The Chevrolet Spark is only 144.7 inches long – nearly two feet shorter than the subcompact Sonic. But while the Spark is small in size, designers have made a real effort to make sure that it can still stand out in a crowd.

The Spark took the stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show in four distinct pastels, with oversized headlight assemblies-a-blazing. The Spark may be a bit of a runt, but it certainly boasts some height. It's 61 inches tall, or only six inches shorter than the Equinox crossover. The Spark also features plenty of room for four occupants, with 42 inches of front leg room and a respectable 35 inches for rear seat passengers.

Power comes from The General's diminutive 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine, with 85 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 82 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 RPM, mated to either a standard five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. That's not a lot of go-juice, but luckily the Spark weighs in at only 2,269 pounds when equipped with the manual transmission.

The little hatchback will feature an available MyLink infotainment system with a seven-inch touch screen that features smartphone-based navigation and Bluetooth for hands-free calling. The Spark also comes with standard 15-inch alloy wheels, which should help reduce cabin noise compared to the steel wheels that are standard on many subcompacts.

The Chevy Spark is scheduled to arrive in dealerships mid-2012. Hit the jump to read over the official press release.
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Available Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system includes seven-inch color touch screen
Choice of vibrant exterior and interior colors makes Spark stand out in a crowd
Fuel-efficient, affordable and maneuverable for young city dwellers
Integrated safety system including 10 air bags and OnStar

LOS ANGELES – The 2013 Chevrolet Spark mini car, to be revealed Wednesday, November 16th at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, is the only car in its segment to offer a seven-inch color touch screen radio capable of displaying smart phone-based navigation, media and contacts for hands-free calling.

A sporty four-passenger, five-door hatch updated for United States and Canadian consumers, Spark is designed to excite first-time buyers and city dwellers with its bold styling and colors, affordability, the safety of 10 standard air bags, fuel efficiency and maneuverability.

Though compact, Spark offers more passenger and cargo room than other mini cars such as the Fiat 500, Smartfortwo and the Scion iQ. Equipped with the 1.2L four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission, Spark will offer competitive fuel economy.

Chevrolet's exclusive MyLink infotainment system, which features the personalized connectivity of Pandora and Stitcher internet radio, will be offered on 1LT and 2LT models when Spark goes on sale in the United States and Canada in mid-2012.

In addition to MyLink, Spark is the only car in its segment to provide the added value of a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and the safety and security of OnStar.

"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 original version of the Spark is already on sale in Europe, Asia, Australia, Mexico and South America, where it has received several styling and safety awards.

Designed for those who live large and loud

Just as the Chevrolet Cruze helped strengthen Chevrolet's position in the small car segment with its more-than-expected value, the Spark is designed to challenge preconceived notions of how an affordable mini car can look, feel and drive.

While the Spark looks like a three-door hatch, designers cleverly disguised the rear doors by integrating the handles into the C-pillar area. The technique gives Spark its sporty appearance without sacrificing four-door comfort and utility. An integrated spoiler over the rear hatch door enhances Spark's dynamic appearance while also improving the car's aerodynamics, for fuel efficiency.

Spark's wheels-at-the-corners stance is further emphasized by standard 15-inch alloy wheels. Other exterior styling enhancements include a new grille and front fascia, a longer rear fascia, and modified headlamps and taillamps. Redesigned outside rearview mirrors also improve aerodynamics.

Uplevel features include matching rocker panel moulding, chrome brightwork at the beltline and liftgate handle trim, detail around the poke-through exhaust outlet and around the fog lamps.

Attention-grabbing exterior finishes include Salsa, Jalapeno, Denim, Lemonade and Techno Pink, as well traditional hues such as Grey Area, Black Granite, Silver Ice and Summit White.

Inside, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, included on 1LT and 2LT Spark models, provides a seven-inch color touch screen. With MyLink, Spark buyers can bring their customized music libraries into the vehicle and use their smart phones and Bluetooth connectivity to access both Pandora and Stitcher internet radio and navigation. When the vehicle is stopped, owners can project video and even personal photo albums onto the screen.

SiriusXM Satellite Radio also is available on uplevel Spark models

"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."

Air conditioning and power windows are standard across the Spark lineup. Color-coordinated interiors feature a lower instrument panel – with a motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster – and lower center console for maximum visibility and storage. Decorative inserts in the front door and instrument panel add a premium touch, as does the ice blue ambient lighting and faceplates across the door pockets and dash. Heated leatherette seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel are included on Spark 2LT.

