Chevrolet shows some Spark

Chevrolet shows pictures and releases some details for its new Spark model prior to its Geneva launch.

Chevrolet Spark
The Spark makes its official launch at the Geneva auto show. GM

At the Detroit auto show, GM gave production details for its new small car, which will come out under the Chevrolet badge with Spark as the model name. This new car is based on the Beat concept shown last year, and gets its official launch at the upcoming Geneva auto show. The Spark satisfies the need for a small city car in Chevrolet's lineup. The brand's current small car is the Aveo, but that model is licensed from Daewoo. The Spark is home-grown. As a city car, the Spark has minimal room for cargo unless there are no rear seat passengers. GM did interesting things with the styling, for example, hiding the rear door handle in the C-pillar.

Engine choices for Europe will be 1-liter and a 1.2-liter four-cylinder engines. Surprising for such a small car, it can be had with front, side, and side curtain airbags, along with anti-lock brakes and stability control.

Chevrolet Spark interior
The instrument cluster is inspired by motorcycles. GM

GM refers to the instrument cluster as motorcycle-inspired. The fact that the instruments are on a free-floating module that isn't integrated into the dashboard means GM can easily switch the car from left to right-hand drive. From the interior photo released by GM, it looks like the instrument module has a full trip computer, another feature that's not often found in low-end cars like this.

The car will be available in early 2010, but only in Europe. GM does plan to launch this car in the U.S., but not until 2011. Expect a larger engine in the U.S. model.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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