New Chevy concept previews forthcoming city car
12 January 2009

General Motors opened the Detroit show by revealing the Chevrolet Spark concept, a version of the brand's forthcoming global city car, due on sale early next year.

The Chevrolet Spark concept is based heavily on the similarly sized Chevrolet Beat concept from last year's show, but GM has elected to rebrand this vital model in an effort to take on stylish rivals from the likes of Fiat and Ford in the UK.

The deep-bumpered lime green show model received an enthusiastic welcome at the Cobo Centre.

"There are wrong perceptions about the cars we make," GM's product czar Bob Lutz told the assembled crowd. "The only way we can change that is to offer modern products like this."

GM boss Rick Wagoner also revealed the first picture of the more conservatively styled production-ready Chevrolet Spark, which we'll see for the first time at the Geneva show in March.

The Chevrolet Spark is a frugal and inexpensive product which, Chevrolet sources suggest, the company is keen to get on the market as quickly as possible.

More than two million consumers apparently voted for GM to build the Chevrolet Spark (aka Beat), as opposed to two other larger concepts that were proposed by Chevrolet’s design house.

There are no details of powertrain options but expect frugal, low-CO2 petrol and diesel motors as GM strives to change its gas-guzzling image. The 1.3-litre CDTi diesel from the Vauxhall Corsa is a possibility, as is the 1.0-litre three-cylinder motor from the Suzuki Splash.

Will Powell

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