The 2010 Chevy Spark is still said to be an "on-and-off thing" when it comes to the U.S., although now we are in an "on" phase. That's according to GM's Jack Keaton, the man in South Korea overseeing GM's minicar development. The miniature runabout is expected to make do with a 66-hp, 1.0-liter four-cylinder or a 78-hp, 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine that will be good for 47 mpg. Keaton's team is also investigating peripheral connectivity and, as if that weren't enough, he says, "We can even package the Spark for Big Gulp cupholders."

The issue is getting it here and on sale at the right moment. While this is an "on" phase, there are still regulatory issues and the matter of whether U.S. buyers are ready to make a minicar profitable. It will take something compelling to get Americans back into the frugal mindedness of last year, and gas isn't nearly expensive enough for that yet. The Spark's appearance in Chevy's American lineup does look to be an eventuality, though, when Keaton says "We have to start thinking now about how to meet the standards... and people will be looking for minicars and small cars to lead the way."

Nevertheless, while the Spark looks to be coming to America, it probably won't be built in America -- at least not until GM sees that the market here will be large enough to support it. We're all right with that for now; just get it here and make sure it doesn't do anything to remind us of Skid from Transformers.

[Source: Ward's Auto]