Chevy did it Mi-Ray - Update

I hope you got the Frank Sinatra reference... Anyway, I love concept cars, even the ones that are thinly veiled production vehicles. While I doubt that the Mi-Ray (future in Korean) will show up in Chevy showrooms anytime soon, it is nice to see a Corvette-lite compact roadster from the Bow-tie brand. Mi-Ray is a hybrid sports car that is made from light-weight materials (aka carbon-fiber reinforced plastics). The rear mid-mounted engine is a 1.5-liter turbo four that drives the rear wheels through a dual-clutch transmission. Dual electric motors drive the front wheels by way of a mid-mounted lithium-ion battery pack. Mi-Ray can be switched from front- to rear-wheel drive and torque control can split the power to the right or left wheels, as needed, for traction. The interior is a futuristic take on the Corvette dual-cowl theme with numerous tech features. The body was designed to glide through the air with retractable spoilers and rear-view cameras. Light has been used to great effect on the inside and outside of the Mi-Ray Concept. I do hope that Chevy gets away from putting the split-grille face on all of their cars. While this application is one of the better ones, you look at a Camaro or Corvette and don't need to be reminded that they are Chevys, which is usually the reason given for utilizing a standardized look for vehicles. At least the Mi-Ray is a good-looking concept that shows that Chevrolet is thinking about sporty cars for the future. Is this what the Fiero might have become? You could say that "they did it their way." Sorry.

Update: The Chevrolet Mi-Ray was chosen "Best Concept" by journalists at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show.

Source: Chevrolet - Press releases (2) after the jump.

Press Release:
Chevrolet Introduces Mi-ray Roadster Concept

  • Innovative Hybrid “Mid-Electric” Propulsion System
  • Celebrates Brand’s Design Heritage in Its Newest Market
Chevrolet introduced the Mi-ray concept at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show. 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.

Classic Exterior
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.

Sporty Interior
The interior of the Mi-ray echoes Chevrolet’s racing heritage. As with the exterior, it takes inspiration from jet fighters. The Mi-ray contains a melange of brushed aluminum, natural leather, white fabric and liquid metal surfaces, for an overall effect of sculptural velocity.

The interior compartment is surrounded by a carbon fiber shell, which gives it a lightweight yet rigid structure. Its flowing, yet slightly tensioned, twin cockpit tightly wraps around the driver and passenger. The cockpit is driver focused, drawing inspiration from the iconic Chevrolet sports car. However, the passenger is also fully engaged in the driving experience.

Asymmetric seats flow from the door, forming a symmetric interior that gives the driver a feeling of being fully connected with the car. Ambient lighting, which starts from the upper instrument panel and flows into the seat back area, adds a sense of luxury. Seat cushions and headrests are connected by the lightweight carbon fiber shell and mounted on a single aluminum rail. The headrest area follows the exterior form, integrating with an air scarf for open-air driving.

Designers took a unique approach to displaying information, using back projection on the instrument panel. Information in front of the driver has been prioritized into three zones. Immediately in front is vehicle performance. It is flanked on the left by range and on the right by navigation and mileage figures. This eliminates unnecessary visual clutter, allowing the driver to focus on the thrill of driving.

The center touch screen flows down to an aluminum support, which evokes a fighter jet’s nose with the landing gear down. The exterior surface waterfalls down into the interior to meet the reinforced console, connecting the front and rear of the car.

The centrally located start button is also inspired by a jet aircraft. When the button is pressed, the column-mounted retractable meter cluster rises like a jet fighter canopy and “Interactive Projection” appears on the white surface.

Retractable rearview cameras, which replace traditional rearview mirrors, extend from the side glass electrically. In city driving, the forward-facing camera operates in conjunction with GPS to overlay navigation information with real-time video.

Fuel-Efficient, High-Performance Propulsion System
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.”

About Chevrolet
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 130 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers “gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at

Press Release:
The Chevrolet Miray was named Best Concept Car at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show.

The Seoul Motor Show Organizing Committee invited journalists attending the show to survey of their favorite cars in three categories: Best Concept Car, Best Green Car and Best Passenger Car. The Miray, which made its world premiere in Seoul, received the most votes among concept cars on display.

“This honor is even more special as it was given to Chevrolet’s first concept car displayed in Korea at the brand’s very first stand at a domestic auto show,” said GM Korea President and CEO Mike Arcamone. “It recognizes Chevrolet’s future vision and new ideas. Chevrolet will continue to bring new vehicles with innovative design and technology to Korea.”

The Miray was developed at the GM Advanced Design Studio in Seoul. Combining cutting-edge hybrid powertrain technology and advanced styling, it balances iconic Chevrolet design cues with a design vision for tomorrow.

The Miray design pays tribute to Chevrolet’s sports car heritage. Its open top, scissor doors and aerodynamic fuselage reminiscent of modern jet fighters present futuristic, unique styling.

The Miray features a concept “mid-electric” propulsion system that maximizes performance and fuel efficiency. The Miray is propelled by electric motors for zero emissions in urban driving. For performance driving, the Miray’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine combines with the electric motors. A start-stop system further improves fuel efficiency.

About GM Korea Company 
GM Korea is Korea's third-largest automotive company, and represents one of GM's largest manufacturing, design and technology hubs. It operates five manufacturing facilities in Korea as well as an assembly facility in Vietnam. In 2010, GM Korea sold domestically and exported more than 1.84 million vehicles, including CKD products, primarily under the Chevrolet brand. GM Korea produces one out of every four Chevrolets sold worldwide. It provides market- and brand-specific vehicle kits for assembly at GM facilities in China, Uzbekistan, Mexico, India, Colombia, Russia and other countries. Vehicles and kits from GM Korea are offered in more than 150 markets on six continents.

Mi-ray Specifications

Specification Mi-ray
Length (mm) 3,991
Height (mm) 1,100
Width (mm) 1,865
Wheelbase (mm) 2,375
Body/Chassis Carbon fiber/CFRP fuselage with aluminum chassis
Wheels and Tires Front 245/35/20 20”/8.5J
Rear 295/30/21 21”/10.5J
Propulsion System 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine; twin 15-kW electric motors and mid-mounted 1.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
Suspension Double wishbone type front and rear
Brakes Ventilated disk front and rear
Fuel Economy Unadjusted City      60 mpg
Unadjusted Hwy.    63 mpg