Chevrolet Borrego Concept

Youthful Chevy Borrego is Ready to Rally. It's versatile segment-buster rides on proven all-wheel drive architecture.

The Segment-busting Borrego concept from Chevrolet combines the road-taming agility of a rally car wîth the traditional rock-hard toughness of a Chevy. The all-wheel drive vehicle can commute very comfortably during the weekdays and then let off a little steam on the weekends.

The interior continues Chevy's traditional dual-cockpit design, and gives a sense of protection for rough riding. 'It looks like you could rattle around and not get banged up,' said Rob McCann, 38, chief designer on the project in the L.A. studio. Hand-holds and gel padding add to this sense of security. Rugged analog gauges finish the rally appearance.

Borrego's sturdy roll bar not only harkens to durable pre-runners and rally cars, it also accommodates an innovative reconfigurable mid-gate at the rear of the passenger cab that allows seating for two more passengers. To add two passengers, the rear window is retracted, the mid-gate slides rearward, and then the full roof, which is stored under the bed of the pickup truck, is snapped into place. The window can then be raised again. Self-inflating seals keep the compartment watertight regardless of its configuration.

With the seating expanded, the cargo bed changes from 6 feet to about 3 feet to provide more room for passengers. This sort of versatility was first seen on the upcoming Chevy Avalanche, which has a unique Convert-a-Cab system that allows the truck to quickly adapt to customer requirements. In its standard configuration, the Avalanche offers a roomy, comfortable five-passenger cab along wîth a cargo box measuring 5' 3' long. The Convert-a-Cab system allows one person to reconfigure the cargo area in seconds without tools to create a 4' x 8' cargo area to transport large items.

'Functionally, the Borrego is a very flexible vehicle,' said McCann, whose workspace is decorated wîth action photos and sketches of Baja racers, pre-trucks and rally cars.

For outdoor adventure the Chevy Borrego features a portable GPS system to aid navigation in or out of the truck and OnStar keeps driver and passengers connected to civilization no matter where they are.

The Borrego also carries an air compressor and a pressurized water tank. The air hose can be used to blow dirt out of the vehicle's interior, to inflate outdoor equipment, or merely to pressurize the water tank so that after a hard day on the trail, the truck can provide everyone wîth a quick shower.

The Borrego's sturdy all-wheel-drive powertrain is based on Subaru's longitudinal all-wheel-drive system that has allowed Su toubar take the world rally circuit by storm and win critical acclaim. As a 20 percent shareholder in Fuji Heavy Industries, which makes the Subaru, General Motors is leveraging its international network of automaker alliances to expand the range of this and other concepts that will debut during the 2001 auto show season.

Subaru's horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine keeps the vehicle's center of gravity low for improved handling and a better sight line down the hood. It's also turbocharged to keep the driver riveted in his or her seat. The transmission is a five-speed manual for sporty performance and a hands-on driving experience.

Aimed squarely at a 20-something consumer who wants a uniquely functional vehicle, the Chevy Borrego might be a first car for active people, or a trade-up for those who didn't find enough excitement in an import coupe or SUV. This customer might also have been a Camaro driver, but needs more space for hauling sporting gear or friends.

Source: Chevrolet press

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