By Michael Goetz
The smallest car in GM’s repertoire was completely redesigned, and bowed in its new duds in Geneva as the Chevrolet Spark.
It will hit the European market in 2010, replacing the Chevrolet Matiz. Presumably, we North American folk will get Spark about a year later, as a 2011 model. The European model will be powered by a 1.2-litre engine, capable of going 100 km on less than 5 litres of gas.
We’ll probably get a larger engine. But styling is the big story, as Spark is an evolution of the Beat concept, which won many admirers when it debuted last year in New York. Its claim to fame is that unlike other cars in this size class, it eschews cuteness for toughness.
It was created at GM’s Korean studio, and designers there are proud of its very confident front end, and noted that it is a small car that is not afraid of big SUVs.
Its other notable design statement is lots of side sculpting, to give the impression of a 3D coupe. Inside there are large areas in body colour, and motorcycle-style instruments mounted on the steering column.