TopSpeed: Chevrolet Spark
You might be wondering why Chevrolet would be developing the next generation of its popular Spark so soon. After all, 2013 was the Spark’s first year in the U.S. While the likeable little subcompact was new to us last year, the overall design has been in production since 2009 and sold in countries around the world as the Chevrolet Beat.
The aging Beat (Spark) is due for a refresh and the General looks to be making a clean sweep.
Not much is know about the prototype seen here as it scurries about during cold-weather testing near the Arctic Circle. The redesign will likely be more evolutionary in nature, and will feature a heavily updated grille as evidenced by the thick camouflaging.
The Spark has sold well in the U.S. over its first year, selling 26,869 units — 35 percent beyond what Chevy had originally forecasted. Worldwide sales total 720,000 units since the model’s 2009 introduction.
An all-electricSpark EV came to market for 2014 and has sold over 400 examples in the EV’s limited markets of California and Oregon. The EV has a range of 82 miles on a single charge (7 more than the Nissan Leaf), and is powered by an electric motor that produces 140 horsepower and an impressive 400 pound-feet of torque.
The standard gasoline model isn’t quite as powerful, as its 1.2-liter I-4 puts out a scant 84 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque. But at only 2,269 pounds, the Spark doesn’t need much more for its inner-city intended purpose. Both a manual and CVT are available in the gasoline-powered Spark.