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Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Chevy seeks youth appeal with new concepts

Chevrolet launched the Code 130R and Tru 140S concept cars at the 2012 North American International Auto show, intending to capture an emerging youth market with new style.

Chevy Code 130R concept
The Chevy Code 130R manages to evoke muscle car styling in a modern design. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

DETROIT--Chevy wants the nation's youth, and it built two Hot Wheels-esque concept cars to use as bait.

The two concepts, unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, go by the names Code 130R and Tru 140S. Chevy cites the potential market of 80 million people in their '20s as the impetus for these two design studies.

The Tru 140S is intended to evoke an expensive exotic car in its styling, although its profile brings the old Pontiac Sunfire to mind. And based on the Chevy Cruze platform, with front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, it is unlikely to provide supercar performance.

The Code 130R hearkens somewhat to Chevy's muscle car past, but is no retro cruiser. It also uses the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, but has rear-wheel drive.

Both cars enhance fuel economy with some degree of electrification, and idle stop system for the Tru 140S and a mild hybrid system for the Code 130R. Chevy estimates fuel economy at 40 mpg or higher.

To extend the youth appeal, the cars are also equipped with Chevy's latest cabin technology, which includes the MyLink system. MyLink integrates apps into the car.

Chevy said it will bring the concepts to more auto shows and other events where 20-somethings are likely to congregate. But the company has announced no production plans, so potential young buyers may be disappointed when, lured into a Chevy showroom, all that greets the eye are Malibus and Sonics.