General Motors Co. will debut two redesigned models at the 2015 New York International Auto Show in April. One is the previously teased next-generation Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan, and the other is the all-new Chevrolet Spark subcompact hatchback. GM released a teaser image of the latter on Monday, along with the announcement that the car will also premiere at the 2015 Seoul Motor Show in South Korea.
According to GM, the redesigned Spark looks more sophisticated sporting a “sleeker, more aerodynamic profile.” GM International design chief Michael Simcoe noted that the design has indeed changed, but the trademark design cues remain. He said they have kept the car’s “youthful whimsy” but executed this in “more traditional proportions.”
The aforementioned improvements are not as apparent in the teaser photo seen above, but some changes made to the car are more noticeable. For instance, the silhouette suggests a nose and hood that is a bit more angled than those found in the current model. Also, the roofline appears more curved while its rear seems to be more vertical.
The Chevrolet Spark is sold in 71 markets across the globe under different names. It is available in India as the Chevrolet Beat and is marketed in South Korea as the Daewoo Matiz. Since GM started selling the model in 2009, the company has sold 1.1 million units worldwide. Sales of the compact car in the U.S. in the first two months of 2015 climbed 32 percent over the previous year.
The Spark helped draw young consumers and first-time car buyers to the Bowtie brand. According to GM, 26 percent of Spark buyers are under the age of 35.
This affordable Chevy received approval not only from the young crowd but also from safety experts. The hatchback earned the Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) after scoring well in the institute’s crash tests, particularly the small overlap crash test. The Spark is one of only top subcompact cars to perform well in such test (the 2015 Honda Fit was the other one).
GM’s move to also debut the redesigned Spark in Seoul is not surprising. The Detroit auto giant sells the most Spark cars in South Korea, beating the U.S. and Mexico in terms of sales volume.
GM did not release a lot of other information regarding the new and improved Spark, leaving out powertrain details, among others. The current model is powered by a 1.2-liter, four-cylinder engine that puts out 84 horsepower. This engine is offered with a five-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission. Also available is an electric Spark with a driving range of 82 miles.
Photo credit: © General Motors CC BY-NC