Chevrolet Mi-ray Roadster Concept
1st April, 2011
Chevrolet introduced the Mi-ray concept yesterday at the 2011
Seoul Motor Show in South Korea.
According to GM Korea President and CEO Mike Arcamone ‘Mi-ray’ is Korean for ‘future.’
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.
The Mi-ray pays tribute to Chevrolet’s sports car heritage. It is small and open like the 1963 Corvair
Monza SS, and light and purposeful like the 1962 Corvair Super Spyder.
Made of carbon fibre and CFRP (carbon fibre-reinforced plastic), the wedged body side is divided by an
angled character line, with ambient lighting underneath. This accent makes 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. At the corners, carbon-fibre 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 guard 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 aluminium-carbon fibre 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
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 aluminium, natural leather, white fabric and
liquid metal surfaces, for an overall effect of sculptural velocity.
The interior compartment is surrounded by a carbon fibre 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. 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 head restraints are connected by
the lightweight carbon fibre shell and mounted on a single aluminium rail. The head restraint 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 prioritised 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 centre touch screen flows down to an aluminium 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 maximises 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-litre 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.”