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Spark of Interest: Chevrolet’s Sub-Sonic Entry to Receive 80-HP 1.2L Engine

By Trevor Dorchies | September 19, 2011
We’ve heard a new small car with the Chevrolet bow tie will make its U.S. debut in the not-so-distant future. No, we’re not talking about the new 2012 Sonic sedan and five-door hatchback; meet the Chevy Spark, an even smaller car currently on sale in Europe. Drumming up motivation for the small Spark will be a 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine, GM Inside News reports. Don't expect the Spark to blow the doors off any racing competition with its engine only putting out about 80 horsepower. The I-4 engine will be mated to your choice of a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. Fuel economy could reach as high as 46 miles per gallon in mixed driving. The Chevrolet Sonic, in comparison, is rated as high as 40 mpg on the highway and is powered by 1.8-liter and turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engines. When the Spark rolls into dealerships across the country, the car will sport minor styling tweaks to satisfy arduous U.S. safety standards. The front grille will be larger than its European sibling to accommodate a lower air intake and the side repeater lamps will be removed. Do you think small cars and smaller engines are a good idea for Chevrolet’s U.S. lineup? Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Source: GM Inside News
  • 2011 Chevrolet Spark Front And Rear
  • 2011 Chevrolet Spark Front Three Quarter
  • 2011 Chevrolet Spark Interior
  • 2011 Chevrolet Spark Profile
  • 2011 Chevrolet Spark Rear Three Quarter
  • 2011 Chevrolet Spark Cargo Area

If it can get 40-50 combined mpg without hybrid technology that would be great. But, I don't really believe it will. I personally don't think the Spark is that attractive, but for many younger people I think the style will be entertaining. The Sonic is something of a disappointment because it gets no better mileage than the Cruze. It seems that weight and size are meaningless these days. The Fiat 500 has a small engine yet very disappointing mpg and uses premium fuel to boot. The Scion IQ looks like a light weight metallic bulldog, yet it can't break the 40 mpg barrier. The Focus gets the same mpg as the Fiesta. The Smart has an absolutely archaic transmission that makes it miserable to drive. It looks like my next car will probably be a Prius C. At least Toyota is talking even better mileage in a smaller package with the same power train as the regular Prius. That's what I like--smaller, better mpg, lighter weight and lots of features and zip.


The Spark could be a good idea if: 1. They offer all the features the European model does like automatic climate control (pictured) a feature the otherwise awesome Camaro still don't! 2. It improves Chevrolet's average MPG so the next generation Caprice flagship sedan can finally be sold to the public! I look at small cars as a give and take with our "annoyingly government influenced car makers" So traditional American size cars can survive! I speak for all cars!