By on June 9, 2016

chevrolet code concept

General Motors wants to use a model name once applied to a compact, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe, and has the trademark filing to prove it.

The automaker applied to trademark the name “Chevrolet Code” for automotive use on June 2, AutoGuide reports, leading many to believe the taught, Alpha-platform Code 130R concept car shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show could soon be headed to production.

But is Chevrolet really going to slot another rear-drive coupe into the Chevrolet lineup? It’s very unlikely, and here’s why.

The Code 130R got everyone hot and bothered as GM roared back from bankruptcy and the car market recovered from the recession. Borrowing the Alpha platform from the Cadillac ATS, GM envisioned the Code 130R using the Chevrolet Cruze’s 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder, hitched to an eAssist mild hybrid system.

Featuring tight, retro proportions, a four-seat interior and modest power output, the concept seemed to position itself below the Chevrolet Camaro — a domestic sport coupe for the everyman. Of course, GM then threw the concept back into the ether and it was written off as another piece of vaporware eye candy.

Now the Code is back — in name only — but there’s not much evidence to support the idea that it will return in the same form as the concept.

The refreshed Camaro now uses the Alpha platform. That strong-selling four-seater offers a base 2.0-liter turbo four, and it’s hard to see how another sport coupe riding on the same platform wouldn’t cannibalize its sales.

GM doesn’t like low-volume vehicles. With a U.S. sales volume of 31,886, the recently axed Buick Verano sold more units in its worst year (2015) than the Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Nissan 370Z combined. Previous model years saw sales above the 40,000 mark. Hell, there was even a Chinese market version it could have offered as a second generation Verano, but the brand was more interested in pushing higher-volume products.

It’s easier to see the Code return to the Chevy lineup as a front-wheel-drive coupe, despite the dwindling market for such a layout. Honda just introduced a two-door version of the acclaimed Civic, so what’s stopping Chevrolet creating a new model based on the flexible global FWD platform that underpins the compact Cruze?

Volume is everything, and the compact coupe market (hell, the entire non-crossover/SUV market) is on unstable ground, but a FWD Code seems less likely to steal sales from elsewhere in the Chevy lineup than a RWD version.

Already, we’ve seen the Cruze spawn a hatchback, and the current generation benefits from a significant power boost from the upgraded 1.4-liter four. There’s also an overflowing parts shelf the automaker could raid for more power — Chevy’s 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter turbo fours seem like good candidates.

If GM is really keen on bringing back the Code, this is one way they could do it.

[Image: General motors]

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73 Comments on “Is Chevrolet Planning a Compact Rear-Drive Coupe? Sales Numbers Say ‘Nope’...”


  • avatar

    yawnnnnn

  • avatar
    ajla

    CTS-sized SS sedan replacement with powertrains from the Camaro and pricing comparable to the Charger? Pretty please?

    It’s not a growth segment, but neither are compact coupes with low-power engines (whether FWD or RWD).

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I’m sure GM is champing at the bit to have a smash sales hit like the FR-S/BRZ.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Bring on the 4 cylinder and 3 cylinder front wheel drive badge engineered Chevy & Buick Twins, Cadillac-Johan-Melody-Uwe Haus du Coffee & Fragranced Air @SoHoWeMakeMillennialBrandingNotProductsPlebes

    You know you want to.

    #MarkReussHatesJohan4GoodReason

    http://www.weshipyourcar.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/800px-Cadillac_ULC_hybrid_WAS_2011_819.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      So salty this morning. :)

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Hall Road (aka M-59) is in 3rd world shape FFS.

        The section between M53 and Hayes was apparently targeted and struck by hundreds of JDAMs in a coalition airstrike, and blue hairs are proliferating like crazy and driving 10 to 15 under posted limits in left lanes in Camrys and Encores everywhere.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          My commute has been significantly reduced for now. Huntington Woods to Troy. Daughter’s daycare is on the way. It’s nice. I drive so much less now that I am contemplating selling the C-Max and leasing a $hit box or EV for under $200/month. But then I think I could drive the C-Max for another 6-8 years.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Minimize, de-clutter & reduce expenses.

            Daycare is hella expensive.

