FNR-X concept spotlights Chevy’s new technology

on Apr30

The FNR-X was designed with China in mind. Photo credit: HANS GREIMEL

SHANGHAI — Chevrolet’s sporty FNR-X crossover, a funky plug-in hybrid concept developed in China, is loaded with new technologies that will appear in production vehicles, possibly worldwide.

The all-purpose crossover came out of General Motors’ Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center in China and draws its FNR name from the Chevy tag line “Find New Roads.”

The low-slung silhouette exudes a sporty aura, with a narrow greenhouse, steeply raked rear window and sharp fender creases.

Chevrolet says the vehicle’s rear-hinged doors can be controlled remotely to make entry and exit easier.

Under the hood is a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, and an adaptive suspension adjusts ground clearance on demand to smooth the ride.

Chevrolet designed the FNR-X with the China market in mind, but the company may take the concept overseas as well to test international reaction, Alan Batey, head of Global Chevrolet, said on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show here in April.

If produced, the FNR-X could hit a sweet spot in Chinese and global markets. Worldwide demand for compact crossovers is hot, while in China, increasingly stringent emissions regulations are forcing carmakers to roll out more plug-in hybrids and other electrified vehicles.

“There are parts of this vehicle that will absolutely find their way into our production vehicles,” Batey said.

The FNR-X features next-generation fuel economy, safety and connectivity technologies.

To reduce drag and improve aerodynamics, the vehicle gets active grille shutters and switchable wheel blades that automatically adjust during high-speed driving, Chevrolet said.

Front and rear spoilers also adjust to speed to smooth airflow.

Speech-activated commands, an augmented reality head-up display and an infotainment system tailored to individual preferences round out the in-cabin tech options. On the exterior, an array of optical and acoustic sensors provides highly autonomous driving ability.

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