GM is optimistic about the Spark a.k.a Chevrolet’s lowest-priced car in the U.S.

Article by Anita Panait, on March 20, 2012

GM is optimistic that its Chevrolet Spark could compete in the United States despite lacking a specific target market for the Korea-made minicar. Cristi Landy, Spark marketing director, admitted that they haven’t set a specific target for the Spark, adding that since the minicar concept is new to the US, they are venturing into an environment with plenty of unknowns. 

Spark minicar is marketed to people who are living and driving around a congested environment like a city. The Spark is just 144.7 inches long; 14.3 inches shorter than Chevrolet Sonic hatchback and just 5.1 inches longer than the Fiat 500.

With its small dimensions, the Spark is an effective way to move around a congested area, making it a viable product in cities where roads are filled with moving objects and there are limited parking spaces. Chevrolet is currently marketing the Spark in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and Mexico.

It could be a different story in the US, where one could quickly more from one place to another through wide roads and the interstate, according to Bob Casparian, Spark product manager.

Chevrolet, however, is marketing the car at consumers living in large cities where a minicar can make the difference in finding a parking space. The US version of the Spark will be assembled by GM Korea and will have the lowest price tag among Chevrolet products, beating the Sonic five-speed manual variant, which can be bought at $14,660.

The Chevrolet Spark for the US will be powered by GM’s new 85.2-hp, 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine; which is more powerful than the 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that runs the other versions. Casparian said the US Spark’s powertrain provides the best balance of power and fuel economy for North American road system, although the company has yet to disclose the figures for the minicar. Chevrolet will start selling the Spark in the US in July 2012, making it go up against the Fiat 500, Scion iQ and Smart ForTwo.

The new Chevrolet Spark was designed to challenge the pre-conceived ideas of how one affordable mini car should look, drive, and feel.

While the Spark looks like a 3-door hatch, its rear doors are cleverly disguised with their handles being integrated into the C-pillar area. This technique employed by is designers gives the Spark its sporty look without sacrificing its 4-door comfort and utility. The car also has a spoiler integrated over its rear hatch door that enhances its dynamic appearance as well as improves its aerodynamics, resulting to fuel efficiency.

The Spark's wheels-at-the-corners stance is emphasized by its standard 15” alloy wheels. Additional exterior styling enhancements also include a new front fascia, longer rear fascia, new grille, and modified taillamps and headlamps. Its redesigned outside rearview mirrors likewise improve its aerodynamics.

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

You can choose from several eye-catching exterior finishes, including Denim, Jalapeno, Salsa, Lemonade, Techno Pink, and traditional hues like Grey Area, Silver Ice, Summit White, and Black Granite.

In terms of its interior, the Spark features the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, which sports a 7” color touch-screen display. With MyLink, you can bring your customized music libraries into your vehicle and use your smart phone and your Bluetooth connectivity to access Pandora or Stitcher navigation and internet radio.

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