• Jan 16th 2009 at 10:59AM
  • 23
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Chevrolet Beat Groundhog Day edition

Earlier this week, when General Motors rolled out the very same 3-door Chevrolet Beat concept that it showed back in 2007, we were a bit confused. After all, GM's Ed Welburn teased all of America when he pulled back the tarp on a related (but clearly different) subcompact during NBC's Today Show (video here), only to trot out the same vivid green three-door that has been steadily making the show circuit rounds for some time now.

Well, Kicking Tires has unearthed the back story, and evidently the tarp-pulling session with Matt Lauer revealed a foam model of the production Spark five-door. Understandably, GM couldn't very well drive a foam block up the ramp and onto the stage, so it simply left it out of its press conference and substituted the old concept. We thought GM might quietly put the five-door out on the floor later, so we checked back at their display during yesterday's supplier days, and unfortunately Chevrolet's stand never did get the mockup.

Kicking Tires evidently had to place repeated calls to GM's communications team in order to get them to admit that they had pulled a switcheroo. Eventually, GM's Klaus-Peter Martin noted that: "...any misunderstanding was unintentional, and that the company had always intended to reveal the production Spark in Geneva." That may be true, but we have trouble understanding why the car was teased on national television and a press shot of the five-door was circulated with the Detroit Auto Show press release.

Regardless of GM's intent, we look forward to seeing the production Spark in March, and eagerly await its arrival on America's roads in 2011.

[Source: Kicking Tires]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can see why there would be confusion. In the Today Show reveal, Ed Welbburn (GM VP of Global Design) says that they are bringing "this car" to the Detroit Auto Show.

      Of course he also said that over 2 million people voted for "this car" as their favorite among the three microcar concepts..but that's also not exactly correct because no one voted for the 5 door version that's under the tarp.
      • 6 Years Ago
      its funkaaay
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure this is more of a "smart" competitor than a Fiesta competitor, so there's not really a comparison there.
      Anyway, I'm glad to hear it is still coming (to some auto show).
      • 6 Years Ago
      They're going to pull another "camaro" and "volt", release a car 4 or 5 years later after showing a very viable concept... that's too long ! That's a small simple car, GM should be able to market it way quicker.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Well, Kicking Tires has unearthed the back story, and evidently the tarp-pulling session with Matt Lauer revealed a foam model of the production Spark five-door."

      If one goes to the hyperlinked video, it is clear from 1:41-1:45 that the Spark under the cover is actually a 3-door. If you look closely, you can see one bulge from one door handle. This is true, of course, only if the 5-door does not use Saturn's "Quad Coupe" design, which uses the rear-hinging rear doors. Or maybe I am just missing something? =)

      - Josh
        • 6 Years Ago
        That makes sense. However, I do find it bizarre that they would use 2 different door handle styles. =/
        • 6 Years Ago
        The doorhandle thing started with the Alfa Romeo 156 a few years back.

        I personally, I don't find just taking off the door handles fools my eye at all. The B pillar is still in a 4-door location anyway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ahh okay. That makes a lot more sense. thank you for the reference =) haha

        I do like the 'shaved' look on the back doors. It looks a little more sporty than the typical 5-door. On the other hand, I have a feeling that this is going to go over like the Aztec did...until GM develops an SS version ;D hahaha
      • 6 Years Ago
      Frankly this doesn't bother me as long as they make the three door. I couldn't care less about the five door version but the three dorr might be kind of a nice commuting appliance. I could see picking one up in a few years used as an enclosed scooter. I don't like the five door, though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The car shown in the photos above is the Beat concept– the product Spark actually looks like a small SUV... I don't want a tiny SUV, I want a small hatchback that's fun to drive.

      Leave it to GM to mess up its microcar.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It is due to Korean auto regulation that governs engineering of Beat. Since the length and width is strictly regulated, the only way to grow is up. All Korean Kei cars are taller than compact cars to gain necessary interior space.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Spark is awful! The Beat 3-door concept is amazing. One says family sedan for people can't afford something bigger and the other says affordable fun.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Spark is launching as Beat(yes, Daewoo is stick with Beat name) in Korea this summer.

      There are a number of pre-production prototypes rolling around.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really like this car. If it drives halfway decent, I'm buying it.

      Of course, halfway decent means better than my Daewoo Wagon.

      Dude, where's my acceleration?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Jj- Ya think?

        • 6 Years Ago
        But Spark is a Daewoo.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't like cars like this at all but it's no worse than a Yaris or a Versa.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i think i like the fiesta more than this.

        oh well, this will make some awesome comparo's :D
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh, come on. You have "trouble understanding why" they did that? You have trouble _accepting_ why they did it.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X