The 2013 Chevrolet Spark mini car, Chevrolet's first mini car for the U.S. and Canadian markets, is a sporty four-passenger, five-door hatch. It is designed to excite first-time buyers and city dwellers with its bold styling and colors, affordability, the safety of 10 standard air bags, fuel efficiency and maneuverability.
Spark also is the only car in its segment to provide a seven-inch color touch screen radio capable of displaying smartphone-based music, videos, photos and contacts for hands-free calling. Later, an app for full-function GPS navigation will be available.
Though compact, Spark offers more passenger and cargo room than other mini cars such as the Fiat 500, Smartfortwo and the Scion iQ. Equipped with the Ecotec 1.2L four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission, Spark offers competitive fuel economy.
In the U.S. and Canada, Spark is offered in LS, 1LT and 2LT models.
Chevrolet's exclusive MyLink infotainment system, which features the personalized connectivity of Pandora and Stitcher internet radio, is standard on 1LT and 2LT Spark models. In addition to MyLink, Spark is the only car in its segment to provide the added value of a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and the safety and security of OnStar.
The original version of the Spark is already on sale in Europe, Asia, Australia, Mexico and South America, where it has received several styling and safety awards.
Designed for those who live out loud
Just as the Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Sonic helped strengthen Chevrolet's position in the small-car segment with their more-than-expected value, the Spark is designed to challenge preconceived notions of how an affordable mini car can look, feel and drive.
While the Spark looks like a three-door hatch, designers cleverly disguised the rear doors by integrating the handles into the C-pillar area. The technique gives Spark its sporty appearance without sacrificing five-door comfort and utility. An integrated spoiler over the rear hatch door enhances Spark's dynamic appearance while also improving the car's aerodynamics, for fuel efficiency.
Spark's wheels-at-the-corners stance is further emphasized by standard 15-inch alloy wheels. Other exterior styling enhancements to the original model include a new grille and front fascia, a longer rear fascia, and modified headlamps and taillamps. Redesigned outside rearview mirrors also improve aerodynamics.
Uplevel features include matching rocker panel moldings, chrome brightwork at the beltline and liftgate handle trim, detail around the poke-through exhaust outlet and around the fog lamps.
Attention-grabbing exterior finishes include Salsa, Jalapeno, Denim, Lemonade (late availability) and Techno Pink, as well traditional hues such as Black Granite, Silver Ice and Summit White.
Air conditioning and power windows are standard across the Spark lineup. Color-coordinated interiors feature an instrument panel with a motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster and lower center console for maximum visibility and storage.
Decorative inserts in the front door and instrument panel add a premium touch, as does the ice blue ambient lighting and faceplates across the door pockets and dash. Heated leatherette seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel are included on Spark 2LT.
Spark adds Chevrolet MyLink
For Spark, Chevrolet MyLink consists of an AM/FM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three trial months of service) stereo with seek-and-scan, digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones, six speakers and voice recognition for connected phones with this capability.
It operates by integrating the owner's compatible smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. This lets owners enjoy simple, safe and personalized connectivity while their smartphone is safely stowed.
MyLink is simple to use: The owner selects from options projected onto the touch screen: Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each menu selection takes the user though a list of easy-to-select functions.
MyLink-equipped Spark models will launch with two apps: Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio. When owners with these services connect their compatible smartphones, they can access these and other functions:
Personal playlists of stored music
Hands-free calling with Bluetooth-enabled voice activation from the customer's smartphone when the steering wheel button is depressed. (Visit gm.com/Bluetooth for a list of compatible smartphones)
Ability to project video via USB while the vehicle is parked
Ability to project a photo album in "slideshow" mode via USB while the vehicle is parked, with the last music selection playing in the background. Once the vehicle is moving, a single photo is viewable.
Later, a smartphone application that delivers full-function navigation, as well as live traffic updates, will be available for MyLink.
The navigation app includes:
- Emergency information such as police, fire and the nearest hospital
- Thousands of points of interest
- Local Search via Google
- Where am I ? locator
- Live traffic functionality provides crash reports and lane closures, and with alternative routes
- Three-dimensional maps
- Ability to store native maps to the customer's smartphone, giving them access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when phone signal quality is poor. Many GPS-enabled apps do not do this.
- Efficient powertrain saves fuel, money
In the United States and Canada, the Spark is powered by a Ecotec 1.2L dual-overhead cam four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing that delivers 83 horsepower (64 kW). It is mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission for competitive city and highway fuel economy. A four-speed automatic transmission will also be available.
The engine was developed using best practices from GM Powertrain technical centers.
It combines competitive performance with sophisticated technologies such as dual continuous variable cam phasing and an electronically controlled thermostat to give customers a low-maintenance engine with reduced emissions.
Spark ride and handling
Spark's body-frame-integral structure is tight and stiff for sportier driving dynamics. The electric power steering and MacPherson strut front suspension are designed to deliver taut, tight handling characteristics that better connect the driver with the road and provide outstanding overall stability. Anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and Hill Start Assist are standard.
Hill Start Assist helps prevent drivers from rolling when restarting from a stopped position on a hill. It allows drivers to take their foot off the brake long enough to use the accelerator and move forward.
Spark is equipped with vented front disc and rear drum brakes for excellent stopping performance and good pedal feel. Low rolling-resistance tires use a silica compound and revised tread design for a solid road feel and improved fuel efficiency.
Spark safety, security and crash-avoidance features
Designed with occupant safety in mind, Spark has won safety awards in both Europe and Korea. Its safe design begins with a structure composed of 60-percent high-strength steel.
In addition to crash-avoidance technologies such as StabiliTrak and ABS, Spark is equipped with 10 standard air bags, including both driver and passenger front knee air bags to reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries in frontal crashes. Dual-stage frontal air bags, seat-mounted side air bags and side curtain air bags that extend over the front and rear seating rows are also standard.
Other safety technologies include:
- Rollover sensing system
- Three-point safety belts in all four seating positions
- Seat belt pretensioners in the front driver and passenger seats
- LATCH child seat attachment system
- Adjustable head restraints
- Collapsible steering column
- Remote keyless entry on LT
- OnStar safety and security system.