All-New 2016 Chevrolet Spark Teased, Confirmed For New York and Seoul
Chevy's next generation Spark sub-compact hatch will have its world premiere on April 2 simultaneously at the New York and Seoul auto shows.
If we put a digital spotlight on the single teaser released by GM, it becomes obvious that the undisguised Chevrolet Spark that was spied in Korea last month was indeed the production car (see it here).
GM said that the new 2016 Spark is more mature than the car it replaces with a "more sophisticated aesthetic that reflects the changing tastes of the global minicar market".
Michael Simcoe, GM International vice president of Design, elaborated: “The new Spark’s design has evolved and grown up with the segment. The youthful whimsy of the original Spark is still in its genes, but it is conveyed in more traditional proportions that reinforce the customer’s refined expectations.”
The new Spark shares its underpinnings with GM's European market Opel Karl and Vauxhall Viva that had their world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Across the pond, these two city cars are offered exclusively with a 75PS (74hp) 1.0 liter 3-cylinder ECOTEC gasoline engine.
Welcome to the intriguing yet confusing world of spy shots and interrelated group models. You may remember our scoop on the 2016 Chevrolet Spark from this past February when we noted that the GM sub-compact lost its hidden rear door handles. So what's the deal with this model then? Well, as it turns out, the previous shots were not of the Spark but of its twin brother, the new Opel Agila.
As evidenced from our recent scoop on the Agila, the two models are very closely related keeping the same profile and even door lines, but will feature different elements adapted to each brand's styling language, such as the positioning of the rear door handles – traditional on the Opel, next to the side window on the Chevy.
Chevrolet's decision to abandon the European market by 2016 eliminates any problems by (styling) association.
The new Spark is expected to benefit from GM's newly announced range of small displacement three- and four-cylinder gasoline engines, as well as a battery-powered version.
Sources from within GM have said that the new Spark will launch in the first half of 2015. The Detroit maker itself said last week that it plans to "introduce three new vehicles, including a new addition to Chevrolet’s small-vehicle portfolio" at next week's New York Auto Show, but it's not clear if it means the Spark's replacement.
While in the US, GM is blacking out teaser images of the 2016 Chevy Spark, in Korea, someone has been taking pictures of the new city car on the production line.
We've already seen exterior pictures of pre-production Korean domestic market (KDM) Sparks, so we'll focus here on the interior shot that reveals the dashboard, which for the most part, should be identical to the North American-spec model.
The first thing we notice is that the current model's motorcycle-inspired instrument panel appears to have given its place to an extended cluster that now includes a traditional tachometer. The flowing "V" dashboard design remains, but the styling looks a tad more mature, in accordance to GM's decision to give its next city car a more grown up and refined feel.
Chevrolet plans to unveil the new 2016 Spark, which shares its DNA with the Opel Karl and Vauxhall Viva twins, at the New York and Soul auto shows on April 2.
GM's European arms Opel and Vauxhall have released the first photos of their otherwise identical Karl and Viva city cars.
The two models will make their world premiere at the 2015 Geneva show in March and go on sale shortly after.
Opel's version is named after one of the company founder's sons, while the UK version revives Vauxhall's Viva name for the first time since the original ended production in 1979.
North America and possibly other markets as well, will get GM's new city car in the form of the next generation Chevrolet Spark with a modified appearance.
The Karl and Viva are positioned at the bottom of Opel and Vauxhall's passenger car range, below the Adam, and are expected to start under €10,000 in Europe or about £7,500 in the UK, which would position them against the Fiat Panda, Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10 and VW Up!.
GM's new mini is 3,680mm (144.9 in) long, making it slightly shorter than the Adam (3,700mm) and a lot smaller than the new Corsa (4,000mm), though the automaker claims that it offers enough room for five passengers.
It's expected to weigh about 900 kg (1,984 lbs) with power coming exclusively from a newly developed 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engine delivering 75PS (74hp).
Opel has released new details about the Karl city car, including pricing information for the German market.
As promised, the Karl will have a starting price below €10,000, with the entry-level model priced at €9,500 (about $11,050) in Germany. Orders can be placed from January 19, ahead of the Karl’s official debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March.
The city car will only be offered with the new 75PS (74hp) 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The engine returns 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 mpg US) and emits 99 g/km of CO2 with the ecoFlex package, which consists of an aerodynamically optimized front spoiler lip and roof spoiler, as well as low-rolling-resistance tyres. The Karl’s curb weight of 939 kg (2,070lbs) also contributes to the car’s fuel efficiency.
Opel’s smallest car is just 3,680mm long and 1,480mm high, but has a wheelbase of 2,385 mm which the automaker says “offers a high level of comfort.” Despite its small footprint, Karl offers almost 1,000 liters (35.3 cu-ft) of stowage area up to the roof with the rear seat backs folded down.
The city car will be offered with three equipment levels (Essentia, Enjoy and Cosmo) and can be had in ten different body colors from “Night Violet” to “Kiwi Green”.
The Opel Karl offers an asymmetrical (40:60) split foldable rear seat back as standard on the top Cosmo trim (optional with Enjoy), as well as a series of safety and comfort features including the standard Hill Start Assist and the optional Lane Departure Warning, Park Assist and City Mode systems.
Both the Opel Karl and its right-hand drive sibling Vauxhall Viva will be built in South Korea and will arrive in dealerships this summer.