The Chevrolet Beat was introduced as a concept car in 2007. Although it was planned to be introduced everywhere else, GM did not originally want to bring it to the U.S. market. Executives at GM thought Americans would not want a city car that was smaller than the Aveo.
Despite this initial view, GM executives have now changed their mind and announced earlier this year that the Chevrolet Spark, which is based on the Beat concept will be launched in Europe in 2010 and will start to appear in the US dealerships in 2011. The fluctuation in gas prices and the current economic crisis has made this reversal easier to make.
The 2011 Chevy Spark is being designed in Korea by GM’s Daewoo brand. It should compete directly with the Smart Fortwo and Toyota iQ and hopefully will appeal more to the young, minicar, urban consumer than the current Chevy Aveo does. Let’s face it though it would be hard not to beat the customer appeal of the current Aveo.
The 2011 Chevy Spark will be available with a 1.0 liter, 66 horsepower or a 1.2 liter, 78 horsepower four cylinder gasoline engine. What the Spark lacks in engine performance, it will gain in fuel economy. It is expected to get at least 47 mpg and achieve very low carbon emissions making it very appealing to the environmentally-conscience city buyer.
The vehicle will come as a 5-door hatchback. GM claims the new car’s style is fun and fashionable as well as functional. For a small vehicle, the car does have a reasonable sized passenger compartment and even some trunk space. One unique feature on the interior is the motorcycle-type instrument cluster that is mounted to the steering column. It is supposed to proved easy-to-read information for the driver.
The 2011 Chevrolet Spark will be GM’s answer to the global mini-car question. Lucky for us, they changed their mind about not bringing the original Beat concept car to the US and are now planning to bring the Spark here as well as to Europe and Asia. The Spark will be a welcomed addition to GM’s line-up that should allow the manufacturer to improve their appeal to young customers and step up their game in the small car segment.