The new Chevrolet Spark – what is it?
Every so often, a car comes along that challenges conventional thinking. A car that offers much more than you’d expect for the money, redefines style, takes normal practice and turns it on its head. The new Chevrolet Spark is one such vehicle. Built to serve the burgeoning mini car segment, the fastest growing area of the new car market across the entire world, it is a newcomer that has been designed to appeal to car buyers across the globe.
But it’s in Europe where Spark will find its true identity. On sale in all major European markets (including the UK) from the first quarter of 2010, it exceeds all expectations of what a buyer might expect from a small car – be it as an urban motorist, or one who simply doesn’t need a larger car.
From the outset, Spark was engineered and designed to meet exacting standards. The bodyshell is exceptionally stiff, with no external panel gaps greater than 3mm, and the fit and finish of the interior is designed to match, if not beat, that of cars in a class or two above.
Yet despite the quality, Spark is also designed to be edgy, vibrant and fresh, as well as to offer exceptional levels of space and practicality. There aren’t many cars with such a small footprint that can offer the benefits of five doors, five seats and a usable luggage area, for example.
“We’ve styled and engineered the Chevrolet Spark so that it can compete anywhere in the world where there’s a demand for mini cars and the benefits they bring,” said Jack Keaton, vehicle line executive for the new model.
“The Spark is, first and foremost, a car that offers great economy and manoeuvrability, yet it is also quite sophisticated. We think it will turn heads with an aggressively stylish design and we think it’s going to make a lot of drivers happy with its dynamic ride and handling abilities.”
Keaton said that, while the Spark is certainly affordable, it was not developed to be either the most or least expensive offering in its category.
“We developed the Spark with the idea that buyers would feel they got a lot of vehicle for their currency,” he said. “From a complete package perspective, we think the Spark will be among, if not the best five-door car in its segment. It offers high quality craftsmanship, is well-equipped with safety technologies and, most importantly, is fun to drive.”
The range-topping LT, which comes with the 1.2-litre engine only, comes with a level of equipment you’d normally expect of a much larger and more expensive car, including 15-inch alloys, climate control, interior detailing to match the exterior (depending on colour), an exterior body kit and a six-speaker stereo.
Options across the range include metallic paint, rear parking sensors and electronic stability control.