NEW TRANSMISSION BOOSTS SPARK FUEL EFFICIENCY RATING OF 6.5 L/100km CITY / 5.0 L/100km HIGHWAY
Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet’s first mini-car for the North American market, is a stylish and practical choice for urbanites who want a car that’s easy to drive and own. The roomiest yet lowest-priced mini-car in the segment, Spark has brought new buyers into the Chevrolet family; in fact, more than half of Spark buyers are new to GM.
Packed with infotainment and safety technologies including 10 standard air bags, Spark is resonating with buyers in large, high-traffic cities where parking and road space are at a premium. Worldwide, Chevrolet sold more than 270,000 Sparks in 2012.
For 2014, Chevrolet adds an available continuously variable transmission in the Spark that improves fuel efficiency and acceleration, and reduces engine noise at highway speeds. The 2014 CVT-equipped Spark achieves a fuel consumption rating of 6.5 L/100km in the city and 5.0 L/100km highway. With the standard manual transmission, Spark gets a fuel consumption rating of 6.4 L/100km city and 5.0 L/100km highway. The combined fuel consumption rating for the CVT- and manual transmission-equipped Sparks is 5.9 and 5.7 L/100km respectively.
Spark LT models also enjoy the first full model year of enhanced connectivity including access to Siri Eyes Free voice recognition (for customers with compatible iPhones), BringGo in-dash navigation (app must be purchased separately) and TuneIn global radio. This is made possible by Spark’s segment-exclusive MyLink radio, which includes a seven-inch colour touch screen radio nearly twice the size of segment competitors. It is capable of displaying smartphone-based music, videos, photos and contacts for hands-free calling.
In addition to MyLink, Spark is the only car in its segment to provide the added value of a five-year, 160,000 km powertrain warranty and the safety and security of OnStar.
The Spark is offered in LS, 1LT and 2LT models.
High style, low cost
Just as the Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Sonic helped strengthen Chevrolet’s position in the small-car segment with their more-than-expected value, Spark is designed to challenge preconceived notions of how an affordable mini-car can look, feel and drive.
Spark is the only car in its segment to offer five doors, accommodating four adults comfortably with room for cargo. With the seats folded down, the Spark offers 884 L (31.2 cu. ft.) of maximum cargo space.
Air conditioning and power windows are standard across the Spark lineup. Colour-coordinated interiors feature an instrument panel with a motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster and lower centre console, for maximum visibility and storage.
While the Spark looks like a three-door hatch, designers cleverly disguised the rear doors by integrating the handles into the C-pillar area. The technique gives Spark its sporty appearance without sacrificing five-door comfort and utility. Spark’s wheels-at-the-corners stance is further emphasized by standard 15-inch alloy wheels. An integrated spoiler over the rear hatch door enhances Spark’s dynamic appearance while also improving the car’s aerodynamics, for fuel efficiency.
New for 2014, automatic controls for the Spark’s halogen headlamps and daytime running lamps are standard, and the 2LT will feature outside heated power-adjustable body-colour rearview mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators.
Other uplevel features include sport front and rear fascias and rocker panel mouldings, chrome brightwork at the beltline and liftgate handle trim, detail around the poke-through exhaust outlet and around the fog lamps.
Decorative inserts in the front door and instrument panel add a premium touch, as does the ice blue ambient lighting and faceplates across the door pockets and dash. Heated leatherette seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel are included on Spark 2LT.
Attention-grabbing exterior colours include Lime and Grape Ice, Salsa and Denim, as well as Black Granite, Silver Ice and Summit White.
In keeping with Spark buyers’ affinity for personalizing their vehicles, new accessories include interior trim kits (White, Silver, Blue and Green), Z-Spec floor mats and grille, front fog lamp kit and roof rack cross rails. They can be financed with the vehicle when installed by the dealer or authorized service provider.
Chevrolet MyLink connectivity gets personal
MyLink is standard on Spark 1LT, 2LT and EV models, and was designed to provide Spark customers – 90 percent of whom own smart phones – with the ability to personalize their infotainment delivery. MyLink for Spark consists of a seven-inch diagonal touch screen, AM/FM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of service) stereo with seek-and-scan, digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music on select phones, voice recognition for compatible smartphones and six speakers.
On Spark, MyLink operates by integrating the owner’s compatible smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. This lets owners enjoy simple, safe connectivity while their smartphone is stowed, and makes it easy to accommodate new apps.
