The Chevy Spark was leaked on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, but it was MIA during the next day's GM press conference "car parade." In its stead, we saw the Beat concept once again as GM announced that the Spark would indeed go into production next year. The mystery of why the actual Spark didn't appear in Motown was solved by our friends at Kicking Tires, and today GM has fully revealed the car ahead of its debut next month in Geneva.
As you can see, the production Spark retains most of its Beat cues, right down to that tree-frog-green color, but adds a second set of passenger doors. In a bid to try and keep the original's 3-door look, the rear handles are hidden up in the window blackout trim. This is better executed here than it is, say, on the Jeep Compass, but it's still obviously a 5-door. Inside, you'll find a simplified take on the Chevy brand's current cockpit design, dressed up with body-colored door trim panels and seats that feature contrast stitching and a color-accented fabric pattern. The Instrument cluster is mounted directly to the steering column. GM calls it motorcycle-inspired, but more importantly, it would appear to let the General easily reconfigure the setup for right-hand drive markets.
The Spark will launch in Europe early next year with 1.0L and 1.2L DOHC gas engines, and though nothing's been said, we'd imagine that a diesel will have to make it into the mix soon thereafter. Sales in other markets will follow, including the U.S. in 2011, as previously announced in Detroit. We'll have in-person feedback on the Spark for you next month from Geneva. In the meantime, follow the jump for a design overview video and GM's complete press release.
Chevrolet Spark: World Premiere at Geneva Auto Show
Fun and fashion add sizzle to mini-car segment
Youthful interior with motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster
Fuel-efficient 1.0-liter and 1.2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC engines
All-new mini-car with maximum attitude
The all-new Chevrolet Spark, making its world premiere at the Geneva auto show in March, 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 Chevrolet gold bowtie, big on refinement and value.
Its design breaks the mold for mini-cars and takes Chevrolet's signature styling elements to this vehicle segment in a youthful, fun and fashion-conscious way.
Spark was inspired by the Chevrolet Beat concept, the most popular of a trio of mini-car concepts that has toured international auto shows since 2007. A clear majority among 1.9 million internet voters said it was the car they wanted produced.
The crisp lines of the five-door hatchback provide a wedge-like profile. Below Chevrolet's hallmark two-tier grille and headlamps that resemble diamond cut lines, the shape of the fog lamp housings and the "floating" lower air intake extend the sense of forward movement. Strong wheel arches accommodate up to 15-inch wheels to give the car a dynamic, ready-to-go stance.
The rear door handles are integrated into the upper part of the door to preserve the clean lines of rear quarter panel and wheel arches. In the rear, an integrated tailgate spoiler and Chevrolet's round tail lights add to Spark's appeal.
With an overall length of 3,640 mm and a generous 2,375 mm wheelbase, Spark offers a spacious cabin with outstanding leg and hip room in the front and rear.
The design of Spark's spacious cabin clearly matches its fun and fashion exterior look and functionality. A unique feature is the motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster. Mounted on the steering column, it provides easy- to- read information to the driver utilizing a combination of analog and digital displays.
With fresh colors and fabrics, exterior color schemes continue inside to Chevrolet's signature 'dual cockpit' layout and the door panels. Textured inserts flow from the instrument panel to each side of the cabin into the doors, adding another eye-catching element to the interior.
Spark also boasts a high level of interior acoustic refinements typical of larger vehicles.
Engines and safety
Sales will start in Europe featuring 1.0 and 1.2-liter 16-valve four-cylinder double overhead camshaft gasoline engines, delivering excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions.
Depending on global markets, safety equipment includes driver and passenger front air bags, front side airbags, roof rail head curtain airbags, antilock brakes and electronic stability control. Other safety features include pre-tensioners for front seat belts and three-point belts in the rear. Spark has been developed and is expected to achieve high crash test ratings.
Europe leads start of sales
Spark will be available in European dealerships early 2010, followed by other global regions. Spark is the newest in a series of all-new, globally developed Chevrolet vehicles that are defined by expressive design, refinement and value.