The all-electric Spark from Chevrolet is all set to hit the North American markets by 2013. The EV will differ from the overseas models, in having different front-end styling, partly for compliance with federal crash regulations. With the 2013 Chevrolet Spark, Chevy is taking direct aim at competitors such as the Fiat 500, Smart Fortwo, and Scion iQ with a five-door hatch capable of seating four passengers and featuring a fuel-efficient 1.2L four-cylinder engine.
At 144.7 inches in length and 62.9 inches in width, the Spark is longer but marginally narrower than the iQ and 500. The 2013 Spark has been mildly restyled for the market, with several design cues recalling the larger Chevrolet Sonic hatchback.
Giant headlights and a massive black grille, bisected by a Chevrolet bow tie, dominate the front end. The rear brags large circular brake lights and a small roof spoiler. Though the hatchback has four doors, the door handles for the rears are “hidden” in the C-pillar to give the Spark a sportier, two-door appearance. The overall appearance is fresh and unique.
Ten airbags, air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, and power windows are standard on all models. The Spark 1LT and 2LT trims receive Chevrolet’s MyLink touch-screen infotainment system, while 2LT trims have heated leatherette seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The Spark’s only engine choice is a 1.2-liter inline-four with dual variable valve timing. It produces 85 hp and 82 lb-ft of torque, with a five-speed manual transmission as standard and a four-speed automatic optional.
Chevrolet promises “competitive” fuel economy figures, which would mean ratings of around 30 mpg in the city and close to 40 mpg on the highway. The power figures trail those of both the Fiat (101 hp, 98 lb-ft) and the Scion (94 hp, 89 lb-ft).
Fortunately, the engine doesn’t have to propel too much mass. The new Spark weighs a mere 2269 pounds, and those with the automatic tip the scales at 2337 pounds. Electric power steering and low rolling resistance tires also help improve fuel efficiency.