Print 28 comment(s) - last by nubie.. on Nov 17 at 1:23 PM

Spark will hit ludicrous speed in a bad way thanks to 85hp

Chevrolet has stepped into the tiny city car market to compete against the imported vehicles in the genre already. The car Chevy will use to combat the likes of the Scion iQFiat 500, and Smart fortwo is called the Spark. It will go official on November 16 at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The small car is aimed at urban drivers that want a highly maneuverable vehicle that fits into tight spaces and gets good fuel economy. 
The little car might be small, but it is loaded with safety features and entertainment options. The car has ten standard airbags and OnStar. It also has a 7-inch color touchscreen radio that can display the navigation data from a smartphone. The touchscreen can also display media and contracts as well for hands free calling.

The car at first glance looks like a two door hatchback, but actually has four doors with the handles for the rear doors hidden in the pillars. Chevy is offering the car in some non-traditional colors with yellow, blue, green, and what appears to be pink along with more traditional black and white.
The tiny engine under the hood is a 1.2L 4-cylinder with a scant 85 hp. That engine is coupled with a 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed auto.
“Spark is for buyers who want much more than a ‘cute’ small car – they want a car that can be personalized, is dynamic and fashionable, and delivers a lot of value for the money,” said Chris Perry, vice president, global Chevrolet marketing and strategy. “Spark’s vibrant exterior and interior colors make a fashion statement, but it is also affordable, safe, maneuverable and very fuel-efficient.”
The car will come with the MyLink infotainment system on 1LT and 2LT versions adding Bluetooth capability and access to content on the smartphone. When the car is stopped the screen in the entertainment system can be used for streaming video from a smartphone.
Pricing information is unknown at this time.

Source: GM

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Naming Fail
By Smartless on 11/14/2011 1:58:41 PM , Rating: 5
Did they do it on purpose? Spark makes me think its another all electric car. Not a rebadged Chevy Aveo POS. Well albeit it looks better than the Aveo but I've ridden in a few Powerwheel better than that car.

RE: Naming Fail
By werfu on 11/14/2011 2:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
I too thought that it was an electric car by seeing the title. Seriously, why isn't it? Chevy has the Volt technology, such a small car could seriously had an eletric powertrain.

RE: Naming Fail
By yomamafor1 on 11/14/2011 2:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
Weight and size constraints? The battery used in Volt is probably the same length as the car.

RE: Naming Fail
By bitterman0 on 11/14/2011 2:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, why isn't it?

Probably because it is not possible to cram enough batteries in such a small space to make the car practical.

If you were talking about a hybrid, then it is impractical to haul along additional battery weight because it negates fuel economy.

And the most likely reason for this car not having anything to do with "electric" or "hybrid" is the price. The manufacturer wanted to make a cheap, affordable car, which is still impossible with electric drivetrains (hybrid drivetrains are even more costly).

RE: Naming Fail
By Brandon Hill on 11/14/2011 2:24:13 PM , Rating: 4
RE: Naming Fail
By bitterman0 on 11/14/2011 2:49:22 PM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected. There, apparently, are plans to make an all-electric version of this.

I'll stick to my guns, however - I question whether it will be practical even for "drivers in big cities". Or if it will be affordable to begin with.

RE: Naming Fail
By Smartless on 11/14/2011 2:53:49 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks Brandon, I guess I haven't logged in too often. That makes much more sense but you figure Shane would have referenced his own article to give it perspective? Ah I can't judge. In any case, you wonder why GM doesn't restart their fuel cell car. The Hy-wire was the future.

RE: Naming Fail
By Reclaimer77 on 11/14/2011 9:33:17 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, why isn't it?

Probably because, unlike electric cars, Chevy expects this car to sell?

RE: Naming Fail
By Brandon Hill on 11/14/2011 2:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
This is actually smaller than the Aveo replacement (the Sonic)

RE: Naming Fail
By Samus on 11/14/2011 3:36:23 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if this is a Daewoo-platform like the Aveo as well?

Doesn't seem like a bad car. I had 96HP in my old Mazda Protege (1.5l 5-speed) and it cruised at 80+MPH fine. It was also a substantially bigger car (Protege was roughly between Civic and Accord at the time.)

With good suspension and brakes, this car could be a good value if priced right (~$15,000)

RE: Naming Fail
By JonnyDough on 11/14/2011 10:02:52 PM , Rating: 1
I own a 2011 2LT Chevy Aveo. My girlfriend drives it (I'm too tall for it) and loves it. It's a hatchback, white with a tan interior and I actually think it looks nice. It's manueverable, decent on gas, relatively safe, and American made. It was also only about 16k after all fees. It's no Beamer. But its not supposed to be. Could it be designed better? For sure, but then...a Beamer could take a few cues of a Formula 1 car too. I don't think calling any modern car a "POS" is really the place of someone who probably doesn't have the ingenuity to cook their own dinner. Powerwheels? Really? Get real.

RE: Naming Fail
By Reclaimer77 on 11/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: Naming Fail
By rudolphna on 11/15/2011 2:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
Oh reclaimer your posts never fail to entertain me. It's like watching a monkey try to remove it's hand from a cage while holding candy.

So what you must think of me, we bought 3 GM cars at one time, An Equinox LTZ V6, and two Cruzes. Gawsh, how horrible we are for liking QUALITY products.

RE: Naming Fail
By Samus on 11/16/2011 2:52:24 PM , Rating: 3
Reclaimer, you appearantly don't realize GM has paid back the government loan in full with a private loan that has interest.

