• Mar 2nd 2009 at 6:18AM
  • 18
Click image above for a high-res gallery of the 2010 Chevy Spark

The Autoblog/AutoblogGreen team is just rolling into Geneva this morning for one of the biggest auto shows of the year, and look what we found before we even got out of the airport: Sitting in the Chevrolet media lounge right by the train station is the brand-new Chevrolet Spark. Essentially a four door version of the Beat concept we saw two years ago in New York, the Spark will be launching in other parts of the world in early 2010 and in the U.S. a year later. Both the 1.0-liter and 1.2-liter engines are expected to top 47 miles-per-gallon (U.S.) combined and emit less than 120 g/km of CO2. They wouldn't let us sit in the car yet but it looks surprisingly roomy at this first look. Hopefully, General Motors will be around long enough that we'll get to drive it.

[Source: General Motors]


World Premiere

All-New Chevrolet Spark: A Mini-Car with Attitude

  • Edgy styling adds brio to mini-car segment
  • Youthful interior look with unique motorcycle-inspired instrument pod
  • Class-leading front and rear passenger room
  • Frugal 1.0/1.2-liter engines deliver sub-120 g CO2 emissions

The all-new Chevrolet Spark, making its world premiere at Geneva, is a small car designed to make a big statement. It's big on style, big on fuel economy and, like all products carrying the gold bowtie, big on value.

Distinctive, edgy styling conveys energy and spirit because this is a mini-car that's as fun to drive as it is economical to own.

With punchy 1.0 and 1.2-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines and a five-door hatchback body format offering surprising versatility, the Chevy Spark is set to light up Europe's mini-car segment.

Due on sale early next year, it is a production-ready version of the Beat concept car, the most popular of a trio of Chevy mini concepts that toured international motor shows in 2007. A clear majority among 1.9 million internet voters said it was the car they preferred.

"Spark will bring a fresh dimension to Europe's growing mini-car segment," says Wayne Brannon, GM Europe Vice President, Chevrolet. "It offers fuel efficiency, functionality and eye-catching design combined with excellent value."

Size matters

For 'cute and cuddly', read 'strong and sharp' – that's the message behind Spark's head-turning looks. Its edgy styling breaks the usual mold for city car design by making no soft, visual concessions about lack of size. Spark continues Chevrolet's design revolution by bringing exciting looks to products in the value segment.

The crisp lines of the mono-cab body express a wedge-like profile, with the deep glasshouse balanced by prominent side body scallops, sculptured fenders and slim, teardrop headlamp units. The 'active' contours of the bodywork are free from rubbing strips or exterior trim.

At the front, the bold twin-port grille leads up to a hood that's heavily sculpted above the headlamps. Below the grille, the lines of the fog lamp housings and the 'floating' lower air intake extend the sense of forward movement. Muscular rear wheel-arches, well filled with a choice of 13, 14 or 15-inch wheels, give the car a crouched, ready-to-go stance.

Rear door handles, disguised to preserve the clean look of those wheel-aches, an integrated rear tailgate spoiler and signature Chevy tail lights with round elements are other design details that add to Spark's 'must-have' appeal.

Purposeful and poised, the Chevy Spark is a city car with 'attitude', small yet proud of its size.

Inspired cabin

The progressive design of Spark's surprisingly spacious cabin has the flair to match its exterior looks. The use of quality materials and an uplevel execution were key interior design requirements, demonstrating that small cars offering big value need not look utilitarian or spartan inside.

Bright and engaging, the interior features an evolution of Chevrolet's signature 'dual cockpit' design. The textured front fascia moldings flow each side of the cabin into the doors, creating a feeling of space that belies Spark's diminutive size.

Exterior bodywork colors are carried through into the lower fascia and door panels. And the main controls are all highlighted in signature Chevy ice-blue, adding to the cabin's youthful looks.

A unique, motorcycle-inspired main instrument pod, incorporating a large speedometer and digital tachometer display, is another striking design feature.

