Earlier than the Nice Recession threw a wrench in its plans, Basic Motors appeared intent on competing within the reasonably priced sports activities automobile phase with its rear-drive Kappa platform past the short-lived Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky (in addition to worldwide variants of the latter from the likes of Opel and Daewoo). Due to the market crash, we’ll by no means actually know what would have been. That mentioned, we do know the corporate teased the opportunity of a small two-door wagon for the Chevrolet model on the 2004 Detroit auto present. Christened the Nomad, the rear-drive idea drew some inspiration from the Corvette-based concept car that donned the identical identify a half of a century earlier (and fewer from the Camaro-based 1999 Nomad idea).
Energy for the reborn Nomad idea got here courtesy of a 250-hp turbocharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, which routed its grunt to the drive wheels by the use of a five-speed automated gearbox. We’d have most popular a stick shift, and perhaps a manufacturing model would have provided one, however beggars cannot be choosers.
The little Chevy was surprisingly versatile, too. Credit score its 107.0-inch wheelbase—almost 12 inches longer than that of the Solstice’s—that afforded the Nomad a fairly sized cargo maintain. A detachable rear roof panel, sliding cargo flooring, and a drop-down tailgate, replete with a rear window that rolled into it, ensured the Nomad might carry comparatively massive gadgets with ease. And its clear, useful inside’s retro components have been stylish fairly than hokey.
Sadly, the revived Nomad adopted the identical path because the prior idea that impressed it, and the little wagon by no means made the leap from idea automobile to manufacturing automobile. Frankly, we think about the marketplace for a small, rear-drive wagon was fairly skinny. That mentioned, we nonetheless want the Kappa platform had spawned a salable Chevy Nomad for lovers like us to name their very own.