The countdown continues for the 2012 SEMA Show, and so do Autobytel’s previews: Today, after already covering Ford and the Chrysler Group, we turn our attention to General Motors. The General will be concentrating its SEMA efforts on the Chevy car lineup, which makes sense. Chevrolet was the best-selling car brand in the country last year, and its passenger-car sales remain on a record-setting pace through the first nine months of this one.
And while there will no doubt be some eye-popping designs based on the usual suspects—the Chevy Corvette and Chevy Camaro—along with some nice variations on the Chevy Malibu Turbo and 2014 Chevy Impala, the brand is particularly focused on its small-car lineup. As explained by Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing: “With Chevy’s new small cars attracting young buyers with a taste for customization, Spark, Sonic and Cruze are the perfect canvasses to express their personalities. The content, colors and performance of each concept is being evaluated for possible production as Chevrolet continues to seek new ways to give customers more choices.”
Let’s take a gander at some of them, shall we?
(The annual SEMA Show is presented each year in Las Vegas by the Specialty Equipment Market Association and is one of the most watched aftermarket events in the country. This year’s industry-only gathering will open Oct. 31, 2012.)
Chevrolet has been exploring the possibility of launching its own dedicated parts label for awhile now—under the “Z-Spec” banner—and a number of the division’s 2012 SEMA Show vehicles will carry on that tradition, including the Chevy Spark Z-Spec. It adds some notable hot-hatch styling to the Spark, thanks to a full aero-style body kit that really emphasizes the production car’s wide-ish stance. Also featured: a Z-Spec grille with a Carbon Flash surround along with Dark Argent headlamp housings, fog-lamp bezels, belt moldings, and rear diffuser. Those style accents are then further complemented by a Salsa Red exterior and Z-Spec matte-black graphics.
Salsa Red also spices up the Spark’s wheels and, in the cabin, the car’s seats, front-door panels and instrument panel; stainless-steel sill plates and pedal covers also are in the mix.
The Spark’s thrifty 1.25-liter I4 engine remains untouched, but a handling upgrade lowers its ride height and sharpens up its corner-carving capabilities.
2012 SEMA Show: Chevy Sonic Z-Spec 2.5
Chevrolet designers did a fine job with the production version of the Chevy Sonic subcompact sedan, managing to create a fairly stylish four-door entry in a segment better known for its hatchbacks. But they knew they had to up the ante for Las Vegas, however, and the result is the Chevy Sonic Z-Spec 2.5. It tunes up the Sonic sedan with a wealth of Z-Spec accessories and a wild palette of colors.
As regards the former, show-goers will see a full ground-effects package with lower-fascia extensions and a rear spoiler, melded with go-fast goodies like a cold-air intake kit and Borla exhaust system, and capped off with a stop-fast brake kit from Chevrolet Performance.
Then there’s the Sonic Z-Spec 2.5’s color scheme, boasting:
- An Abalone White Tricoat exterior finish with Z-Spec graphics
- Galvano Silver accents for the grille surround, fog-lamp bezels, door trim and wheels—the latter of which also get Signal Red edging
- Tinted headlamps and fog lamps
- Stainless-steel pedal covers
- A cabin that mixes Jet Black and Orange Crush leather and suede upholstery, Orange and Piano Black trim plates, and Orange accent stitching
2012 SEMA Show: Chevy Cruze Upscale
The retail Chevy Cruze is among the more premium entries in the mainstream compact-sedan segment, and the brand emphasizes that positioning with even further in the Chevy Cruze Upscale concept for SEMA.
Wearing a sophisticated shade of Burnished Brandy Metallic on its sheet metal, and premium Loft Brown/DK Atmosphere leather in the cabin, the Cruze Upscale also gains custom 19-inch wheels finished in Black Ice to match its similarly colored exterior accents. In addition, designers tinted the windows, headlamps and fog lamps, for an executive-style look, and crafted an unexpectedly vibrant cabin.
There, drivers will enjoy leather seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, each with yellow accent stitching, and glossy interior trim plates done in a precision-look Dark Liquid Palladium finish.
Premium performance is on tap with the Cruze Upscale as well, as should be obvious from its ground-effects body kit, adjustable coil-over suspension setup, and upgraded brakes, which feature vented and drilled rotors both up front and in the back.