The audio, heating, ventilation and navigation displays are all neatly presented in an integrated center stack. A small floor console includes twin cup-holders, ample storage cubbyholes and a gearshift molding finished in aluminum to match the spokes of the steering wheel.

Spark packs a generous 2,375 mm wheelbase into its 3,640 mm long body, which helps to deliver a cabin with class-leading passenger leg and hip room, front and rear. The seats are upholstered in a range of bright, contrasting fabrics, with top-of-line variants even including uplevel French seam stitching.

Despite its minimal rear overhang for ease of parking, Spark offers an above average 170-liter trunk volume, easily increased to 994 liters by lowering the 60/40 split-fold rear seat-back. All four door pockets are large enough to provide useful onboard storage for oddments. Spark's versatility can be taken a step further by specifying roof rails, a rare option in the segment.

The extensive equipment roster includes: a height-adjustable driver's seat, tilting steering wheel, electrically-powered front windows, heated front seats, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, electrically-powered and heated door mirrors, a trip computer and 'anti-freeze' windshield wipers.

On the move

Newly-developed, all-aluminum 1.0 and 1.2-liter gasoline engines, generating 66 hp/49 kW and 78 hp/58 kW respectively, are expected to offer combined cycle fuel economy of below 5.0L/100 km, together with CO2 emissions of less than 120 g.

These efficient, Euro 5 compliant, 16-valve motors are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The 1.2-liter engine is expected to deliver zero to 100 km/h acceleration in a brisk 12.4 seconds.

Apart from fewer visits to the filling station, Spark also delivers a level of running refinement and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) typical of a larger car. A three-level noise suppression program focused on effective insulation in the floor, the front bulkhead and inner body panels. The chassis is based on McPherson strut front suspension, with a space-saving torsion beam set-up at the rear. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) will be offered as an option.

Standard safety equipment includes driver, front passenger, side and curtain airbags. The front seatbelts are equipped with pre-tensioners and there are three, three-point belts for rear passengers. Spark is expected to achieve a high EuroNCAP crash test rating.

Brand carrier

In the last three years, annual mini-car sales in Europe have grown from under one million to almost 1.4 million units and Spark, backed by the high value promise of the gold bowtie, is expected to substantially increase Chevrolet's penetration of the segment, particularly in western European markets.

While re-energizing Chevrolet's mini-car offer, Spark is the next step in a new product development program led by the Cruze compact sedan, being launched this spring. Both cars feature a new, more expressive design language for the brand. They will also be joined next year by an all-new compact MPV, based on the Orlando concept car first shown last year.

Chevrolet continues to be Europe's fastest-growing mainstream automotive brand. Despite challenging market conditions in the second half of 2008, Chevrolet increased its annual sales volume by almost 11 percent, selling more than 500,000 cars in Europe for the first time. The launches of Spark, Cruze and Orlando will add momentum to this unfolding success story.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      I want one. Better fuel economy then the smart car, and room for four. And chevys are remarkable quiet. As for the earlier comment on crappy chevy interiors. Toyota interiors are quiet, but boring and blah. And my cobalt is quiet, and very nicely styled. And the interior is still nice 25000 miles in. GM has come a long way. Give em a break.