Every model of Aveo I've ever looked at said "Final Assembly: South Korea" on the doortag, however, the 2011 model appears to actually be made in Michigan. So good for GM. This makes it a nice competitor to the Fiesta.

RE: Naming Fail
By rudolphna on 11/15/2011 2:13:12 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed on the naming fail, however it shows how uninformed you are that you think this is even related to the aveo in any way. Because it isn't. The aveo WAS a POS and very few people would ever argue that point. The spark is a completely new design, nothing in common with the aveo.

By Keeir on 11/14/2011 3:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
So, the US does not get the Mazda 5 compeditors, but get the Fiat 500 compeditor?

Sorry, this move makes little to no sense. The car will be nearly the same price as the Sonic and Cruze, yet be drastically smaller and less powerful. Maybe better fuel economy... but with the way the EPA tests, that is unlikely as well.

So... how many people will choose a Spark over a Sonic/Versa/500/iQ/Smart/etc that are in the same price range or size. I am thinking, not too many.

RE: Why?
By Dr of crap on 11/14/2011 4:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
You forget that the Aveo sold and was a piece o' crap.
So this with it's colors and very nice dash from the pictures, might sell even better.

Really would you opt for a Fortwo over this?

RE: Why?
By Keeir on 11/14/2011 7:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
Errr.. the Aveo had rather poor sales outside of fleets. Its been replaced by a car called a Sonic, which is essentially a slightly larger version of the Spark.

Fortwo? No, but even if this Spark steals every Smart Sale and every 500 sale, that -still- less than 40,000 units a year.

The Spark makes sense in some countries where the cost structure of owning an automobile makes significant price different between a Spark (A Class) to a Sonic (B Class).

The US cost structure will make the difference less than 1 dollar a day. Not seeing many consumers rushing to the tiny car with no European flash just to save a very small amount of money.

RE: Why?
By gerf on 11/14/2011 8:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
Why? Because they already build this little thing around the world. They were advertising them like crazy when I was in africa last year, and I know they build them in Central Asia too.

With all the gov'mint restrictions on the way, why not start in on the market before being forced to do so?

RE: Why?
By Keeir on 11/14/2011 9:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
Errr.. even with the "gov'mint" restrictions, this is unlikely to help Chevy.

The Fiat 500 after all gets only 33 US EPA MPG combined. That's matched by the Sonic and the Cruze Eco. Spark is unlikely to do more than 1 or 2 MPG better. Barely a blip.

Again, this car makes plenty of sense in many areas of the world where cost structure makes a significant difference...

but in the US, this will likely be within 1,000-2,000 of the Sonic, get the same rate MPG, have a HIGHER insurance cost, and have nearly the same taxes. Why would many "downgrade" from a Cruze Eco to a Sonic to a Spark? It doesn't have the European "Design" of the Fiat 500...

Maybe its PR to convince said "gov'mint" that Chevy is "trying" to get US consumers to choose smaller cars..

RE: Why?
By Dr of crap on 11/15/2011 8:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
Err.. you don't seem to like this car.

But you do seem to like the 500.
To bad for you.

RE: Why?
By Keeir on 11/15/2011 2:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
No. All A market cars make little sense in the US.

A - 500, Fourtwo, Spark
B - Sonic, Versa, Fit, Fiesta, Mini, etc
C - Focus, Corolla, Cruze, etc

An A market car in the US costs about 95-105% of a B market car. A market cars are not as safe, don't have as much space inside, not as versitile, etc, etc, etc.

But if you have something Unique to bring to the table, then maybe an A market car will work... the 500 has something unique. The Smart Fourtwo had something unique. An all electric A market would be "unique" as well. The Spark? It looks like a smaller Sonic. But it may actually be cheaper to own the Sonic in the US. So why would anyone choose the smaller, less powerful, and more expensive car?

Now, there are countries in this world that TAX people based on wieght/engine displacement/other factors, that create a sizable A market in that country. The US doesn't have any of these factors. As demonstrated by the fairly low sales of A and small B cars in the US. You have to bargin basement price these cars to really move significant volume. And isn't bargin basement pricing cars one of the reasons GM got in trouble in the first place? (Bargin Basement to get Volume-->Low Profit Margin-->Low Investment in Product-->Poor Quality-->Not Compeditive/Inferior Good)

Again, if this car was headed to Japan, Europe, India, China, etc. Good job GM. Headed to the US? Not so much so.

By chromal on 11/14/2011 2:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather drive a Mazda2.

RE: bleh
By Flunk on 11/14/2011 2:42:42 PM , Rating: 2
Which is an entire size class bigger, this is the same size as the Scion IQ and Smart Fortwo.

RE: bleh
By Dr of crap on 11/14/2011 3:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
Come on now. There are a few posts here and no one put out the obvious - it's too small and dangerous!

And I have to say is if that's your opinion, don't buy it.
And if you think that you don't drive a motorcycle do you?

The BIG question
By dgingerich on 11/14/2011 2:15:01 PM , Rating: 2
The most important question: but can I overclock it?

RE: The BIG question
By Flunk on 11/14/2011 2:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
No, and it can't run Crysis either.

"scant" 85 hp
By nubie on 11/17/2011 1:23:17 PM , Rating: 2
If people didn't drive like maniacs we wouldn't consider 85hp scant.

Kudos to GM for making a decent car, now if they could concentrate on making it look less like a tarted up pile of poo.

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