, Mark Reuss confirmed that an entry-level, rear-drive model would be looked at closely by management. In reference to the Code 130R Concept shown last year, Reuss said, “It would be a great entry for us if we had it, that's what we showed the concept car.”

The Chevy Code 130R Concept debuted at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Aimed squarely at those who appreciate a properly apexed corner or an artfully rev-matched downshift, the car featured a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 150 horsepower.

That’s enough to be fun (though more would be better), especially when you factor in the acceleration boost from the eAssist hybrid drive system. Fuel economy of 40 mpg highway helps to ensure that the car is affordable beyond the initial purchase price, too.

Before GM green-lights such a project, a business case has to be made for sales volume and profit margins. If the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are any indication, the market is there if the price is right.
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