General Motors is taking a big gamble in a little way with its 2013 Chevrolet Spark. The Detroit automaker is betting that high fuel prices and an increased awareness of one's ecological footprint will mean more consumers are willing to entertain a new car with an even smaller err... footprint. The Spark will join other minicars like the Fiat 500, Scion iQ and Smart ForTwo, none of which have met with significant sales volume. On the other hand, its big brother, the Sonic has performed well in the early going. In addition, the Spark offers more physical volume than its peers – as well as a set of rear doors – so practicality appears to be solidly in favor of Camp Chevy.
The five-door Spark will test America's appetites for small car life with a starting price of just $12,995 (*including delivery) when it arrives in Chevrolet showrooms later this year. Available in a trio of trims, the lineup will start with the well-equipped LS model that includes a whopping 10 airbags, air conditioning, power windows, OnStar and 15-inch alloys.
Stepping up to the 1LT trim will cost $14,495, but it adds an audio system with seven-inch color touchscreen, USB connectivity and satellite radio. Additional features include keyless entry, power mirrors, cruise control, Bluetooth ("for select phones") and mundane items like visor mirrors and floor mats. The range-topping 2LT ($15,795) will be distinguished by a unique set of 15-inch wheels, sportier body-color fascias, fog lamps and additional exterior brightwork. Inside, heated, leatherette-covered seats and a leather-wrapped wheel spruce up the cabin.
Regardless of which trim spec is selected, buyers will find a 1.2-liter Ecotec four-cylinder underhood, and a five-speed manual is standard equipment, though a four-speed automatic can be substituted for $925.
GM announced back in October that it will also bring a Spark EV to "select markets" in the U.S. sometime in 2013, though it has yet to announce pricing or an on-sale date for the pure electric runabout.
- Standard 1.2L Ecotec engine and five-speed manual transmission
- Standard convenience features including air conditioning, power windows, rear window wiper, auxiliary input jack, outside temperature display and trip computer
- 15-inch alloy wheels
- 60/40 split flip-and-fold rear seat
- Comprehensive safety package including 10 air bags, electronic stability control with traction control and brake assist
- OnStar Directions & Connections plan standard with six-month introductory subscription
Spark 1LT starting at $14,495 includes LS standard content and adds:
- Standard 7-inch color touch radio with Chevrolet MyLink, Bluetooth connectivity for select phones, steering wheel audio controls, USB port and Sirius XM Radio with three-month trial subscription
- Other standard convenience features include power door locks with remote keyless entry, theft deterent system, outside power mirrors, floor mats, visor mirrors, and cruise control
Spark 2LT starting at $15,795 includes all 1LT standard content and adds:
- Unique 15-inch alloy wheels
- Fog lamps
- Exterior appearance enhancements including silver painted roof rails; chrome lift gate handle, exhaust outlet and beltline molding; body-color lower rocker molding; front and rear body-color sport fascias with unique front upper and lower grille inserts
- On the interior, leatherette seats and heated front seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel
A 4-speed automatic transmission is available on all models for $925. The only other available options include an engine block heater for $75 and Black Granite paint for $195.
Chevrolet MyLink in the Spark will include Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio apps. Later in the model year, the recently introduced GogoLink – an embedded smartphone application that delivers full-function navigation including live traffic updates – will be available. Pricing for GogoLink will be announced later.
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.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.