Chevrolet at the London motor show 2008

Published: 23 July 2008

Chevrolet’s most exciting car for ages – the Volt plug-in hybrid – wasn’t at the London show, as we’ll have to wait until autumn 2008 to see the finished thing. But Chevy continued to show its eco colours with a rather more mainstream alternative.

What’s new on Chevrolet’s London motor show stand?

Nothing we haven’t seen at other motor shows.

CAR’s Chevrolet highlight

The Beat concept. It’s the new Matiz baby car. Unlike the gawky rollerskate-wheel styling of the current Matiz, the new one looks modern and desirable. It goes on sale early in 2010. It rides on GM’s new ‘world car’ B-class platform, developed in Korea by Chevrolet/Daewoo. Also worth seeing is the Chevrolet Camaro convertible concept, directly opposite the Beat. This is a good old-fashioned Yank muscle car, a perfect antidote to all the eco weenies at the London show.

What were they thinking

Thunderous all-American Chevrolet Camaro… tiny all-Korean Chevrolet Matiz. Nice to see that the Chevrolet name has such a clear brand message. The production Chevrolets that gather around the Beat and Camaro on the show stand, of course, are mostly horrible. The first proper post-GM takeover Chevrolet/Daewoo is the Cruze C-segment car, which debuts in Paris.

In a nutshell

Pore over the Beat and Camaro on your Excel visit. Then move on quickly.

Click here to go to CAR’s London motor show A-Z homepage


CAR reader reports

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What surprised me most?

The colour of the Camaro – subtlety, thy name be day-glow orange. But on such muscular curves it looks damned good – especially beside the other delights the stand has to offer…

Forget the PR spin : what’s the real story?

The blurb will tell you the production Camaro, launched in Detroit this week, will ‘revive one of the most iconic names in motoring history’. Big Bob Lutz even crowed about its 26 ‘highway mpg’, whatever they are. Even if we swallow this odd grasp of automotive history it’s hard not to conclude Chevrolet’s downfall in Europe is down to it’s recycling of the Daewoo brand. Confused? How do you reconcile the power and style of the Camaro – hopelessly child-like though it is inside – to a creation such as the ‘Epica’, a five letter illustration of the concept of irony, if one were needed. Erm, which it isn’t because Americans really really do understand it. Really.

Reader verdict?

Chevy’s European schizophrenia is captured neatly in the song-list of their own promotional CD designed to blast from the windows of your Aveo. ‘Chevrolet/How Bizarre/Misled/Ain’t it a Shame’. Or then again, maybe it isn’t.

Click here to go to CAR’s London motor show A-Z homepage