Remake time! Not only in cinema but in automotives too. GM will launch its compact car Chevy (Chevrolet) spark in India in April.
To reduce the risk, manufacturers tend to remake the cars under the old badge and to be cost competitive they prefer identical configuration (Zen estilo borrows its engine from WagonR).Now, GM will bring the old Daewoo matiz as Chevrolet Spark in April quarter of 2007. GM already sells the Spark in China, South Africa and Singapore as Chevrolet spark and in Europe under the badge Chevrolet matiz. The proposed compact car would take on the market at present dominated by Maruti Alto, Zen Estilo and Wagon R (the trio shares the same platform) and Hyundai Santro and Tata Indica Xeta .
There will be two versions of petrol engine-0.8L and 1L for Chevy spark (there are speculations about launch of diesel engine, but I believe at least in the short term first the diesel will be introduced in Chevrolet aveo U-VA to match diesel swift).
795cc, 6valve-Smaller engine (to take on Maruti 800) will pump out 38KW and torque of 68.6 Nm@4600 rpm. The three-cylinder design is said to provide a very flat torque curve, which means a much less peaky power delivery than would be expected from an engine of this size, and ensures that the Spark exceeds most performance expectations. . According to Chevrolet, with its five-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels, the three-cylinder unit claims to give a mileage of 19.2kpl with a top speed of 142 km/hr.
The 995cc, 8valve engine which will compete with Maruti Zen estilo and Hyundai Santro, pumps out 48.5KW and gives a maximum torque of 87.3Nm. With the refined engine the spark provides you greater power for a more relaxing drive at sustained higher speeds for longer journeys. With the completely new pedal box design with durable plastic moulded pedals and a noise-insulating mat between the engine compartment and the dashboard improves the sound insulating effect. Chevrolet claims fuel figure as 17.85kpl with a top speed of 156Km/hr
Design and comfort:
As for the design the GM plays safe it preserves the old design – large round head lamps brings back the memory of old Daewoo matiz.
The Chevrolet spark is a classic example of the Monoform design, as is the Zen estilo and Honda Civic. Monoform design reduces the front and rear overhang which means easy parking in metros and it also maximizes the wheelbase, which in turn improves cabin space. Thanks to the selection of materials, generous use of high strength steel not only gives you the required stability but it also makes the car weigh less. It weighs about 795 kg against 875kg Zen estilo. To improve the handling of the Spark, a completely new torsion beam rear axle was used, coupled to angled shock absorbers and semi trailing arms. This will provide you much greater precision wheel control than the trailing link axle used in Zen estilo. Gas pressure shock absorbers together with softer mounting rubbers in the suspension links will improve the ride comfort. Chevrolet claims spark gives you greater visibility from the high driving position with low waistline and slim pillars for tight reversing occasions.
The main feature of the Spark interior is the cockpit, which is divided into two main sections. In the driver’s direct line of view, there is a semi-circular set of displays incorporating the control and warning lights. Then, in the center of the dashboard and slightly raised, is the instrument panel with classic-style analogue displays, easily visible to all Spark occupants. They provide information on rpm, speed and fuel level. The odometer reading and time are displayed in digital form which means they are easy to pick out at a glance and the clever ergonomics mean you don’t have to peer through the steering wheel and take your eyes off the road. More cars should have this set-up. For average sized people the Spark’s interior will pose no problems in the legroom department and headroom will fit for most sizes too. The seats are supportive and good for distance work. The rear seat’s backrest can be divided in the ratio 60:40 against the not folding type offered by Zen estilo, enabling longer objects to be transported without problem. If the complete bench is flipped up, the capacity rises to an impressive 845 litres whereas the raw boot space (luggage space) is 170litres.
Safety and special features:
ABS (anti lock braking system) and driver-passenger airbags may not be offered in 0.8L spark and may be offered in 1Lspark as an optional one. Precisely defined load paths with an energy absorbing hexagonal profile protect the passengers in the event of a head-on or rear collision. Optimised links between the B-pillar and the sills provide additional protection in the event of a side impact. The range of safety equipment is completed by an energy-absorbing steering column, knee padding and a plastic fuel tank with a safety valve that immediately halts the fuel supply if the car turns over, thereby virtually eliminating any fire risk. Certainly it may not be the safest car but 0.8L spark will certainly score over the Maruti 800 when comes to safety. Air conditioning, power windows, power steering, remote fuel lid opener and remote tail gate opener will be offered as standard in 1L spark.
Price and Service:
Chevrolet spark occupies the top position in both the APEAL and IQS study by JD power in china
Definitely a superior package from the world leader, especially 0.8L spark is much much superior to Maruti 800 in terms of design, safety, engine and comfort( u can avail the estilo type comfort at Maruti 800 price).1L spark will also give sleepless nights to Maruti alto, zen estilo and Hyundai Santro. But can general motors match the well established Maruti in fuel efficiency and very importantly price?
In china the basic model is sold close to a price of 2,75,000 rupees even after the intense competition from chery QQ( it is reported that Chinese manufacturer chery QQ has copycat the chevy spark design ). In India Maruti 800 A/c is priced at Rs2,20,000 hence to be competitive GM has to bring down the price. I believe that lot of trimming will take place before the launch in India. Spark requires service for every 15000km/1year.
Considering the Maruti’s reliability, customer satisfaction and mileage it will be tough for General Motors to penetrate the well established Maruti’s market.
Optra diesel is likely to be launched soon. GM will roll out two new models Epica and Captiva. The Captiva will take on the likes of the Honda CR-V, the Hyundai Tuscon and possibly the Toyota Fortuner if it does make its way to India by then. The GM SUV will be available with a 2.0-litre common rail diesel and a 2.4-litre petrol engine. As for the Epica, the car will compete for market share with the Honda Accord and Hyundai’s Sonata. It will share its diesel engine with the Captiva, though in a different state of tune. For Cadillac and Hummer, “those cars are in the horizon but not in the short to medium term,” said GM India president and MD Rajeev Chaba.
For Chevrolet spark colours http://www.chevroletsingapore.com/content_data/AP/SG/en/GBPSG/001/flash/
For Chevrolet spark copycat
catch the photos of chevrolet spark
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