Chevy Flashes Early Details on its New Spark

By Editors on February 10, 2009 1:07 PM

Although we won't see the new Chevrolet Spark here in America until sometime in 2011, GM has released a new batch of photos and facts about this funky new mini-hatch ahead of its formal world debut next month at the Geneva Auto Show. Based on the 2007 Beat Concept, the production Spark goes on sale in Europe early in 2010 and will be rolled out globally on an as-yet-undisclosed timetable.

Reflecting an obvious desire to reach younger buyers, the Spark places major emphasis on bold styling cues inside and out. Dynamically contoured wedge-shaped bodywork that goes well beyond anything found in the current GM lineup is matched with a relatively long 93.9-inch wheelbase and short front/rear overhangs that help maximize both people and cargo room in the Spark's spacious cabin. A similar avant-garde approach can be seen in its highly contoured dual-cockpit dash that replaces conventional instrumentation with a steering-column-mounted gauge cluster that combines both analog and digital display elements. GM claims the Spark -- which is 9.3 inches shorter than the current Aveo and also will be priced below Chevy's entry-level vehicle -- also has been designed to have the "acoustic refinement" of a larger car.

While Euro-spec Sparks will be fitted with 1.0- and 1.2-liter four-cylinder engines tuned to deliver high mileage with low emissions, GM's pre-show press release made no mention of U.S. powertrain possibilities. However, the new 1.4-liter four that will be used in Chevy's upcoming Cruze and Volt lines appears a pretty likely candidate to make Sparks fly over here, as well. Whatever the choice, Chevy says the car will meet at least a minimum 40-mpg fuel economy bogey.