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Chevy activates Spark

Activ lifestyle: The tiny Chevy Spark will be made available next year in the United States with a new Activ crossover variant.

New Spark Activ to launch in US next year but unlikely to land in Australia

15 Nov 2016

CHEVROLET has lifted the covers off a jacked-up version of its Spark micro car, but the quirky crossover is unlikely to be added to Holden’s growing roster of new models in the immediate future.

Holden has dowsed any hopes that the little soft-roader may come Down Under, saying in a statement that it would concentrate its efforts on the Trax in the Australian small-SUV segment.

“The Chevrolet Spark Activ looks like a great car however we have nothing to announce at this time. Holden will concentrate its small SUV offering on the recently announced redesigned Trax.

“Holden is committed to leveraging GM’s global portfolio to provide the best vehicles for Australia.”

A concept model, dubbed the Chevrolet Beat Activ, was revealed at the Delhi Auto Expo earlier this year previewing the production model.

The Spark Activ is one of very few crossover-style variants of a micro car available in global markets, with Volkswagen’s European-market Cross Up the other notable contender.

These styles of vehicles are typically more popular in developing markets such as South America.

In a press release Chevrolet described the Spark Activ as “a sportier take on the brand’s versatile, connected mini-car” and the company confirmed an on-sale date of the first quarter of next year for its United States home market.

For a more rugged look, the tiny city hatch gains some typical crossover styling flourishes, including black cladding on the wheel arches, bumpers and side skirts, rocker mouldings, roof rails as well as round foglights integrated into the front bumper.

It also gains a new grille, new 15-inch wheel design and revised suspension that increases the ride height by 10mm over the regular Spark hatch.

Inside the Activ features black heated leatherette front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, the 7.0-inch MyLink colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, reversing camera, air-conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry and steering wheel phone and audio controls.

Power comes from GM’s 1.4-litre Ecotec petrol engine matched with either a manual gearbox or continuously variable automatic transmission.

“The new Spark Activ is all about adventurous fun and style,” Chevrolet director of Car and Crossover Marketing Steve Majoros said. “It has an attitude, while still offering the sophisticated, efficient and connected driving experience customers have come to love.”

Holden launched its version of the Spark – which is built in South Korea – back in March this year and the little runabout has received a positive critical reception, thanks largely to the extensive engineering development work that was conducted by Australian engineers to ensure its ride and handling is better suited to local conditions.

Despite the significant Australian development, GoAuto understands that there was no local involvement in the development of the Spark Activ.

Sales of the Spark have been strong since its launch, with Holden shifting 1467 units to the end of October, an increase of 12.3 per cent over the same period last year, in a segment that is down 15 per cent year on year.

The Spark is trailing the segment-leading Mitsubishi Mirage (2357) for overall sales but it leads the soon-to-be-discontinued Nissan Micra (1367), Kia’s recently launched Picanto (1199), the Fiat 500 (1011) and the Suzuki Celerio (679).

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