Chevrolet MiRay Roadster Concept

From Chevrolet press: The roadster celebrates Chevrolet’s 100-year heritage of designing expressive vehicles in the brand’s newest market.

According to GM Korea President and CEO Mike Arcamone, “‘Mi-ray’ is Korean for ‘future.’ As GM rolls out Chevrolet across Korea, the Mi-ray concept offers an exploration of future possibilities for the brand. It strengthens the bond between car and driver, creating a fresh look at what sports cars of the future might be.”

The Mi-ray was developed at the GM Advanced Design Studio in Seoul. Combining cutting-edge hybrid propulsion technology and advanced styling, it balances iconic Chevrolet design cues with a future design vision as Chevrolet celebrates its centennial in 2011.

The Mi-ray pays tribute to Chevrolet’s sports car heritage. It is small and open like the 1963 Monza SS, and light and purposeful like the 1962 Corvair Super Spyder. Its aerodynamic fuselage is reminiscent of modern jet fighters.

Made of carbon fiber and CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced plastic), the wedged body side is divided by an angled character line, with ambient lighting underneath. This accent creates a sweeping line of light when the car is in motion, bringing a warm glow to the sculptured body. Le Mans racer-style scissor doors open up and out of the way for dramatic access to the interior.

The powerful front end offers a reinterpretation of the Chevrolet face. The Mi-ray’s dual port grille is flanked by LED headlamps with new signature daytime running lamps. The front and rear fenders evoke Chevrolet Corvettes of the past and express the concept’s sports car spirit. At the corners, carbon-fiber spoilers help control down force and airflow.

Distinctive retractable flaps provide additional airflow control while providing access to the charge port on one side and the fuel filler on the other. The charge port also features an external battery charge indicator. Each rear fender contains individual cargo space for the storage of small items. Under the ducktail surface, the taillamps provide a new interpretation of Chevrolet’s twin element identity.

The Mi-ray features aluminum-carbon fiber composite 20-inch wheels in front and 21-inch wheels in the rear. The strong turbine theme evokes movement, even when the Mi-ray is stationary.

The heavily tapered top view enhances the Mi-ray’s purposeful image. From above, the cabin has a unique diamond shape.

The Mi-ray features a concept “mid-electric” propulsion system, located primarily behind and beneath the driver, that maximizes performance and fuel efficiency.

“Many of the components in the Mi-ray’s propulsion system are a logical extension of GM’s current technology portfolio,” said Uwe Grebe, executive director for GM Powertrain Advanced Engineering. “The concept shows the potential for reconfiguring, rescaling and extending today’s propulsion technologies.”

The Mi-ray is propelled by two front-mounted 15-kW electric motors for quick acceleration and zero emissions in urban driving. The motors are powered by a 1.6-kWh lithium-ion battery that is charged through regenerative braking energy. The Mi-ray has the capability of being switched from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive.

For performance driving, the Mi-ray’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine combines with the electric motors, providing spirited torque control to both the left and right wheels as needed. The high-tech engine, mounted behind the cockpit, drives the rear wheels while seamlessly integrating electrification technology that defines a new standard in the compact roadster segment.

A dual-clutch transmission (DCT) enables a reduction in the powertrain’s size by eliminating the torque converter. Shifts are quick and firm. The shift pattern has been tuned for improved top speed in performance mode. A start-stop system works in conjunction with the DCT.

“The propulsion concept fits perfectly with the rest of the vehicle, delivering big performance in a small footprint, on the road and in the environment,” said Arcamone. “By combining GM propulsion technology and visionary design, the Mi-ray points to the future of Chevrolets around the globe – expressive, youthful and entertaining.”

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