            We’re going to have another economic crash so pick up a 1/2 off vehicle during the liquidation sales then.

            American retard consumers and businesses apparently can’t comprehend that spending way more than one earns is not a sustainable long-run or even intermediate-term model (never mind the government, which has made retard standard since at least 1968 – the last time it ran balanced budgets)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My wife has been on a minimalism kick since the beginning of the year. We managed to get through both of us being laid off without dipping into savings or borrowing money from family. Now we both have more secure, slightly lower paying jobs that offer less stress and a better work/life balance.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Did you find new employ?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I did

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sweet! Didn’t take too too long.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          you think Hall Rd. is bad. when I-94 gets plugged up (like it does every time someone sneezes after 6:15 a.m.) I’ve had to divert to such scenic routes like Harper all the way down to Hamtramck. There are some amazing potholes and heaved asphalt down there, especially Mt. Elliot just outside H-town. I’ve sacrificed many a ball joint and control arm bushing to the Detroit Road Gods.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I-94 is insane, I-696 anywhere near I-75 to Telegraph/NW Highway is insane, I-75 is insane, Rochester Road is all torn up, M-59 between Dequinder and M53 is insane, Mound is crazy.

            Bring on the efficient, clean, cheap public mass transportation Japan/Sweden/whatever style.

            Down with oil!

            Down with the internal combustion engine (and EV blender)!

            Down with traffic!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You better vote for the RTA proposal in November then. It’s not great but it’s a decent, and cheap, start. My wife could use the BRT bus line on Woodward to get to work.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            what irritates me is that we all seem to insist on living and working on opposite ends of the area. Work in Detroit? Live in Novi! Work in Dearborn? Live in Shelby Township! Worried that black people might have the nerve to want to live in a nicer neighborhood? Better move even further north to Richmond or Armada and double your commute distance! And don’t forget to constantly b!tch about the horrible traffic (which you’re contributing to!)

            you could probably replace all of the old urban freeways in Detroit (I-94, I-96, I-75/375, M-10, and M-39) with rail and it would get a heck of a lot of people in the region where they needed to go. But we won’t, because freedom or socialism or something.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yeah, Metro Detroit is a sprawl mess. I live in an inner ring suburb in the Woodward Corridor, so I don’t feel the effects as much. I probably will once they start widening 75. That’s going to push a bunch of people onto Woodward and pi$$ me off.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Metro Detroit is what city planning and transportation looks/feels like when automobile manufacturers do the planning!

            There’s a reason mass transit was effectively killed in Michigan and metro Detroit was the pioneer of the suburban indoor malls (off major roads or highways — Eastland being the 1st in nation) and suburban sprawl with “satellite” cities (Southfield, Troy, Warren, Farmington Hills, etc).

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Would have thought that with the population implosion of the “D” and the “jobless recovery,” Detroit traffic wouldn’t be nearly as bad as it used to be.

            “Widen I-75?” From where to where? (Where does it come out of the trench to the surface as you go north? Isn’t it four lanes each way north of I-94? I couldn’t see how they could expand anything unless they get rid of the grass slope on the right and replaced it with a vertical concrete retaining wall, a la 696 around the Zoo.) Is it three or four lanes around Rochester Road and Oakland Mall?

            I just don’t drive in the “D” as much as I used to. My uncle was one of the folks crisscrossing the Metro Detroit area every day: 32 Mile and Van Dyke in Romeo all the blessed way to Dearborn and back!

            Surprised to hear about left-lane bandits too! Seventy-five is expected up there, unless it’s rush-hour, in which case, EVERYTHING is crawling! (Today outside Toledo, though, I had to use an onramp as a passing lane, and it didn’t get me as far ahead as I had hoped, so all is not bliss to your south, particularly since 85% of I-75’s first 50 miles inside Ohio, in addition to a good chunk of the 475 beltway on the west side of town, is under construction!)

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            ““Widen I-75?” From where to where?”

            all of the old “urban freeways” inside the city of Detroit have the same problems. No left shoulder and numerous short, blind on-ramps.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Is it weird that I like that?

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    You wrote a lot of text when all you really needed to say was:
    “It’ll probably be a compact crossover.”

