Chevy unveils a new Concept based on the Chevy Spark, and it looks almost ready for production.

The Chevy Beat initially debuted at the 2007 New York Auto Show along with the Chevy Trax and Chevy Groove concept. In a poll released by Chevy that year, the Beat was widely accepted, taking more than 50 percent of the votes between it and the other two concepts. With that kind of acceptance, Chevy moved the Beat into production. It is known as the Chevy Spark here in the U.S. and other markets, but still goes by the Beat nomenclature in the Indian Market.

With the Indian market loving small cars, Chevy decided to bring a new concept of the beat to the 2016 New Delhi Auto show, calling it the Beat Activ. The interesting thing about the Beat Activ Concept is that it is also showing off a lot of the same design cues of the third generation Spark that came with the 2015 model year here in the U.S. For some reason, the Beat in India still has all of the second generation styling that Chevy put to rest with the newest iteration of the Spark.

So, with that said, this concept not only showcases some interesting design ideas for future models, but also the design cues that will surely make it when the third-generation Beat debuts in India. That, at least in part, is what makes this concept that much more interesting. According to Chevy, the Beat Activ is a “fun and spirited concept” and a “soft-roader” that has been designed to stand out from the crowd. It is a youthful car that was designed as a response to India’s maturing market.

So, does the beat active really have “adventure at its core” and ensure the driver will be “comfortable and connected” as Chevy suggests? Well, let’s take a closer look and see for ourselves. Join me, as I take a look at the specifics of this new concept.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept.

Exterior

2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior
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I wouldn’t go so far as to say the Beat Activ has an aggressive stance, but it is a large improvement over the current Beat available in India. For such a small car, it really doesn’t look that bad at all. Up front, the headlights take a form similar to those used on the Chevy Spark and are nowhere near as big or pointed as those found on the current Beat in India. The blue, backlit stripe in the headlights adds a bit of flair to the projection headlights, and the upper air dam with the Chevy emblem ties the lights together – a huge and welcomed change from the current Beat. Down below, the large grille matches that of the Spark here in the U.S. and the current Beat available in India. Next to the grille sit new fog logs that are still round, but stick out of the fascia like chameleon eyes as opposed to being sunk into inserts on the front fascia.

The black trim that runs along the bottom of the fascia wraps around the front wheel arches and travels along the kick panels to the rear wheel arches.

The black trim that runs along the bottom of the fascia wraps around the front wheel arches and travels along the kick panels to the rear wheel arches. The side view mirrors have integrated turn signal lamps, and that distinct body line on the front doors has been filled in with a black and gray trim insert. On the rear quarters, an interesting body graphic made of random hexagons is placed above the rear wheel arches. Oddly, these remind me of the graphics and theme behind the Toyota Mirai-based Kymeta Research Vehicle. That black trim from the rear wheel arches wraps around the rear fascia, which means the entire bottom portion of the car is surrounded by this black trim. The taillights carry the same shape as the third-generation Spark and the second-generation Beat but have been refined with LED-simulating lenses that have the turn signals and reverse lights located in the middle. The rear overhang on the hatch appears to have been lengthened by an inch or two. Overall, the concept does have a sporty and aggressive design to it, especially for such a small vehicle. It’s amazing what some body trim and changes to the headlights and taillights can do for a car.

Interior

2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Interior
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2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Interior
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2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Interior
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Inside, the Beat Activ gets even more interesting. The color of the body has been brought to the inside and is used to accent the door trim, dash board, cup holders, and seats. A MyLink2 infotainment system sits nicely in the center stack with a nice touchscreen display and gloss black trim surrounding it. Below the HVAC controls there is a small pocket like the one under the handle on the passenger side. Since this is such a small car, there really isn’t a center console – it’s really more like a small unit with two cup holders. The shifter sits just in front of the rear seats, with the handbrake just behind it.

The interior theme is mainly black and gray, with the upper portion of the dash and the A-pillars sporting black.

The interior theme is mainly black and gray, with the upper portion of the dash and the A-pillars sporting black. The lower dash and the upper part of the door trim are gray, with the exception of the body-colored accenting. The seats are two toned as well, with the outer edges in black leather with contrast stitching. The inserts on the seat cushion and seatback are made from gray cloth and also sport that interesting hexagon graphic. The word “Activ” is embroidered on the seatback in the same green color as the body and interior accents.

The instrument cluster is rather simple, with just one gauge that indicates speed and a small three-by-four-inch driver information screen. All in all, I have to say that Chevy actually did a good job with the interior. I’m not sure what it feels like in the rear seat, but the front passenger area looks comfortable and visually pleasing.