      also: I want a decked out Spark at your earliest convience please GM.
        • 8 Months Ago
        As I point out, stupid ABG is misleading you by converting the fuel economy on the European cycle to breathlessly proclaim 47 mpg. EPA says the Smart gets 36 combined mpg (33 city/41 highway). But the closest Euro model I can find to the 1.0L 70 hp Smart sold in the USA is rated at 4.7 L/100 km (50 mpg) on the same cycle on which GM is "expecting below 5.0L/100 km". In other words, the Chevy Spark in America is unlikely to have better fuel economy than the Smart fortwo. It'll be a first if GM brings the Spark to the USA with a 1.0 or 1.2L diesel. There are a lot of subcompact diesels in Europe with exceptional fuel economy. The ones with stop-start and mild hybrid even get better mpg on the Euro cycle than the almighty (and vastly bigger) Prius.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I wonder if the Chevrolet Spark will be manufactured in China or the USA??? On the other hand if it is built in the USA then it will be a major step toward a high miles per gallon vehicle. If the price to the consumer is low enough then the VW GTI diesel - with its 58 mpg rating - will not be too much competition for those of us looking for a high mpg vehicle that we can afford. I wonder how it will compare in creature comfort, reliability, consumer price, MPG, and options when compared with the Toyota Prius Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, VW GTI diesel, Honda Civic Hybrid, and Saturn's Hybrid? If it gets 47 mpg on gasoline, I wonder what the mpg will be if GM builds a Chevrolet Spark Hybrid?
      • 8 Months Ago
      ABG, stop using misleading conversions, you damn well know better! This is "below 5.0L/100 km" on the *European cycle*. It won't get 47 EPA mpg in the USA, any more than the 3.9L/100 km Prius gets "60 mpg (U.S.)".
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nothing makes you people happy.
      This is the first thing GM has come up with my whole adult life that makes me say I want one.
      For 30 years, the car magazines have been saying there is nothing wrong with GM that good cars can't fix.
      Can this be the American Honda Fit?
      Keep stuff like this coming and I'll never buy another Nissan.
      Sign me up for the first one off the truck decked out exactly like the show car.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I like it. I think the floating instrument cluster is a better idea than the center dash layout that some global cars use.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love the new chevy spark!!! I can't wait for it to hit the market here in the u.s. I currently have a chevy aveo, wich I love for my little commuter car. I dressed it up a little with wide tires and racing rims. It's sooo cute!! and I love the fuel efficiency. I'm laughing at the pump every time I fill up next to a suburban LOL. MY daughter also bought a aveo and loves it ! I want to purchase the spark for a weekend get away car :) ( Vegas here I come) Does Anyone know when it's scheduled to hit the market here in the u.s.?
      • 8 Months Ago
      The interior looks nice until you look at it for a bit and it's typical cheap GM. The seats will look and feel like crap in a few months after ownership. All that plastic will be squeaking and rattling in short order or as soon as it gets cold. If this company wants to sell cars, it's got to do better than just good mileage and nice colours. The consumer is far too wise these days. There are lots of good mileage vehicles for sale. This GM is the same old, same old.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Wow Ed, you can tell all that from just a photo? That's amazing! Have you sat in this car and touched the interior? I bet not! I have not, so I am holding my judgement until I do. As far as the complaints about the exterior style, what did you want GM to do, make another Aveo? If they did, you would complain about that too.
      • 8 Months Ago
      The 1.2 is what engine they're using, i think its a smart move because the spark is bigger than the smart fortwo so it makes sense to use a slightly bigger engine, with a smarter trans. as we know the smart car has a horrible trans. I hope it kicks the smart cars @ss
      • 8 Months Ago
      I like it, and they could have sold 100's of thousands of them if they'd released them 5-8 years ago, oh well, I guess when you know the government's going to bail you out no matter how incompetent you are you can afford to make all your decisions based on personal bias as opposed to good business sense, kinda like the bank industry. I think GM just hates making cars for people that aren't like them, that is gas guzzling, redneck, carpetbaggers
      • 8 Months Ago
      This car remind me that we enter the mad max !! movie kind of society where terrorists( big-oil, usa goverment, british goverment, autobloggreen owners, usa army, epa, doa, etc) were spreading toxic gas in big and medium towns and citizens were hoping to escape that by driving the farthest distance possible with their cars, so the more fuel efficient were able to run the farthest but some with water powered cars have escaped and now we begin again this same old faschion story predicted by jesus, nostradamus, me and st-pierre.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This car looks as if it has had one or two too many botox injections. Look at those headlamps! Shave about 8 inches off the length and it'll have my support.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I think if they thought about it, they might have been able to come up with an uglier front design. Now that I think about it, I guess not!
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