Chevrolet has continued its trend towards fuel-efficient small cars today with the unveiling of two new concept cars at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. 

The two cars -- a four-seat, rear-wheel drive coupe called the Code 130R, and a four-seat, three-door, four-seat coupe hatchback called the Tru 140S -- are designed to appeal to younger drivers, many of whom are  shunning car ownership in favor of renting a car when they need one. 

While the sportier Code 130R is rear-wheel drive and the Tru 140S is a front-wheel drive car, the two vehicles share the same 1.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine and eAssist mild hybrid system. 

Featuring auto start-stop, regenerative breaking and acceleration assist, both cars are capable of an estimated 40 mpg on the highway. 

It’s important to note however, that while both concepts feature a small lithium-ion battery pack to store recaptured braking energy and to help deliver an extra power boost at low RPM to eliminate the effects of turbo-lag, the mild hybrid system is nearer that found in the 2012 Buick Lacrosse and upcoming 2014 Chevrolet Equinox than the range-extended plug-in 2012 Chevrolet Volt. 

In other words, neither car has the capability to operate in all-electric mode.

2012 Chevrolet Code 130R Concept

2012 Chevrolet Code 130R Concept

When it comes to appearance, the 130R is designed to appeal to younger sports car or tuning enthusiasts, with red metallic paint, gold anodized wheels and aggressive front-end.

Its sibling, the140S, is “designed to look confident, exotic, expensive and fast,” with matte white paint and chrome wheels. 

At the moment, both cars are firmly in concept form, although Chevrolet has said that there is at least some potential that both cars could make it to market with a low $20,000 sticker price at some point in the future.

Chevrolet has said potential production versions of both cars would include its MyLink infotainment system, smartphone connectivity and Wifi, as well as a heads-up display in the 130R. Other details, however, are still to be decided.

In fact, Chevrolet has yet to finalize any interior designs.

That might seem a little unprepared, but Chevrolet is keen to make sure that both cars appeal to the under 30 market. As a consequence, it wants to use social media and continued consultations with potential customers to ensure it designs a car people will want to buy.

“We want to hear what they have to say, engage them in our design process, and give them what they want -- not what we think they want,” said John McFarland, senior manager for Chevrolet global marketing.

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