MyLink is simple to use: The owner selects from menu options on the touch screen: Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each menu selection takes the user though a list of easy-to-select functions.
Late in the 2013 model year, MyLink added compatibility with Siri for customers with a compatible iPhone running iOS6, as well as apps for BringGo in-dash navigation (requires app purchase) and TuneIn, which provides access to 70,000 global radio stations, and Stitcher Smart Radio.
In MyLink-equipped Sparks, owners can use Siri in Eyes Free mode to:
- Make voice-activated, hands-free calls to Contacts on their iPhone
- Play songs in the iTunes library, and even switch music sources automatically from AM/FM/XM radio to iPod mode
- Listen to, and compose and send an iMessage or text message to a phone number or anyone in saved Contacts
- Access Calendar and add appointments
- Minimize distraction even more by keeping the screen of the iPhone from lighting up, even when Siri answers simple questions such as game scores or the dates of national holidays
- While in Eyes Free mode, Siri will not provide answers to complex questions that require displaying a web page.
The available BringGo app provides full-function, in-dash navigation via MyLink, as well as live traffic updates for an annual fee. It also includes:
- Emergency information such as police, fire and the nearest hospital
- Thousands of points of interest
- Local Search via Google
- Where am I? locator
- Live traffic functionality provides crash reports and lane closures, and with alternative routes
- 3-D maps
- Ability to store native maps to the customer’s smartphone, giving them access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when phone signal quality is poor. Many GPS-enabled apps do not do this
- Available for download on iTunes or Googleplay for compatible smartphones.
The TuneIn app connects Spark customers to live local, international and Internet radio. Users can search for programming by location, genre, sports team name, station type or call sign.
Efficient powertrain saves fuel, money
In North America, the Spark is powered by an Ecotec 1.2L dual-overhead cam four-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing that delivers SAE-certified 84 horsepower (63 kW). It is mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission
For 2014, an available continuously variable transmission (CVT) replaces the previous four-speed automatic. It achieves fuel consumption rating of 6.5L/100km city, 5.0 L/100km highway and 5.9 L/100km combined.
The engine was developed using best practices from GM Powertrain technical centres. It combines competitive performance with sophisticated technologies such as dual continuous variable cam phasing and an electronically controlled thermostat to give customers a low-maintenance engine with reduced emissions. Spark also uses regular unleaded fuel, while the Fiat 500 requires premium fuel.
Spark’s new dual range CVT provides seamless gear transmission designed to improve fuel efficiency and acceleration, for a more pleasurable driving experience.
The CVT controls are the same as an automatic: But while an automatic transmission has a set number of gear ratios (a.k.a. speeds), the CVT can constantly change the relationship of engine speed to car speed as needed, calling up higher engine speeds (rpm) for better acceleration and lower rpm for better fuel efficiency while cruising.
Spark ride and handling
Spark’s body-frame-integral structure is tight and stiff for sportier driving dynamics. The electric power steering and MacPherson strut front suspension are designed to deliver taut handling characteristics that better connect the driver with the road and provide outstanding overall stability. Anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and Hill Start Assist are standard.
Hill Start Assist helps prevent drivers from rolling when restarting from a stopped position on a hill. It allows drivers to take their foot off the brake long enough to use the accelerator and move forward.
Spark is equipped with vented front disc and rear drum brakes for excellent stopping performance and good pedal feel. Low rolling-resistance all-season tires use a silica compound and revised tread design for a solid road feel and improved fuel efficiency.
Spark safety, security and crash-avoidance features
Spark offers crash-avoidance technologies such as StabiliTrak and ABS, and helps protect occupants in the event of a crash with 10 standard air bags, including both driver and passenger front knee air bags to reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries in frontal crashes. Dual-stage frontal air bags, seat-mounted side air bags and side curtain air bags that extend over the front and rear seating rows are also standard.
Other safety technologies include:
- Three-point safety belts in all four seating positions
- Seat belt pretensioners in the front driver and passenger seats
- LATCH child seat attachment system
- Adjustable head restraints
- Collapsible steering column
- Remote keyless entry on LT
- OnStar safety and security system.
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Spark. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. Subscribers who opt into the FamilyLink service can stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
More information about OnStar can be found at http://www.onstar.ca/.
About Chevrolet in Canada
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.ca, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/chevroletcanada or by following @ChevroletCanada on Twitter.
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