Efficient powertrain saves fuel, money

In the United States and Canada, the Spark will be powered by a 1.2L dual-overhead cam four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing that delivers an estimated 85 horsepower (63 kW). It is mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission for competitive city and highway fuel economy. A four-speed automatic transmission will also be available.

The dual-overhead cam 1. 2 L was developed using best practices from GM Powertrain technical centers.

It combines competitive performance with sophisticated technologies such as dual continuous variable cam phasing, electronically controlled thermostat and low-friction engine oil to give customers an engine that is low- m aintenance, with reduced emissions and outstanding fuel economy.

Ride and handling

Spark's body-frame integral structure is tight and stiff for improved driving dynamics. The electronic power steering, MacPherson strut-type front suspension and anti-lock braking systems are designed to deliver taut, tight handling characteristics that better connect the driver with the road and provide outstanding overall stability. StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard.

Spark is equipped with vented front disc and rear drum brakes with low-compressibility brake pads for optimal stopping performance and good pedal feel. Low-rolling resistance tires use a silica compound and revised tread design for a solid road feel and improved fuel efficiency.

Safety features include 10 air bags

Spark was designed with occupant safety in mind, and has won safety awards in both Europe and Korea.

Its safe design begins with a structure composed of 60 percent high-strength steel.

In addition to crash-avoidance technologies such as StabiliTrak and ABS, Spark is equipped with 10 standard air bags, including both driver and passenger front knee air bags to reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries in frontal crashes. Dual-stage frontal air bags, seat-mounted side air bags and side curtain air bags that extend over the front and rear seating rows are also standard.

Other safety technologies include rollover sensing system; three-point safety belts in all four seating positions; seat belt pretensioners in the front driver and passenger seats; the LATCH child seat attachment system; releasable pedals; adjustable head restraints; and a collapsible steering column.

Spark also is equipped with the OnStar safety and security system, which uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a 20 mile roundtrip ride to work everyday and this type of car is perfect for that. I actually bought a smart Fortwo in May and I find it perfect for my drive. It's not for everyone of course but I don't think that there is a car for everyone. If this car was out at the time I bought the smart I would have totally went for this instead. Oh well, I will trade it in a few years for one of thse or another a segment car.
        • 3 Years Ago
          • 3 Years Ago
          a smart fortwo is a pretty good city commuter i dont see the wrong in that (except the aweful automatic tranny) ... gets around 40mpg combined and its at the mid 10K range .. not everyone wants to drive SUVs and full sizes ...
          • 3 Years Ago
          I bought the Fortwo because I like the way it looks. It also just happens to average me about 44 mpg. I actually traded in an SUV for it that got about 21 mpg. The transmission can be annoying at first but I am primarily highway for 10 miles of my 12 mile one way commute so it is not really shifting around too much. I do have another car if I want to take a long trip but to be honest I have taken the smart from Cleveland to Tennessee and from Cleveland to NYC and NJ a few times and it does great. Also, I drove a lot of cars in the price range of my car (16,000) and I figured that in about 3 months of driving any of those cars I would be bored and it would become boring like any other car I have owned. So far I am not bored with the smart. I am actually excited about getting a body kit and some nice wheels and tires on it in the spring. I have not cared about that stuff since I was 17 years old. Driving it makes me feel like a kid again. Hopefully one day you will find a car that makes you feel that way too!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess they are trying to in a way copy the Ford Fiesta with those paint choices.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Where's the Beat?
      Chris Mousseau
      • 3 Years Ago
      The back seat in the Spark is small, but its designed for an affordable commuter, so you cannot expect a Cadillac at this price point. Great for those starting out. Remember you have to build a vehicle for a subset not everyone.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks good.
      • 3 Years Ago
      What was yhe 3rd choice gm offered in the voting for these caes. I remembered it had an off road kind of look to it.
      emperor koku
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why does a car almost the size of a Fiat 500 need 4 doors? Ridiculous.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @emperor koku
        It's the same segment as the 500. And many A segmen cars have 5 doors as well as three.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @emperor koku
        So that four people can get in and out of the car maybe?
      • 3 Years Ago
      looks really gay, plus its a GM so itll last the price you paid for it. 15k = 15k miles
      • 3 Years Ago
      a face only a mother could love
      • 3 Years Ago
      This looks like a "Chinese knock off". Anything over 10k base model is laughable.
      • 3 Years Ago
      85hp is not a good match to 15" wheels.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ok, so where is the Ford Ka and Volkswagen Polo that automakers insist Americans don't want? *Hint* a lot of us do want a decent subcompact car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think Ford will keep a very close eye on the success of the Spark. It's already shown off the Ka at a number of enthusiast meets in the States.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Polo isn't the same size as Spark, the Sonic IS.
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