Word has it that the proposal to bring a small, rear-wheel-drive compact Chevrolet (like the Code 130R Concept) to slot under the next-generation Camaro and compete in the space of the Scion FRS/Subaru BRZ twins is in jeopardy. Reportedly, it’s for a few reasons, with perhaps the most important one being that the car needs to exist on its own platform, which would have to be developed from scratch, requiring a lot of money to properly execute — something that has apparently been the roadblock for the project being approved. And developing a new architecture for the compact enthusiast-focused coupe also seems to go against GM’s plan to slash the number of platforms it uses in half from now until 2018 globally. That being said, I lost a few hours of sleep last night theorizing a situation that could make such a program possible.
I ruled out the idea of using the old Kappa platform (Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky) and shelved Kappa II project. They’re obviously not going to work. If they were going to, GM probably would have given the program the green light by now, and used the architecture.
Yours truly fantasizes of a small RWD platform with AWD capabilities that could be sold globally as a Chevrolet, in Australia as a Holden, and perhaps even as a Cadillac, as a true BMW 1 Series fighter (since Alpha is too big). Launch the Cadillac first, considering such a model has the most potential to rake in the most profits per vehicle sold — not unlike what we’re currently seeing with the Alpha-based ATS and CTS, before the sixth-generation Camaro arrives in less than two years from now. Then, launch the Chevy/Holden models. Even if it takes three of four years, it’s better than never. It would also be important that the platform be relevant enough that it can stay around for years to come, with incremental changes being made down the road (like the Mazda Miata). Eventually, it will all pay for itself. But surely, this plan has crossed Mark Reuss’ mind by now.
So, here’s the alternative. It is perhaps what needs to happen in order for the project to really see fruition.
Considering that Toyota had to team up with Subaru to bring the Scion FR-S/Toyota GT-86/Subaru BRZ to market globally, a compact rear-wheel-drive GM project might have to call on outside collaboration to really get it done. This would mean that GM and another automaker would have to put aside their differences and develop a vehicle for the good of the car enthusiast cause. The way I see it, the plan could be extremely beneficial.
Splitting the costs up with another car company just might appease the accountants. Plus, teaming up with a Japanese or European automaker could have some intangible gains in sales, considering the hold they have on their respective domestic markets, while GM’s is less than ideal outside of the Americas (and China). A joint-effort project would allow the vehicle to be badged under a non-GM moniker in those regions, yet would still help cover the costs of the project. The mystery however, is figuring out who would be up to the task. Mazda? Nissan? Honda? Chrysler? Daimler?
If anybody would like to expand on this thought, feel free to sound off in the comment section just below.