Following the reveal of the Chevrolet 130R concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, there was a lot of talk about the bowtie brand possibly launching a small, affordable sports car with rear-wheel drive to take on the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins as well as the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Unfortunately, the chances of such a car happening look slim based on recent comments made by General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] product chief Mark Reuss.
Speaking to Automotive News (subscription required), Reuss said he loved the concept of a small rear-wheel-drive sports car and that GM knows how to do them really well, but explained that there wasn’t a business case at the moment and thus the project was of little priority.
“I love those things—we know how to do them really well,” Reuss commented when quizzed about a small rear-wheel-drive sports car from GM. "The real question is: Is that a big priority? For now, no."
One need only look at sales of the FR-S to understand Reuss’ thinking. Scion sold just 1,000 examples in the U.S. in April, which was down 29 percent on levels a year ago. The car has also been performing poorly overseas, causing Toyota to rule out any additional variants.
As grim as it sounds, buyers looking for an affordable sports car have much to look forward to. In addition to existing offerings like the Ford Focus ST, Subaru WRX and Volkswagen GTI, Honda is planning a new Civic with some serious performance variants and then there’s the new Mazda MX-5 and its Fiat 124 Spider cousin.