Chevrolet recently introduced the all-new 2016 Spark, a completely redesigned and more sophisticated execution of the brand's global minicar. It offers greater efficiency and refinement, along with new, available safety and connectivity features. As one of Chevrolet's most global vehicles, the 2016 Spark will be offered in more than 40 markets around the world.
The lower roof height reduces the characteristic upright look of many minicars, while a "shrink-wrapped" body – with the wheels pushed to the edges of the fenders – contribute to a firmly planted presence.
An evolution of Chevrolet's signature dual-port grille is flanked by large, elliptical headlamps that sweep back into the front fenders. The headlamps have a highly detailed appearance that contribute to the Spark's more sophisticated design.
A palette of bold exterior colors remains, and three new colors – Toasted Marshmallow, Kalamata and Splash – join the mix, depending on the market.
Inside, designers matched the lowered roof height by adjusting the hip-point dimensions for the seats, maintaining the ample headroom of the current model and offering comparable spaciousness with a more engaging driving position.
Upgraded materials and greater attention to detail, including everything from the higher-quality fabrics to higher-density seat foam that enhance comfort and durability, add sophistication.
An all-new instrument panel design with an advanced liquid crystal display (LCD) features a prominent "center stack" for the infotainment and climate system controls. The Spark's signature color-matched instrument panel décors are updated with trapezoidal air outlets compared with round outlets on the current model.
The Spark's all-new MyLink radio features a capacitive-touch color display, with an icon-based interface similar to smartphones and other electronic devices. And like a smartphone, the capacitive-touch display allows swiping, pinching and other gestures for quick, easy operation.
New volume control and other physical buttons reduce complexity and enhance the system intuitiveness.
The 2016 Spark is powered by an all-new 1.4L engine that is part of GM's new, global family of Ecotec small-displacement engines. It offers an estimated 98 horsepower (73 kW) – a 16-percent increase over the current model.
Spark's new 1.4L features an aluminum cylinder block and head, which helps reduce the vehicle's overall mass to enhance performance and efficiency. The cylinder head also incorporates an integrated exhaust manifold, which further reduces weight – an attribute that contributes to increased vehicle efficiency and a more favorable front-to-rear weight balance, for a more responsive driving experience.
Engine efficiency is also enhanced through reduced friction, including low-friction piston rings, a low-friction camshaft drive and a low-friction oil pump. A five-speed manual transmission or dual-range continuously variable transmission are available with the new 1.4L.
A stronger body structure is at the core of the new Spark's safety story and is complemented by a wider array of passive and active safety features. Ten standard air bags include driver/front passenger knee air bags, roof rail side air bags and seat-mounted thorax/pelvic air bags. A rollover sensing and protection system is also offered.
Additionally, new active safety features can help drivers avoid collisions through camera-based technology providing alerts to possible collision threats: Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Spot Alert and rear-vision camera system is standard and rear park assist is offered.