The 2016 Chevy Spark will be a completely redesigned car, Chevrolet says. Billed as a “city car,” the diminutive Spark will be manufactured in Korea and sold in 40 markets around the world. Profit margins may not be as high as for SUV’s but the Spark will likely be a volume leader for Chevrolet.
“At its core, the new Spark is still the fun, agile urban car that made the first-generation model so popular, but it delivers that fun driving experience with greater sophistication,” said Sam Basile, executive chief engineer. “And while it’s a truly global car, it is targeted for more developed vehicle markets, allowing engineers to focus more precisely on the materials and technologies that resonate with customers in those markets.”
The 2016 Chevy Spark will be 1.6 inches lower for improved aerodynamics and sit on a slightly longer wheelbase. Under the hood will be a new 1.4 liter, 98 horsepower, all aluminum engine which can be mated to either a manual transmission of a CVT. With the continuously variable unit, the car will return 40 miles per gallon in highway driving.
The new engine is 16% more powerful than the one that powers the present version of the car and features an integrated exhaust manifold for reduced weight. Although the Spark slots in at the bottom of the Chevrolet line-up, it will offer some of the same electronic safety features found on more expensive cars, including Side Blind Spot Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert. Chevy’s 7 inch color touch screen with MyLink connectivity is also available.
The 2016 Spark will go on sale in the US in the 4th quarter of 2015. The current car has a battery electric powertrain optional. There is no word yet on whether that system will be carried over to the updated car or will be offered solely on the existing car as a separate model.