Thursday 12 February 2009

New Car: 2010 Chevrolet Spark

GM had originally intended to introduce the Spark at NAIAS in Detroit last month but internal issues at the company derailed those plans, so Chevrolet is going to have a second go at it by introducing the new model at the Geneva motorshow in March.

Inspiration for the Spark's bold design comes from the Beat concept which debuted back in 2007. After positive reactions from press and show goers alike, the company held an Internet vote where consumers were asked which of three city car concepts they should build. The Beat received a clear majority of 1.9 million votes that were cast and to keep consumers happy with the final production car, GM decided to make sure the Spark stayed faithful to the original Beat concept.

The biggest change comes in the form of two additional rear doors which makes the Spark a 5 door hatchback, however thanks to some ingenious styling work the rear door handles are hidden by the window tinting giving the car a coupe like appearance. The headlights also receive minor changes in the transition to production form, but overall the transformation from concept to production seems to have been successful.

With a 2,375 mm wheelbase, the Spark offers decent interior room and a high-quality cabin that features accents of the car's exterior color on the dash and doors. The Spark also has a unique motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster that is mounted on the steering column. It provides information with a mix of analog and digital displays and although Chevy failed to provide a close up picture of the unit, it can still be seen in the first official image of the interior.

Engine choices include a 65bhp 1.0 and 86bhp 1.2 litre 4 cylinder petrol power plants and the company says both will deliver excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions. A diesel engine seems likely since the Vauxhall/Opel Agila and Suzuki Splash use a 75bhp, 1.3 MultiJet engine borrowed from FIAT.

Depending on the 100 markets in which the Spark will go on sale in, its safety equipment will include driver and passenger front air bags, front side airbags, curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Prices and exact equipment specifications are be announced closer to the car's on sale date. Look for the Spark to go on sale in Europe in early 2010 with global sales beginning shortly after. Prices are likely to start at £7,000. Rivals will include the Vauxhall/Opel Agila, Suzuki Splash, KIA Picanto, Hyundai i10 and Fiat Panda. UK equipment list may include electric mirrors with heat function, electric front and rear windows, alloy wheels, 6 airbags, tilt-adjustable steering wheel with audi controls, leather steering wheel and gearknob, front and rear fog lamps, height adjustable drivers seat, tinted windows and air-conditioning. ESP and metallic paint will be optional.

Press Release:

Fun and fashion add sizzle to mini-car segment

Youthful interior with motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster

Fuel-efficient 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre 4-cylinder DOHC engines

All-new mini-car with maximum attitude

The all-new Chevrolet Spark, making its world premiere at the Geneva auto show in March, is a small car designed to make a big statement. It's big on style, big on fuel economy and, like all products carrying the Chevrolet gold bowtie, big on refinement and value.

Its design breaks the mold for mini-cars and takes Chevrolet's signature styling elements to this vehicle segment in a youthful, fun and fashion-conscious way.

Spark was inspired by the Chevrolet Beat concept, the most popular of a trio of mini-car concepts that has toured international auto shows since 2007. A clear majority among 1.9 million Internet voters said it was the car they wanted produced.


The crisp lines of the five-door hatchback provide a wedge-like profile. Below Chevrolet's hallmark two-tier grille and headlamps that resemble diamond cut lines, the shape of the fog lamp housings and the "floating" lower air intake extend the sense of forward movement. Strong wheel arches accommodate up to 15-inch wheels to give the car a dynamic, ready-to-go stance.

The rear door handles are integrated into the upper part of the door to preserve the clean lines of rear quarter panel and wheel arches. In the rear, an integrated tailgate spoiler and Chevrolet's round tail lights add to Spark's appeal.

With an overall length of 3,640 mm and a generous 2,375 mm wheelbase, Spark offers a spacious cabin with outstanding leg and hip room in the front and rear.


The design of Spark's spacious cabin clearly matches its fun and fashion exterior look and functionality. A unique feature is the motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster. Mounted on the steering column, it provides easy- to- read information to the driver utilizing a combination of analog and digital displays.

With fresh colors and fabrics, exterior color schemes continue inside to Chevrolet's signature 'dual cockpit' layout and the door panels. Textured inserts flow from the instrument panel to each side of the cabin into the doors, adding another eye-catching element to the interior.

Spark also boasts a high level of interior acoustic refinements typical of larger vehicles. Sales will start in Europe featuring 1.0 and 1.2-liter 16-valve four-cylinder double overhead camshaft gasoline engines, delivering excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions.

Depending on global markets, safety equipment includes driver and passenger front air bags, front side airbags, roof rail head curtain airbags, antilock brakes and electronic stability control. Other safety features include pre-tensioners for front seat belts and three-point belts in the rear. Spark has been developed and is expected to achieve high crash test ratings.

Europe leads start of sales:

Spark will be available in European dealerships early 2010, followed by other global regions. Spark is the newest in a series of all-new, globally developed Chevrolet vehicles that are defined by expressive design, refinement and value.

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