100 Years of Chevrolet
2011 marks 100 years for General Motor’s most popular nameplate, Chevrolet. The now global brand recently took a trip down memory lane, with a look towards the future.
Chevrolet rang in its centennial by inviting journalists from all over the world to Detroit, Michigan for a weeklong celebration. A big highlight was the opportunity to drive some of the newest and oldest Chevrolets. The heritage vehicle showcase included the 1955 Chevy BelAir, a 1960 Chevrolet Corvette, and the 1961 Corvette Mako Shark concept car. But while looking into the automotive past is always fun, Chevrolet also made big news about the future.
The bowtie folks gave an update on their new global mini car, The Spark. On sale in the U.S. and Canada next year. Chevrolet is hoping that the Spark catches the eye of urban dwellers. It’s 14 inches shorter than the subcompact Chevrolet Sonic, yet four inches longer than the Fiat 500. And in 2013 an all electric version, the Spark EV, will be sold in limited quantities here and abroad. The Spark EV will run on an advanced nanophosphate litium-ion battery pack. While other details are scarce right now, expect the Spark EV to have a range of about 60-70 miles on a full charge.
And when you want to leave the concrete jungle for the actual jungle, Chevrolet has confirmed that an all new Colorado midsize pickup truck will be built and sold in the United States. The new design launches this month in Thailand, the largest market for smaller pickups. While product details, timing, and engines for the U.S. version haven’t been released, Thai models include 2 and 4 wheel drive; regular, extended-cab, and crew cab.
To show that Chevrolet still knows how to rev those gasoline engines, their most-powerful convertible ever was also a centennial announcement, the 2013 Camaro ZL1. Like the coupe that was announced last spring, the ZL1 convertible will be fitted with a 6.2L supercharged Corvette LSA V8 with 580 horsepower and 556 lb ft of torque. The 2013 Camaro ZL1 convertible will make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month and go on sale late next year.
And finally, Chevrolet announced that after a three year hiatus, the Motor City will once again be the venue for open wheel racing. Chevrolet signed a multiyear deal with the Penske Corporation and INDYCAR for the Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix. The first race weekend is scheduled for June of 2012 at the 2.1 mile raceway at Belle Isle Park.
So with all that good news, we’d like to wish Chevrolet a happy 100th.