Funny thing about Chevrolet’s small car names: even after they die in the U.S., they live on for decades in South America. The Chevette, for instance, was axed from North America after 1987, but lasted through 1992 in Brazil, 1996 in Ecuador, and 1998 in Colombia. It seems the Cobalt nameplate is next to receive immortality south of the border. A little more than a year after it was replaced by the Cruze, the name has resurfaced on a new Chevy concept car, which debuted earlier today at the Buenos Aires motor show.
This isn’t a mere reskin of the Cruze’s mediocre predecessor. In fact, GM’s South American operations refer to it as a preview of an all-new small car, designed for cost sensitive markets like South America, Africa, and parts of Asia. GM is remarkably mum on the subject, but the new car could potentially replace a number of aging subcompacts sold in several South American and African countries.
For once, we can write with a straight face that the Cobalt sports some design flare. From some angles, the car looks like a mini Malibu, although the chiseled sides, unique swage lines, and upright taillamps do lend the car a character of its own.
Inside, the Cobalt sports a two-tone interior, along with a pseudo-dual cockpit dashboard, which is topped with an motorcycle-like gauge cluster, much like that found in the Sonic and Spark. This show car also sports two-tone leather seats, a panoramic glass roof, and dual rear-seat DVD screens. We wouldn’t be surprised if these are merely conceptual flourishes, or perhaps ultimately relegated only to high-trim models.
GM isn’t providing any firm specifications, but does note the Cobalt “could” be equipped with either 1.3- or 1.8-liter four-cylinder engines. That -- along with the shape of the A-pillar -- is leading some to speculate the car may well be based off the architecture used underneath the new Aveo/Sonic, but we’ve yet to receive any firm confirmation at this stage.