With plenty of rumors and a few decision changes by the folks at GM, Chevy confirmed at the Detroit Auto Show that the tiny Spark model will be offered in the United States in 2011. Originally shown as the Beat concept at the New York Auto Show back in 2007, the car has evolved slowly and last year launched in Europe.
It’s not known what engine will power the Spark, but in Europe the largest engine offered is a 1.2-liter 4-cylinder with 81-hp and 82 ft-lbs of torque, which likely won’t be enough to satisfy North American consumers. Neither will the car’s 12.1 second 0-62 mph time. That engine does, however, get 46 mpg.
The Spark will join Chevy’s new small car offerings, the compact Cruze and sub-compact Aveo (due in 2011). The Spark itself is also expected to launch in the U.S. in 2011.
“The decision to add the Spark to Chevrolet’s portfolio reflects the brand’s commitment to being a fuel efficiency leader in the industry,” said Troy Clarke, president of GM North America. “Chevrolet Spark will bring great style, roominess and versatility to the segment of extremely fuel-efficient small cars in the U.S.”
GALLERY: Chevrolet Spark
Official release after the jump:
Chevrolet Spark and Orlando Headed to the United States in 2011
DETROIT – An all-new Chevrolet Spark mini-car and Orlando seven-seat compact multi-purpose vehicle will come to the United States in 2011. The announcement was made during a General Motors press conference at the North American International Auto Show here today.
“Chevrolet Spark will bring great style, roominess and versatility to the segment of extremely fuel-efficient small cars in the U.S.,” said Troy Clarke, president of GM North America. “The decision to add the Spark to Chevrolet’s portfolio reflects the brand’s commitment to being a fuel efficiency leader in the industry.”
Originally seen as the Chevrolet Beat concept at the 2007 New York Auto Show, the four-door Chevrolet Spark will provide versatility with a fresh, youthful exterior and interior design that is reflected in the selection of materials and colors.
The Spark will make its world debut in full production form at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2009. Sales begin in Europe in the first quarter of 2010, followed by other markets around the globe.
“The Chevrolet Orlando show car, unveiled at the recent Paris Auto Show to positive public reaction, combines the versatility of a sport-utility, a family van and a wagon in a single vehicle,” Clarke said. It has the added benefit of excellent fuel economy, because of its car-based architecture.”
First photos and plans for the Chevrolet Orlando’s global rollout will be released in the coming months. It will be in Chevrolet showrooms in the U.S. in 2011.
“These small vehicles make a big statement,” said Ed Peper, North America vice president, Chevrolet. “With their fresh, clean approach, we believe Spark and Orlando will appeal to a wide range of customers who want excellent fuel efficiency, functionality and style in a small vehicle.”