Chevrolet previews some hot performance car concepts for SEMA

ricky carmichael

Although not open to the general public, the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada draws tens of thousands as the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. Technologies from new audio options to tires to mobile applications and more are showcased.

This year, Chevrolet plans to bring a bevy of performance-oriented concept cars to SEMA to showcase some of what the General Motors brand is working on with its most popular passenger cars. The cars will debut when the show opens on November 5.

Each of the concepts is designed to showcase the personalization options available for Chevrolet buyers direct from Chevrolet dealerships and key aftermarket suppliers. Some of the accessories being shown are concepts themselves, prototypes that may go to production later if they prove popular enough with crowds at SEMA.

Here is a preview of the concepts that Chevy will be showcasing at SEMA this year.

Chevrolet Performance Sonic RS concept

Chevrolet Sonic RS performance concept

This concept features engine performance, suspension, brakes, and aesthetic upgrades designed by Chevrolet Performance engineers, all of which are prototypes designed for installation by Chevy dealers. They include:

  • A Stage Kit, cold-air induction and a high-flow exhaust system allow the 1.4L turbo engine to produce more power for a more exciting driving experience
  • The engine enhancements are complemented by a track-tuned suspension system and higher-performance brake upgrade kit, featuring Wilwood front calipers
  • The suspension kit lowers the ride height for a sportier stance
  • Chevrolet Performance 18-inch, split-five-spoke wheels complement the lowered look with aggressive style
  • Lemon Peel Yellow exterior with blue graphics; tinted headlamps and fog lamps; blue-accented window moldings and rear hatch trim
  • Additional exterior accessories, including color-tinted grille trim, headlamp rings and mirror caps are available from Chevrolet dealers and complement custom graphics and other accents that can be easily duplicated by creative owners
  • Re-trimmed seats in black leather, with Lark Yellow contrast stitching.

Ricky Carmichael with his All-Activity Chevrolet Sonic concept

Ricky Carmichael All-Activity Sonic concept

This is a conceptual idea that is becoming a tradition with Chevrolet at SEMA, returning this year with a Ricky Carmichael version of the Chevrolet Sonic designed by the X-Games gold medalist and NASCAR racer. Many of the items are available at Chevrolet dealerships right now, with the exception of the paint and custom graphics.

  • Chevrolet Performance 1.4L Turbo Stage Kit with high-flow exhaust
  • Chevrolet Performance cold-air induction
  • Chevrolet Performance suspension kit with lowered ride height
  • Chevrolet Performance brake package with Wilwood front calipers
  • Chevrolet Performance 18-inch wheel-and-tire package featuring custom gloss black with green lip

Chevrolet Spark EV Tech Performance concept

Spark EV Tech Performance concept

If a purely electric vehicle (EV) isn’t enough for you, then GM has a way to make you happy with a tuned concept of the diminutive little electric Spark. The Tech Performance Spark EV takes the 400 lb-ft of instant torque the little electric is capable of, gives it a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds, and adds the following to boost its style and performance:

  • Custom exterior color and graphics, a unique backlit Chevrolet “bowtie” emblem in the grille and performance billet aluminum wheels
  • Chevrolet Accessory sill plates, floor mats and pedal covers
  • Body-color trim plates and green stitching on the shifter boot and steering wheel
  • A military-style flip-up “activation switch” on the instrument panel adds a fun, high-performance-oriented touch of style to this plug-in performer
  • Lightweight features that enhance performance

Chevrolet Urban Cool Impala concept

Urban Cool Impala concept

For this one, Chevrolet took the all-new 2014 Impala LTZ and added custom-painted grille accents, some ground effects from Chevrolet Accessories, and 20-in wheel concepts painted to match the grille.

Chevrolet engineers also lowered the car’s stance a bit and painted the interior in an anodized low-gloss black and high-gloss piano black for a subtle two-tone look contrasting with the stock Sky Cool Gray leather-trimmed seating and orange stitching.

Chevrolet Personalization Cruze Diesel concept

Personalization Cruze Diesel concept

The already-impressive Cruze Diesel is enhanced in this concept with some 3dCarbon ground effects, an updated front fascia and chin spoiler, and an awesome Kicker Audio components package inside.  With an EPA rating of 46 mpg on the highway and the capability of doing 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds, the Chevy Cruze Diesel already has some great figures to go with this concept for SEMA.

Other Concepts on Display

Besides those showcased here, Chevrolet will also be showing off a Personalization Sonic concept car with several options for personalizations that are available on the Chevrolet Accessory list.

Another featured vehicle will be the Malibu LTZ concept, which takes the redesigned 2014 Malibu LTZ and adds performance ground effects, new 19-inch wheels with Sterling Silver finish, a Borla exhaust system for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and a conceptual Stage Kit and cold-air induction system to boost performance.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at