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  • William Maley
    William Maley
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    LA 2011: Chevrolet Spark


    Chevrolet is showing off the production version of the new Spark at this week’s LA Auto Show. The Spark will be competiting with the likes of the Scion iQ, Smart ForTwo, and Fiat 500

    Power comes from a 1.2L dual overhead cam four-cylinder engine equipped with variable valve timing producing 85 HP. Transmissions include a five-speed manual and four-speed automatic.

    Underneath, the Spark features a MacPherson strut front suspension, standard ABS and stability control, electric power steering, 15-inch alloy wheels, and vented front/rear drum brakes.

    All Sparks will include 10 airbags including front knee airbags, side seat airbags, and side curtain airbags. 1LT and 2LT models will feature a standard MyLink infotainment that uses a seven-inch color screen and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity to essentially connect smartphones to the audio and video system, a first for the class.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    2013 Chevrolet Spark Mini Car is the Key to the City

    Nimble, affordable, five-door hatch lets urban drivers live larger in tight spaces

    · 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 1.2L 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-maintenance, 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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    I'm just a bit amazed and I'm not laughing as loud as I was over this. The improvements really do make a difference, and the colour palette is very strong, interesting and worthwhile. I only wish GM would move some of that colour vibrancy UP the food chain from here. Seriously, pink? Yellow metallic? Denim blue? Those are cool and appropriate choices.

    The bright metal bumper trim is something we saw in the Trailblazer concept... I'll bet it comes to more Chevys in the future.

    I'll bet my mom would love this. It would get her out of her Cube. I'll take my crow baked with garlic and basil.

    Edited by ocnblu
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    The changes make a world of difference. Now it almost looks like a chic city car, instead of low-rent wheels for the developing world.

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    This car made me literally LMAO yesterday - in Forza 4.

    Souped one up with a Cobalt SS engine that I put every possible performance mod on for 600+hp, and changed it to RWD. That put it in S class.

    Then, raced it at Le Mans against other, real S-class cars like the Lamborghini Reventon. I had to use the rewind feature a lot, because it likes to spin in the corners due to having the weight and wheelbase of a go-kart - but I was able to win.

    Face on a real Reventon owner if he ever got beat by a Spark: :explode:

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    I told you guys before, that the thing does not look as horrid as in the pictures. In fact the little changes give the car a distinct characteristics. GM photogs need to be sent to Himalayas for Nirvana.

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