2013 Chevrolet Spark at 2011 L.A. Auto Show

2013spark

  • Competes with: Scion iQ, Fiat 500, Smart ForTwo
  • Looks like: More proportionally challenged than an Angry Bird
  • Drivetrain: 85-hp, 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine; five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Mid-2012

The microcar segment may be well-established overseas, but in the U.S. we're just starting to see automakers put serious efforts into the field, like Scion's iQ and Smart's ForTwo. Chevy's new Spark looks to join the group with a more traditional four-door hatchback layout.

More 2011 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

Power will be beyond modest at 85 horsepower with a five-speed manual transmission standard and a four-speed automatic optional. Mileage figures haven't been announced, but we don't expect them to be higher than the segment's other vehicles, which are generally behind the subcompacts from their respective manufacturers in terms of mileage.

Standard 15-inch alloy wheels should help with the handling and stability much like we experienced on the larger Chevy Sonic. However, the car is equipped with low-rolling-resistance tires, which don't offer as much grip as standard tires.

While the driving experience may sound less than ideal — as it is in the competition — Chevy does note that there are 10 standard airbags, including knee airbags and seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and the front passenger passenger as well as side curtain airbags for both rows of seats.

Cargo area is an impressive 11.4 cubic feet with the rear seats in place. That's much more than the ForTwo and iQ at 7.8 and 3.5 cubic feet, respectively.

But that's just the practical stuff. The Spark, it seems, is all about fun, at least according to Chevy. That's why it's offered in some wild paint colors with wild names like Salsa, Jalapeno, Denim, Lemonade and Techno Pink. There are also four more basic shades of silver, grey, black and white. And inside, some panels match the wild exterior colors.

Air conditioning and power windows are standard on all Spark models. 1LT and 2LT models come with a new multimedia system called MyLink with a 7-inch touch-screen. It is compatible with many smartphones and allows Pandora and Stitcher internet radio and navigation integration via Bluetooth.

The two most important facts about the Spark haven't been revealed yet: price and fuel economy. The Spark could be the hottest little car on the planet, but without competitive numbers in those two categories, it's hard to call the car a success, with or without a test drive.

Clicking on any image below will launch a larger photo gallery; you can browse through them by hitting the right and left arrow keys.

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

Comments 

Amuro Ray

Someone really needs to say something about paint colors naming. When an insurance agent asked me 'bou the name of the color (which I read it from the manufacturer's site), the agent has NO IDEA what I'm talking about.

Even take a look at cars.com website. This will definitely give headaches to the website developer!

What happens to the good old "blue," red," green," "yellow," etc.?

P.S. With this engine spec, I actually expect the mileage to be MUCH better than, say, a Sonic or Cruze, fwy or city-wise, esp on city. It's 1200cc 85-hp engine, and there's no way it needs to grup down fuel like a 1600cc 140 hp engine!

sheth

city mileage will be good, hwy will likely be close to Cruze and Sonic. Thats always the case with this tiny cars. There is minimal interest in cars this small in the US. Not even sure why they are brining this here.

AladdinSane

Amuro Ray: Please realize that some peeps live "outside the box." Apparently you don't, but don't knock what colors may be called. I'm sure some out there are as tired of the standard "blue," red," green," "yellow," etc, as you are of new paint color palette names. Upon speaking with an insurance agent just refer to the color's title and explain what the color is. She or he will get it (hopefully).
Peace!<-AladdinSane-

AladdinSane

Sheth: Chevy brings this vehicle to the U.S. because there IS an interest in this sort of machine...especially as an urban runabout where even a Sonic or Cruze may be too oversized for some potential buyers. Just because you don't get it doesn't mean there isn't a market out there for the Spark. The Smart was a good idea gone unimproved. Had it better gas mileage and a superior transmission it would have been a bullseye, saleswise. Hopefully the Spark will address the Smart's issues and be a superior product for those wanting to drive this type of machine.
Peace!<-AladdinSane-

Rockaby

Can anyone explain to me the idea behind a digital RPM gauge?