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “The refreshed Camaro now uses the Alpha platform. That strong-selling four-seater offers a base 2.0-liter turbo four”

    Huh? Really?

    I’m not against it, after all, the old Camaros could be had with a 250 Powerglide – my choice!

  • avatar
    omer333

    I just want a Chevelle. Is that too much to ask?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      So, 2 door SS?

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        At this point I take a tarted up Cruze with the turbo 2.0.

        • 0 avatar
          Silent Ricochet

          This.

          It’s almost like Chevy is afraid of making fun vehicles besides the Camaro and Corvette. Every time GM comes out with a new vehicle, you can guarantee that it’ll weigh over 3000 lbs but then they’ll drop a tiny 1.x liter motor under the hood that develops less power than the 2.0 in my Focus. It’s embarrassing.

          What happened to the folks that developed the Cobalt SS?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            “What happened to the folks that developed the Cobalt SS?”

            Banishment.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            They probably work at K-Mark now, where all the cars they made are parked.

          • 0 avatar
            omer333

            It doesn’t even have to have MOAR POWAH!!!! compared to Ford’s Egoboost machines, it just has to be able to drive in a sporting manner and make you feel like you’ve got a special car. Which is what the ST/RS brothers do.

            A Cruze RS that actually earned that RS designation would be a hot seller. You don’t even have to make it an SS, because I get it, the SS trim was being diluted.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “It’s easier to see the Code return to the Chevy lineup as a front-wheel-drive coupe”

    Dude, call it Beretta.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      And make it purple with turbine wheels!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I’m putting my money on Corsica.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Wasn’t the Corsica a 4-door Beretta? Or was the Beretta a 2-door Corsica? It’s like chicken/egg!

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        There wasn’t a 2-door Corsica!

        Edit: I was always a fan of a black Beretta with red stripe, or teal with pink graphics if you wanna go way ’90s.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          2-door Corisca = Beretta. L-body love…

          One of my high school girlfriends had a purple kool-aid colored Beretta.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          A friend had a Corsica when she was an undergrad at UVA. One time we drove it to go hiking in the mountains. We were coming back when I felt something under my knee. It turned out to be a huge hornet. I was startled and alerted Amy, who was driving. She stopped the car and we bailed out. A police officer saw that we’d stopped and abandoned our car on a bridge, although out of the traffic lane. He pulled up with his game face on, trying to command respect for his authority. His inquiry as to what we thought we were doing was met by Amy and Heather pointing at the car and yelling, “BEE!!” A smile crossed his face, and he replied, “good luck,” before accelerating away. Amy had that Corsica for at least three years, but that’s all I remember about it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Surprised that hornet didn’t tear you up, since there’s no limit on how much they can sting.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Hornets *shudder*

            They’ll stitch you up like a machine gun way faster than you can even see it happen.

            I got 6 stings from one ankle-to-neck by nearly stepping on it under a leaky outdoor pump at our cottage on a blazin’ hot day.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Last summer, I had a ground wasp nest (Variation of hornets? Unsure.) which I was not aware of.

            Drove over it with the push mower, then all the sudden a cloud of wasps was behind me, spiraling up out of the ground like a little wasp tornado.

            So I go AHHH! And do a little jog about 20 paces away. Too late, as one has landed on me, and crawled inside the sweatband I was wearing. Stung me right on the temple, and it felt like someone had shoved a knife into the side of my head.

            Lost some hair that day as I ripped that thing off.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Speaking of Hornets… Still think that was a surprising car from AMC at the time. Never owned one, but there was so much to like about it.

            (Still want a resto-modded ’59 Impala hardtop coupe, though.)

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I had a yellowjacket nest in the outside wall of my apartment a couple of years ago. as the weather got colder, they started inviting themselves in. nothing like being awoken at 3 a.m. by the stings of a groggy yellowjacket.

            ps f**k yellowjackets.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            They just wanted a little cuddle with you.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I was lucky with the hornet, which was very good natured. I just about crushed it between the sweaty back of my knee and the car seat, but it was just happy to be freed when I swatted it out from between my knee and the seat with my hand. I’ve had pretty good fortune with such things, excepting a spider bite in the Bahamas that made my forearm start to dissolve, another one in Costa Rica that made my hand swell up like a softball with fingers, and a stingray strike that really hurt.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I wonder if, among hornets, there are some which are naturally more chill than others – you wouldn’t think there to be much aggression variance in insects that way.

