Even though it has been available in other regions including Europe and Asia since 2009, Chevrolet’s latest city car, the Spark, will make its North American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 16.
The five-door, four-seat subcompact hatchback will be available in the U.S. and Canada with a single engine option, a 1.2-liter four-cylinder with an output of 85HP that turns the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox or, optionally, a four-speed automatic transmission.
“The new 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. “[The] Spark’s vibrant exterior and interior colors make a fashion statement, but it is also affordable, safe, maneuverable and very fuel-efficient.”
GM claims that, despite its compact dimensions, the Spark offers more room for passengers and their luggage than other mini cars offered in the States such as the Fiat 500, Scion iQ and Smart ForTwo.
Unlike all of the above models, the Spark gets five doors, although Chevrolet designers have “hidden” the rear door handles in the C-pillar area to make the mini look a tad sportier.
The European version of the Spark achieved a four-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests, scoring very high in the adult and child protection categories (81% and 78% respectively).
The North American version promises to be even safer, offering 10 airbags as standard as well as the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system that are missing from the European version.
The updated Spark is equipped with GM's OnStar system, which uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash.
In the cabin, the MyLink infotainment system is standard on the 1LT and 2LT specification models. This system allows for the easy transfer of music libraries, access of Pandora and Stitcher internet radio and navigation through Bluetooth-connected smartphones and, when the car is stationary, projection of videos and photo albums on its 7-inch screen.
“This level of infotainment and connectivity was unheard of in this segment, until now,” said Perry. “We know Spark buyers do not want to give up personalization just because they drive a smaller car.”