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After several SEMA shows where the Chevrolet stand was full of Camaros, the Bow Tie brand has shifted its emphasis this year to smaller cars. Trouble is, small cars aren't always the most exciting things. Chevy has circumvented this issue with its Z-Spec line of accessories, most of which are available now or will soon make an appearance in the catalog. And just like a catwalk model will present a complete look - dress, shoes, jewels and all - the 2011 SEMA show is enjoying the sight of two 2012 Chevrolet Cruze models, each decked out to convey a different style.

The aptly named Cruze Z-Spec sedan concept brings extra aerodynamic components, custom-designed 18-inch alloy wheels, racing stripes, contrasting side mirrors and a special grille to the exterior. The cabin gets new seat inserts to match a revamped interior trim, racing-style pedals, plus a Z-Spec gearshift knob and steering wheel.

It could be said that the Cruze Dusk sedan concept is more suited to the street, but it would be a pretty upscale street. Let's go with boulevard instead. This is much like the smaller Sonic Dusk concept, where the term "low profile" doesn't just refer to the tires. "A more subtle and sophisticated approach to personalization," is how Chevy puts it.

The Cruze Dusk comes in a rich, deep Berlin Blue, with blue-tinted headlights. Its body kit alters the car's lines ever so slightly and only a keen eye will spot the upgraded brakes set behind lightweight alloy wheels. A two-tone color scheme of tan leather with black accents on the dash and gear shifter adds an air of class to the interior.

Just because a car is designated a compact, there's still plenty of room to make things interesting.

See more coverage of the 2011 SEMA Auto Show.

 

COLIN RYAN has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.
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