            It’s why I like to see a preying mantis. Always calm, no stings.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Aggression in insects has long been understood as linked with religion.

            Ironic, ain’t it? Preying mantis must not pray.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            *gasp*

            Crab people!

            Ants work hard, build structures with ease, don’t ask questions, multiply rapidly, and cooperate consistently. They must be Amish.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            I tend to overreact when the smallest bee flits around me!

            “Stand still” everyone says! Bullshizzle! I’ve only been stung once, with no stinger left bee-hind! (Double-entendres FTW!). So I don’t know if I’m allergic!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Wow that’s homely. A BMW 1-Series crossed with a Chevy with a 2015 Mustang (headlights).

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    You grab my attention with the idea that Chevy (or GM) may offer a sweet little RWD coupe, then you throw it away by saying the sales numbers aren’t there. How would you know? Yes, I do understand the Toyota/Subaru intentionally-sporty baby coupe isn’t selling as well as they would like, but that doesn’t mean that a less-sporty-looking version would do as badly. Honestly I would love to see a true coupe come back into the global lineup that isn’t marketed as a sports car. The Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Buick ‘T’-type, Chevy Monte Carlo and family were not marketed as “sports cars” but as “Personal Luxury Cars”, meaning designed for the driver’s comfort and not a family car. I have never purchased a “saloon” (sedan) for myself and never will. And I don’t even have to bother with “empty nest” syndrome since I never had chicks in my nest to begin with. It’s just me and my wife and our dog. No need for four doors and no real desire for four doors.

    As such, the concept was extremely appealing and could be the ONE reason I return to GM.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    “GM doesn’t like low-volume vehicles.”

    Odd, they’re awfully persistent at making them.

  • avatar
    Reino

    I’m all for it, only if they bring back the BERETTA!

  • avatar
    vegavairbob

    Monza 2+2

  • avatar
    vegavairbob

    The Beretta was front wheel drive.
    The only rear drive Chevy compacts were Chevy II, Nova, Vega, Monza and Chevette.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Let’s just add a 2-door Cruze and call it good.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    There are just too many good cheap used coupes on the market to justify making new ones. Z, 1, Rustang, Camaro, TT, Genesis Coupe, G35/G37, 3/4 series, BRZ/FR-S, S2K, Miata, hell Caymans are under $30K… take your pick.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I would love to see a tiny rear wheel drive GM. To do it properly I’d like to see a small in line 6 dropped into it, even with some added boost.

    GM has made some in the past, some great small rear drive performance vehicles.

    Not quite muscle cars, but due to their minute size they were formidable on the race track and road.

    The GTR-XU1 Torana from GMH was probably the best GM effort in a tiny rear wheel drive performance vehicle.

    We will laugh at the power this vehicle had, but this vehicle is from the early 70s. It had an inline 6 with triple Strombergs. It did well on road circuits and rallying.

    Read the link. Nostalgia from a by gone era.

    http://holden.itgo.com/gtrxu1.html

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    At least unlike the Camaro, this has something resembling a greenhouse, something that’s always impressed me about this concept. Kind of a modern-day interpretation of a Monza notchback or Citation Club Coupe.

  • avatar
    Shiv91

    Meh, give me a Personal Luxury Coupe. I’d love me a 2017 Monte Carlo!

    I’ll never understand why coupes just stopped selling. At least where I live, probably 60-70% of drivers are alone or have one other passenger. And IMO nothing says “I’m my own person and do what I want” like a coupe. But idk that’s just me.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      You’re not alone, Shiv. I would never own a 4-door car if I could avoid it. A wagon/SUV, yes; the extra space with the seats down is good. But I almost never use the back seats as seats, so why even offer easy access to them? I’d rather have a Nomad-styled wagon than a 4-door and I certainly won’t ever buy a sedan as long as coupes are available.

      • 0 avatar
        Shiv91

        The only time I ever use my back seats is when returning Empties or donating books to Salvation Army. Apparently the previous owners were the same way, rear seats were in mint condition when I bought it.

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