This wasn't an EV, but GM has brought it out of mothballs... I saw a picture. While looking at it, I could see the EV potential. It's a three wheeler, a bit like the Sparrow or the Gizmo. I'm working on getting a photo I can post. So come back again in a few days and maybe we'll have one here for you. Remy C. ed

For Release: November 3, 1999

FROM THE VAULT: CHEVROLET TANDEM 2000 MAKES ITS DEBUT AT SEMA, 20 YEARS LATER

LAS VEGAS—With apologies to the Beatles: It was 20 years ago today, we built a concept car at Chevrolet. It’s been going in and out of style, but it’s guaranteed to raise a smile.

The Tandem 2000 presents an exciting opportunity to get inside the heads of concept car designers and engineers from two decades ago—and to get inside one of their products. In the late 1970s, the world was in the throes of an energy crisis, and GM’s Research and Design Staff developed the Tandem 2000 as an experimental exercise in lightweight, low-cost, high-mileage, commuter vehicles. With some radical styling thrown in for an exotic touch.

The Tandem 2000, which is its original name so it seems appropriate to finally take the wraps off it as the millennium nears, was conceived as a low-cost street version of a Formula One Grand Prix car. After its creation it did the focus group tour, and has been updated periodically over the years, but has never before appeared in public until the 1999 SEMA show.

The seats are 1985 Corvette. The exterior mirrors are 1985 Camaro and Firebird. The dashboard and shifter assembly are Fiero. Much of its suspension parts are Fiero—other bits are handmade, as are some of the interior panels.

So it shares some parts, but the Tandem 2000 was a unique application. It’s a rear-engined two-seater that stands just over four feet tall on a 114.7-inch wheelbase and weighs just 2478 pounds. Its steel-tube frame is handmade and buffeted by six crossmembers, with bending and torsion estimates placed at well above 30 Hz.

The Tandem is powered by a 2.0-liter four from GM’s previous J-cars, mated to a fuel-sipping three-speed automatic. The small 10-gallon fuel tank is located in front of the engine behind the rear seat.

The concept car is distinguished by its dark blue, one-piece fiberglass body shell, with two hatches for people and one rear hatch for the engine. If anything, it was the radical bodystyle of the Tandem 2000 that led some customer clinics to produce love-it-or-hate-it reactions.

But a look back from the fresh perspective of a new millennium shows that Tandem 2000 was clearly a car and an idea ahead of its time. At the very least, there’s a lot to learn from such a vehicle, both in its own era’s context and in today’s context as well. Plus it’s fun to roll it out onto the show floor after all these years.

This is one toy that appeals to the fast kids and the smart kids.

Tandem 2000

VEHICLE DIMENSION

WEIGHT

Curb weight: 2428 lbs.
Weight distribution: 61% front/39% rear

TIRES

BATTERY

FRONT SUSPENSION

STEERING

REAR SUSPENSION

BRAKES

FRAME

HVAC

COOLING

ENGINE

TRANSMISSION

EXHAUST

FUEL SYSTEM

BODY

INTERIOR

LIGHTING