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by Tim Beissmann

The Chevrolet Mi-ray Concept has been unveiled at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show, celebrating the bow-tie brand’s 1960s sports car heritage.

Designed at the General Motors Advanced Design Studio in Seoul, the Mi-ray (Korean for ‘future’) pays homage to the 1963 Monza SS and the 1962 Covair Super Spyder.

GM Korea President and CEO Mike Arcamone said the Mi-ray balances iconic Chevrolet design cues with its future design vision.

“As GM rolls out Chevrolet across Korea, the Mi-ray concept offers an exploration of future possibilities for the brand,” Mr Arcamone said.

“It strengthens the bond between car and driver, creating a fresh look at what sports cars of the future might be.”

The Mi-ray is powered by a new hybrid propulsion system from Chevrolet that aims to maximise performance and fuel efficiency.

Two 15kW front-mounted electric motors provide increased acceleration speed and zero emission urban driving. The electric motors are powered by a 1.6kWh lithium-ion battery that is recharged by the vehicle’s regenerative braking system.

Adding to the performance is a mid-mounted 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that drives the rear wheels. The Mi-ray can be driven in either front- or all-wheel drive mode.

A start-stop system has been integrated into the concept’s dual-clutch transmission, which has been tuned for optimised top speed performance.

“The propulsion concept fits perfectly with the rest of the vehicle, delivering big performance in a small footprint, on the road and in the environment,” Mr Arcamone said.

“By combining GM propulsion technology and visionary design, the Mi-ray points to the future of Chevrolets around the globe – expressive, youthful and entertaining.”

The body of the Mi-ray is made of carbon fibre and CFRP (carbon fibre-reinforced plastic). Chevrolet says the LED daytime running light design is a new styling signature for the brand.

Aluminium/carbon fibre 20-inch alloy wheels are fitted to the front, with 21s gripping the tarmac at the rear.

The interior combines a range of textures, including brushed aluminium, natural leather, white fabric and liquid metal surfaces.

The driver’s instrument display is prioritised into three zones, with vehicle performance in the centre, flanked by navigation and fuel consumption information.

The centre touchscreen and start button are said to be inspired by a fighter jet. Retractable rear-view cameras extend automatically from the glass, replacing traditional mirrors, while in the city the forward-facing camera links with the GPS and the real-time navigation system.

There are no plans for a production version of the Mi-ray, but many of technology, powertrain and styling features will influence future products from Chevrolet and GM.




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