Eeek. Remember that adventure? The ManU jerseys are definitely bow-tie-blazing this year, thanks to a huge a executive media marketing decision that costs General Motors more than half a billion dollars.
During that rush of launching Chevrolet as a global brand — including Europe — the Opel Germany teams were suddenly tasked with a variety of extremely mundane projects. One extra sexy spinoff project slipped through the net for Frankfurt 2011, however.
It was called Miray and is a breathtaking roadster vision. Designed in the same zeitgeist as the BMW i8 Roadster and Porsche 918 Spyder, the Miray is absolutely shocking in its sexiness even three full years later.
We see this nose coming to the 2016 Camaro almost intact, and hope to see some of the oragami and layered panels in the Chevrolet lineup of the future as well.
Those models… of course… will not be headed to Europe. Let’s let sleeping dogs lie.
2011 Chevrolet Miray
The fast and the furious: Chevrolet Miray and Colorado Rally Concepts
- Two exciting concepts to celebrate European premiere in Frankfurt
- Colorado Rally Concept builds on Chevrolet’s strong truck heritage
- Colorado’s interior includes high-performance steering wheel and fire-fighting system
- Small and open, light and purposeful appearance characterizes Miray concept car
- Information displayed via back projection onto the Miray’s instrument panel
Over the course of its 100-year history, Chevrolet has created and refined an array of startlingly beautiful car designs. Some of these have moved on to become true road legends, such as the Belair, the Suburban, the Corvette, or the Camaro. Though Chevrolet cars are very diverse in their appearance, reflecting the different uses they have, there is a common design and brand DNA and a set of exterior and interior features that distinguishes them from a multitude of competitors.
Among the global Chevrolet design themes in evidence today is a dynamic tension which once again can be sensed across the entire range. Whether it is the Spark mini-car or the Captiva SUV: Chevrolet designs are expressive and assertive, evoking sense of pent-up energy and strength. Likewise, modern Chevrolet designs acknowledge the heritage that made the brand great, revisiting concepts from the past without becoming locked in a retro focus.
Both the Chevrolet Miray and the Colorado Rally Concept, which will celebrate their European premiere in Frankfurt, embody these design principles and take current trends in their respective segment a step into the future. Whereas the powerful Colorado Rally Concept previews the next generation of this midsize pickup truck, the futuristic-looking Chevrolet Miray merges a jet-inspired exterior with an advanced hybrid powertrain technology.
Chevrolet Miray: Strengthening the bond between car and driver
First unveiled at the Seoul Motor Show in March this year, the Chevrolet Miray concept offers a fresh interpretation of some typical Chevrolet design cues while paying tribute to Chevrolet’s sports car heritage. The Miray is propelled by two front-mounted, battery-powered 15-kW electric motors for quick acceleration and zero emissions in urban driving.
“‘Miray’ is Korean for ‘future.’ The concept strengthens the bond between car and driver and takes a fresh look at what a sports cars of the future might be,” explains Brannon. “Many of the components used in its drivetrain are an extension of our systems. The Miray demonstrates the potential for rescaling and extending today’s propulsion technologies.”
Being small and open like the 1963 Monza SS, and light and purposeful like the 1962 Corvair Super Spyder, the Miray has an aerodynamic fuselage reminiscent of modern jet fighters. Its dual-port grille is flanked by LED headlamps with new signature daytime running lamps. The front and rear fenders evoke Chevrolet Corvettes of the past and express the concept’s sports car spirit. Carbon fiber spoilers at the corners help control down force and airflow. From above, the cabin has a unique diamond shape.
The wedged body side is made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) and carbon fiber. An angled character line, with ambient lighting underneath, creates a sweeping line of light when the car is in motion, bringing a warm glow to the sculptured body. Le Mans racer-style scissor doors underscore the Miray’s racy looks.
At the rear, the tail lamps which have been placed under the ducktail surface are a nod to Chevrolet’s twin element execution. The Miray sports 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rear wheels made of aluminum carbon-fiber composite. The strong turbine theme evokes movement, even when the Miray is stationary.
A radically stylish interior
The interior of the Miray features a melange of brushed aluminum, natural leather, white fabric and liquid metal surfaces for an overall effect of sculptural velocity. Its passenger compartment is surrounded by a carbon-fiber shell, which gives it a lightweight yet rigid structure. The wrap-around twin cockpit has drawn inspiration from the iconic Chevrolet Corvette: It is driver-focused while fully engaging the passenger in the driving experience.
Designers took a unique approach to displaying information, using back projection on the instrument panel. Information in front of the driver has been prioritized into three zones, which eliminates unnecessary visual clutter and allows the driver to focus on the thrill of driving.
The center touch screen flows down to an aluminum support, which evokes a fighter jet’s nose with the landing gear down. The exterior surface flows down into the interior to meet the reinforced console, connecting the front and rear of the car.
Ambient lighting, which starts from the upper instrument panel and flows into the seat back area, adds a sense of luxury. Seat cushions and headrests are connected by the lightweight carbon-fiber shell and mounted on a single aluminum rail. The headrest area follows the exterior form, integrating with an air scarf for open-air driving.
An interesting detail is the centrally located start button. When it is pressed, the column-mounted retractable meter cluster rises like the canopy of a single-seat aircraft and “interactive projection” appears on the white surface.
Retractable rearview cameras, which replace traditional rearview mirrors, extend from the side glass electrically. In city driving, the forward-facing camera operates in conjunction with GPS to overlay navigation information with real-time video.
Flexible propulsion system raises matches Miray’s futuristic looks
The Miray’s “mid-electric” propulsion system, located primarily behind and beneath the driver, has been engineered to maximize performance and fuel efficiency. Its two front-mounted 15-kW electric motors are powered by a 1.6 kWh lithium-ion battery that is charged through regenerative braking energy. The system can be switched from front-wheel to rear-wheel drive.
A 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo-charged engine mounted behind the cockpit combines with the electric motors for performance driving. It provides spirited torque, while seamlessly integrating electrification technology that sets a new standard in the compact roadster segment.
A dual-clutch transmission obviates the need for a torque converter, thereby enabling a reduction of the engine’s size. Shifts are quick and firm, with the shift pattern having been tuned for improved top speed in performance mode. A start-stop system operates in conjunction with the Miray’s dual-clutch transmission.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.