Chevrolet piqued the interests of many young, somewhat cash-strapped car enthusiasts when they pulled the veil from the Code 130R concept at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. General Motors’ product chief Mark Reuss was one of the program’s biggest supporters, however he confirmed the program was officially dead during an interview on the floor of the New York International Auto Show last week.
Back in 2013, Reuss went on record on saying that a “really nice, light, rear-drive car that’s inexpensive,” would be a “huge win” for Chevrolet,” however he admitted in New York that such a car usually sells in paltry numbers, which prompted the automaker to kill the program off. He said they looked to the market performance of similar models from rival automakers as proof of this, like the Subaru BRZ and Scion FRS.
Small rear-wheel drive cars, while fun, have year-in and year out proven to be an ultra-niche product and typically don’t make automakers very much money. Sales of the FR-S and BRZ were strong out of the gate in 2012, however sales of the two slid 23% and 13%, respectively, in 2014. There’s now whispers the model’s consistently sliding sales figures could lead to its premature demise, which seems like it would be enough to scare Chevy away from the segment.
We’re disappointed we won’t see a cheap, light sports car from Chevrolet, but hardly surprised. Customers who were crossing their fingers for a production Code 130R may find an ample substitute in the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, considering it will be a touch smaller, lighter and more efficient than the fifth-generation car it replaces.