Teased just a month ago, the all-new Chevrolet Spark was finally revealed at the New York Auto Show and the Seoul Motor Show. Could this be the car that would throw the bow-tie brand back in the local mini-car game?
Now riding on a longer wheelbase with its wheels pushed toward the corners and with an overall height 40mm lower than the outgoing model, the new Spark breaks off the stubby tall-car mold of most modern mini city cars. The car's sleeker profile not only improves its looks, but also helps improve aerodynamics.
Up front is a tweaked version of Chevy's twin-port grille flanked by slimmer swept-back headlights. It's still unmistakably a Spark with its hidden rear door handles and vertical hatch, but overall more grown-up.
Inside, you will be greeted by a new LCD instrument cluster and a more prominent center stack that houses the infotainment and climate system controls. It also features a new-generation MyLink radio with a seven-inch color touchscreen. Interior plastics as well as seat fabrics and seat foam have been improved. Repositioned seat hip points allow the car to maintain sufficient headroom even with the lower roofline.
A new range of fuel-efficient engines reside under the all-new Spark's hood. Let's start with the 1.4-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine presented at the New York debut. This engine features an integrated exhaust manifold, and an aluminum block and head. It produces a healthy 98hp. It can be paired with a five-speed manual transmission or dual-range CVT.
Featured at the Seoul launch, the other engine is a new 1.0-liter three-cylinder Ecotec engine that can be had with a start/stop system. It can be mated to a manual transmission or a next-generation C-Tech CVT. No official announcement has been made regarding which new engine will make it to our region.
The new Spark has a stronger body structure and a host of safety features that include 10 standard airbags, rollover sensing and protection system, and camera-based safety technology (forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and side blind spot alert). We must also remember that specifications and standard features will most likely vary between markets, especially those in the more price-sensitive segments.
The all-new Spark will be sold in over 40 markets, and will be manufactured at GM's plant in Changwon, South Korea. It will go on sale in the US in the fourth quarter of 2015.