U.S. Getting Updated Chevrolet Spark
Spark will also bring North America a new engine.
September 14, 2011
By: Nick Saporito
Rendering designed by GMI member Nick Wilcox, see his blog here.
Way back in January 2009 General Motors confirmed that the Chevrolet Spark mini-car would ultimately be sold in North America. After an extended period of time outside of the media’s limelight, recent spy shots have confirmed that the Spark will receive a mild update prior to arriving on North American shores.
Earlier this year GMI confirmed that the Spark, despite its absence from corporate communications at GM, was still slated to arrive in 2012 as a 2013 model. According to the newest information from GMI’s product development sources, that timing is still accurate.
The Spark will arrive in mid-2012 sporting a new front fascia and other small design tweaks. Last month spy shots of the North American Spark confirmed the new look, which GMI’s rendering is based on.
Sources familiar with the development of the Spark state that the design changes are not for aesthetics only. The current Spark, sold in global markets, does not meet stringent U.S. safety standards. The new front end alleviates that problem.
As seen from the above, the North American car will sport a larger grille and revised lower air intake. The large shield shaped grille comes as no surprise considering a similar design trait is on the recently launched Chevrolet Sonic. North American models will also drop the side repeater lamps.
In global markets the Spark is powered by a 1.0-liter and optional 1.2-liter four-cylinder engines. Today neither engine is offered in North America, however that will be changing once the Spark arrives on North American shores.
According to GMI sources the North American Spark will sport the 1.2-liter four-cylinder, mated to the choice of a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
In global markets the 1.2-liter engine churns out about 80 horsepower and 80 foot-pounds of torque. Converting the European fuel economy, the Spark 1.2-liter achieves about 46 miles per-gallon in mixed driving.
It is unclear if the 1.2-liter will receive any updates prior to the North American launch.
In all markets the Spark is based on a shrunken variant of GM’s global Gamma architecture. The North American Spark will likely be imported from GM Korea’s Changwon, South Korea assembly plant.