GM’s head of North American operations would like to see Chevy develop a compact, affordable rear-drive coupe similar to the Code 130R concept.

Mark Reuss, head of GM’s North American operations, recently told Automotive News that he feels there’s plenty of room in the Chevrolet lineup for a rear-wheel-drive coupe. “A really nice, light, rear-drive car that’s inexpensive; that’d be a huge win for us if we had that.” Reuss’s comments echo the positive responses Chevy has elicited since it revealed the Code 130R concept, which likely would serve as a blueprint of sorts for a new rear-drive offering, at the 2012 Detroit auto show.

The automaker says the Code 130R concept, which was based on GM’s Alpha platform, resonated with a younger demographic. GM has said that if such a model were to go into production, it’d need to sticker in the low-to-mid-$20,000 range, which means it would have to be a high-volume product and make full use of GM’s extensive catalog of off-the-shelf components. But Reuss said in the interview that the concept already is dated, and that if the project were to be green lit it would “not use that design,” and it would ditch the Alpha platform for something “really scalable and efficient.” Chevrolet tells us that “although no vehicle of this type is currently under development,” it’d welcome one to the lineup.

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Those old enough to have seen Star Wars first run in the theater no doubt will remember the Vega and its Monza spawn, Chevrolet’s last memorable attempt at a small and sporty rear-drive coupe. Although they sold in reasonably high numbers, they suffered from bean-counter-inflicted schizophrenia, and never really delivered on their promises. Obviously a lot has changed throughout the past few decades, but if GM decides to get back into the rear-drive coupe business—and we sincerely hope it does—it need only to peruse its archives for examples of what not to do.

By Andrew Wendler

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