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A Small Step For Chevy, A Spark For Mankind!

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On: Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 2:13PM | By: Chris Salamone

A Small Step For Chevy, A Spark For Mankind!

With the upcoming Chevrolet Sonic, all eyes turned away from Chevy… assuming the automaker could go no smaller. Look again! For 2012, Chevrolet just announced that an even smaller production vehicle should hit the US market following the Sonic. General Motors executive director of North American product communications, Jason Laird, recently confirmed their latest minicar, aka the Chevrolet Spark, should arrive during the first half of 2012 as a 2013 model.

Those of us with long memories may recall that GM announced the Spark back in early 2009. Of course, that announcement came just before widespread bankruptcy and government-bailout refinancing—delaying the Chevy Spark, until now.

Interestingly, another unfortunate casualty of the worldwide financial climate of 2009 was the Chevrolet Orlando compact minivan. If you thought ‘mini’ vans were already small, the Orlando would have been a shocking addition to the Chevy lineup. Alas, while the Spark seems to have survived financial ruin, the Orlando was completely dropped from Chevy’s United States product plan.

By all accounts, the Spark will be the smallest car Chevy’s ever sold. While the Spark may seem like an incredibly contemporary or novel idea for an American manufacturer, the Spark traces it heritage back to 2007 when a series of minicar concepts hit the GM car show circuit.

Chevy’s upcoming Spark comes standard with five doors, labeled as a hatchback. In Asia, where the Spark is already sold, the vehicle comes with a variety of engines. Spark base models are expected to derive power from a 1.0L four-cylinder engine.

Aesthetically, the Spark looks very similar to the upcoming Sonic. But, even so, onlookers should be able to distinguish the two, solely based on the Spark’s dimensions and interior styling. The Spark’s exterior is significantly smaller than the Sonic and preproduction pictures indicate that the vehicle will offer forward-facing roof rails. From the interior, the Spark features a motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster—perhaps in an attempt to channel the success of the Vespa Ape utilitarian micro car.

The Spark is most significant for Chevy because it fills a former gap in GM’s market share. While few American automakers offer minicars, it is fast becoming impossible to deny the potential market of super-small, gas-sipping vehicles. With urban and population expansion, combined with rising oil prices, bigger isn’t necessarily better anymore.

Check out a European review which features funky elevator tunes:

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dwalter | 4:14PM (Fri, Aug 5, 2011)

I wonder if they'll still make the Aveo along with the Sonic and Spark


DipStick | 2:10PM (Wed, Aug 10, 2011)

I think the Aveo is going away....

  • DipStick

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