Concept-Chevrolet Beat Preview

  • New microcar

  • Two-door hatchback body style

  • Designed in Korea

  • Four-cylinder engine

  • Fuel economy up to a possible 50 mpg

  • Sales to start in mid-2009 outside the U.S.
OverviewChevrolet introduced three microcar concepts at the 2007 New York International Auto Show-the Beat, Groove, and Trax-and gave Web users the opportunity to vote online for their favorite. Based on the results, Chevrolet announced at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show that it would put the Beat into production for markets outside the United States and Canada starting in mid 2009. The automaker didn't announce which markets, but did say the car will be built in Korea, its primary market. Chevrolet also said it's considering bringing the Beat to the U.S.

The Beat was developed at General Motors' design studio in Bupyeong, South Korea, with help from GM's Korean partner, GM Daewoo. It was designed as a micro tuner car, with a turbocharged engine, 17-inch wheels, a pop-up navigation system, and a black headliner with fiber-optic lights to create a "star" effect. The concept also has fascias, rocker panels, lamps and wheels that can be personalized. The production model will most likely drop the tuner influence and be a city-friendly economy car. It may, however, be offered with some personalization options, which are popular in this class.

Based on GM's global minicar platform, the Beat will be a front-wheel-drive 2-door hatchback in the mold of the Smart Fortwo, which is coming to the United States for the 2008 model year. The Chevrolet Beat concept car has a 1.2-liter, turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine mated to an automatic transmission, but the production car will most likely get a naturally aspirated engine that could deliver as much as 50 mpg.