Drivetrain

2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Chevy didn’t release any details about the drivetrain hidden behind the metal of the Beat Active Concept. We do know that the current Beat in India has a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine that has 57 ps and 142.5 Nm of torque – that’s 56 horsepower and 104 pound-feet. Power is sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. It’s probably safe to assume that this is the same drivetrain used in this concept. It should be noted that Chevy’s press release said powertrain details would be revealed closer to market launch, so not only is it possible this model will make it into production in some form, but it may also have a new powertrain to go with it.

Conclusion

2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Now that we’ve covered the Beat Activ from bumper to bumper, it’s time to wrap it up and draw a conclusion from it all. For what it is worth, the Beat Activ concept has been put together really well. I like the overall accenting of the body and the interior. If Chevy follows at least some of the design ideas seen in this concept on the next Beat, it is sure to increase the car’s popularity even more in the Indian market. It’s still not something I would drive, simply because of its size, but I like the way the interior is linked to the exterior with some mild body-color accents. It’s a nice touch and makes the cabin visually pleasing. From what I’ve seen here, it looks like this concept is practically production ready, so I wonder if Chevy has plans to add a new trim level based on this concept to the Indian lineup.

  • Leave it
    • No rear doors
    • Somewhat awkward looking in the rear
    • Lots of space up front means the rear is probably cramped

Press Release

Chevrolet Essentia is an exciting precursor to a new production car that recognizes the need for a traditional but richly appointed notchback. It is an aspirational product that is rich in content and offers the luxury of space. Functionality is at its core to ensure there is room to comfortably fit five adults and plenty of luggage without any compromise to style. It reflects the growing maturity and the sophistication of Indian consumers.

2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Chevrolet Beat Activ is a fun and spirited concept that has been designed to stand out from the crowd. As a soft-roader, the Beat Activ is ready for any adventure or challenge. With expressive design language and significant attention to detail, this youthful car is a response to India’s maturing market and aspirational lifestyle. With a tough and aggressive stance, adventure is at its core, while its interior ensures the driver remains comfortable and connected.

BEAT HERITAGE

Although both show cars boast distinct body styles, the Essentia and Beat Activ bear the underpinnings of an advanced version of the proven Beat platform. Expanding on the popularity of the Chevrolet Beat nameplate, these cars broaden the scope and appeal of the car, proving global cars can be tailored to meet local tastes. Designed specifically to suit the tastes and needs of the discerning Indian consumer, these cars designed in the GM Korea Design Studio, are a clear demonstration of GM’s ability to develop two unique models with distinct personalities to appeal to different audiences.

QUOTABLE

2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Kaher Kazem, President and Managing Director, GM India: “The Essentia and Beat Activ were created in direct response to the growing Indian market and signal Chevrolet’s commitment to the maturing Indian A-segment market. Both evolutions of the proven Beat platform, these two important vehicles give us the opportunity to speak to a wider audience. They clearly demonstrate we are listening to our customers and are being led by their need for small cars with more content and

more choice. We are confident it is cars like these that will increase our presence on Indian roads.”

Michael Simcoe, Vice President – Design, GM International: “The Essentia and Beat Activ perfectly represent the evolution of the Chevrolet brand – they are distinctive, aspirational, modern and progressive. One platform but two distinct cars with two distinct personalities. The Essentia is refined and sophisticated, while the Beat Activ is young, more aggressive and spirited. These vehicles demonstrate how we design global cars, ensuring they are tailored to meet local tastes.”

MARKET RELEVANCE

2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Interior
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Markets are no longer isolated, so GM designs cars for the world. Although the Essentia and Beat Activ are designed for India, GM believes they will have global appeal. Both products offer the brand a unique proposition in terms of value for money and reflect Chevrolet’s American heritage.

One of the lead designer of the Chevrolet Beat and Chevrolet Essentia is an Indian-born Lead Creative Designer Harish Kumar, who worked on this key project in India before following the cars to Korea. He is just one of several Indian designers currently located at the GM Design Studio in Detroit and is proof that Indian designers are influencing global products.

CHEVROLET INSPIRATION

The face given to the Essentia and Beat Activ comes from the new Chevrolet design language. All future Chevrolet products for India will have this recognizable and distinct Chevrolet DNA, which ensures the vehicles will stand out on busy roads. These concepts represent the evolution of Chevrolet – distinct, modern and progressive.

ALWAYS CONNECTED

2016 Chevrolet Beat Activ Concept High Resolution Interior
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Both of these products blend practicality with style while offering greater safety and connectivity with state-of-the-art features that are designed to fit seamlessly in customers’ busy lives. They offer Chevrolet MyLink2 – a class-leading infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – which gives users complete control within the car. Key active and passive safety features include dual air bags, ABS and a rear camera, for complete peace of mind.

POWERTRAINS

Specific details will be announced closer to market launch.

MARKET ROLLOUT

Specific market plans will be communicated at a later date.

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