Rockaby,
They're usually just one option for the screen like in myFord Touch systems. Some folks would replace it with trip info, radio info etc. Whatever else the system allows to be there.

sheth

alladin:

Sales of the few micro cars we've seen so far indicate there isnt much of a market for these cars. This should be better than the Smartcar, but that doesnt mean Chevy will sell many. The reality is many folks who live in tight urban areas dont even NEED a car. Plus car sharing services have fulfilled the needs of those in urban areas that only need a car occassionally. I dont see this coming close to Sonic sales for Chevy.

Amuro Ray

@ Dave T. and Rockaby,

Can anyone explain to me why there is a RPM gauge at all? (for a 85 hp car)

@Aladinsane,

Apparently, your own vocabularies don't include these 2 words "too much!"

Think outside the box for things that create benefit to "something" - that's good.

Think outside the box for colors? At least Crayons making that easy. Using denim as an example, it's actually, in a sense, a type of fabric, and it can be black, blue, brown, etc., because it's a type of fabric. Lemonade can be pink, clear or yellow, and just because there's Techno Pink doesn't mean that there can't be another shade of paint.

Can you imagine the problem that this has with body shop, insurance companies, authorities (when reporting stolen car - but then again, why steal a Sonic)?

KISS!

Ziggy

Bring on the Kia Picanto!

JM

four speed auto? not even going to consider it. this is going to be a 2013 model, not a 2003.

Paul

Ugly,its just a shrunken Aveo/Sonic...we've seen enough of this for the past half dozen years.GM wants a world full of these horrid looking things travelling the roadways? Never thought I'd say this,but the original VW Rabbit looks like a Mercedes compared to this.

J

Amuro,

So that you know you are going around 4K RPM when going 70MPH and needs to gun it to well over 5K to pass anyone.

Parrots

It's actually a Daewoo. Just saying.

Amuro Ray

@ J,

4K rpm on a 1200cc? You sure? By the time it hits redline @ 4.5K rpm, the engine's probably blown...oh, wait, there's no red line, it's "blue" color lcd...

Kidding aside, I'm actually not too much of a kidding @ the 4.5K rpm there. Take a look @ the picture and see how 5, 6 and (maxed out @) 7 (*1000) RPM are being squished together, versus spacing b/n 1-4 (*1000) RPM. I would suspect that redline starts @ 5K RPM, hitting max somewhere around 6.5K RPM, with 7K RPM just to show (and unreachable). Max power, for India's Beat, is @ 6.2K RPM, so if anyone wants to race this little thing, u r looking for blown engine very soon...

They are bringing this car over because they plan to have and all electric version the following year. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with a cheap car that gets OK mileage... The technology on the first gen spark is a mix of old and new, and it will make a good cheep car. 10 air bags and good crash test ratings will probably have some pull with parents of tanagers.

It is comical how people think there is no market for small cars in the US. The JUKE had 30,000 units sold before it even hit the showroom floor in the US. Americans are slowly moving to smaller cars, and if we see 5 dollar gas again you can bet a lot more will be sold.

sheth

There are four speeds in the corolla, rav4 and some scion models. Don't complain about this car having one. This will be cheaper than other vehicles that still have a four speed. The corolla gets respectaable mileage with an old tranny because its so light. Same applies here.

Paola

Wow. Roof rails!

cody

like sheth pointed out, there are plenty of 4-sp autos still in use across the industry...many of them from toyota.

a cvt would probably be a better choice here, but we should wait to see how this auto performs before complaining about it.

Hugo90

It will be under $10k so it will sell. I'm seeing those $10k Nissan Versas everywhere now. For that kind of money there are a lot of people who would buy a new car instead of used.

Tags

This is a nice model . Are u guys not thinking of a car that run on water or air . I got an idea or two about this.

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