As a precursor to the Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet unveiled three very differently styled city car concepts at the 2007 New York motor show – the Trax, the Beat and the Groove concepts –and opened an internet vote to the public to pick the one that should become its next city car. The Beat was the clear winner and that’s what has become, of a fashion, the Spark. It’s a busily styled car but fairly loyal, in this case right down to the signature colour, to the concept itself. 

Compromises to the design have been brought about principally by the productionising of the lights (the final car’s are much bigger), by frontal impact legislation (the nose is far more rounded) and by the addition of rear doors. All of which leave the production car with a far less aggressive, sporting stance.

Chevrolet says it didn’t want the Spark to look cute and cuddly, hoping the large grille and badge will give the Spark a more confident look. We're not sure it works

Stretching from the front bumper all the way back to the base of the A-pillars, the massive front light clusters must be, proportional to the overall length of the car, the largest of any car on sale. 

Chevrolet says it didn’t want the Spark to look cute and cuddly, instead hoping that the large grille and oversized badge will give the Spark a more confident look. Curious ridges in the bonnet above the headlamps look a little like eyebrows; they make the Spark look distinctive (and slightly angry) in your rear-view mirror.

The integrated exhaust in the rear bumper is a neat feature. But like many such systems, this is a styling conceit; the actual exhaust (which is much smaller) can be seen within. 

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Chevrolet say that by integrating the rear door handles into the C-pillars, it has achieved the sporty looks of a three-door with the convenience of a five-door. We are not so sure that anyone will be convinced.