The Chevy Code 130R Could Have Been the American Alternative to the Toyobaru Twins

Just look at it. It had mini Camaro looks, was properly RWD, fuel efficient and could have been cheap. But as in typical GM fashion, they canceled it. Could it have given the FR-S/GT86/BRZ a run for their money?

The Code 130R was introduced at the 12′ NAIAS along with the Tru 140S:

which to me was the weaker of 2 concepts in the looks department, looking like something between a last gen Mitsubishi Eclipse and a Chevy Cruze. But anyway, back to to the Code 130R.

According to then GM chief Mark Reuss, the concepts were to appeal to young customers (i.e Millennials of course) and were a way to gauge what they wanted in a car. “Chevrolet has always stood for making the aspirational attainable for all generations. These two concepts interpret that vision for a new generation. We’re seeking out our newest customers’ opinions, listening to their advice, and engaging them in new ways”, He was quoted as saying. Supposedly the Code 130R was the result of their feedback with young consumers.

Side profile kind looks like a 1 Series

Along with being properly rwd, it was powered by a 1.4 turbocharged Ecotech with 150 horses coupled with eAssist and was said to deliver 40 mpg. It also had seating for 4, and the usual array of Chevy Mylink with Wifi, and other tech goodies. It was pretty much production ready. Supposedly the platform it rode on was a shortened variant of the Alpha platform that underpinned the ATS. A 6 speed auto would have been standard with a 6 speed manual as an option.

So what happened? GM wimped out and canceled them coming to production. But maybe properly so. Rumors swirled that the code 130R was coming to production with a base price of 19-20 grand and that GM had been watching the Toyobaru twins since introduction. Their strong initial sales and then sliding sales are rumored to have been what caused GM to cancel the program in 15′. Reuss confirmed it when asked about it at the New York show of that year after being one of the programs biggest supporters.

Could it have ran with the Japanese twins? I think so. It would have been a good alternative since not many other automakers do cheap sporty and fun. A pie in the sky dream would be a convertible version to run with the Miata. The Code 130R would have likely been spec for spec with them, although down on power. An RS or SS Code 130R could have corrected that. What I don’t get is how this got canceled, but we got things like the ELR, which was a failure. I don’t think we’ll ever know how it could have done. Its not likely that GM would try something as daring or fun again with the extreme market shift to non fun offerings like crossovers and EV’s.