Chevrolet has enjoyed immense success with the dainty Spark. Global sales have surpassed the million-mark since it went on sale in 2010. But things have changed in this segment – and keeping with the times, Chevrolet promises more refinement and technology in the newest iteration of its successful sub-compact.
It seems the Spark is all grown up. On the outside, the aim was to create a sleeker, more serious persona. And it certainly looks more sophisticated than the dinky model it’s set to replace. “It retains a youthful flair, but reflects the maturation of the global minicar market and customers’ desires for richly styled and highly contented choices,” said Michael Simcoe, GM International Vice President of Design.
He also said, of the Spark’s driving position, “You have a greater feeling of sitting in the seats rather than on them.” Inside, there’s a new instrument panel with a prominent centre stack housing the infotainment and climate control systems. And the trim pieces that surround items like the air outlets match the car’s exterior colour. It’s also got the MyLink touch screen interface, which you can have on the current Sonic and Trailblazer in SA.
There’s a new engine doing duty too. Under the hood sits a 1.4-litre mill, producing 73kW – a full 16% more than the outgoing car. Of course, it’s geared towards efficiency rather than setting your socks on fire. But Chevrolet is adamant that it will be peppy enough in most conditions. They’ve also focussed on reducing noise, vibration and harshness. To that end, low-friction piston rings are employed – and the block and head are aluminium, to reduce weight.
But things are most interesting on the safety front. Because it’s got features you’d expect on more premium offerings. Items like forward collision alert, lane departure warning and blind spot alert will be offered. There will be ten airbags, a rollover sensing system and a reverse camera too. Exact specifications and arrival dates are yet to be confirmed for South Africa, however. But the new Spark looks pretty promising, doesn’t it?