|A publication of the|
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club.
A not-for-profit corporation.
A chapter of Bow Tie Chevys
and Classic Chevy International.
|Youthful Chevrolet Borrego is ready to rally|
|This youthful Segment-buster rides on all-wheel drive architecture|
by General Motors
The segment-busting Borrego concept from Chevrolet combines the road-taming agility of a rally car with 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 Borrego has the agility of a rally car and the influence of Baja racers," said Frank Saucedo, 38, director of GM's Los Angeles design studio where the concept was conceived.
The vehicle's sporty, sweptback look and athletic stance take then- inspiration from international rally cars and pre-runner trucks - spare, customized pickups that are part of the California scene. 'We see it here every day, a younger buyer moving out of a sport coupe and getting into a tricked-up little truck or in this case a crossover vehicle," Saucedo said.
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 with a cargo box measuring 5 foot 3 inch long. The Convert-a-Cab system allows one person to reconfigure the cargo area in seconds without tools to create a 4 foot x 8 foot cargo area to transport large items.
"Functionally, the Borrego is a very flexible vehicle," said McCann, whose workspace is decorated with action photos and sketches of Baja racers, pretrucks 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 with a quick shower.
The Borrego's sturdy allwheel-drive powertrain is based on Subaru's longitudinal allwheel-drive system that has allowed Subaru to 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 in might be a first car for active people, or a tradeup 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.
The emphasis here is on fun and sporty performance. The Borrego isn't for hauling a sheet of drywall, but will take the customer a lot further into the brush than most of the sport utility vehicles on the road today.