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Posts Tagged ‘Chevrolet Spark’

Domino’s Delivers – With Customized Delivery Car

Special retrofit of Chevy Spark designed for “delivery experts.”

by on Oct.22, 2015

The Domino's DXP.

Domino’s wants to stop sending its delivery drivers out on the road in beat-up old cars with tacky signs stuck on the roof.

Okay, the “car topper” isn’t going away, but the cars are about to change in a big way, the Ann Arbor, Michigan restaurant chain unveiling a specially designed subcompact pizza wagon it is calling DXP.

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Short for “delivery expert,” it’s a heavily modified version of a Chevrolet Spark minicar that was developed through an online crowdsourcing competition – with Michigan-based Roush Enterprises doing the customization.

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Chevrolet Set to Unveil New Spark Next Month

New minicar set for deal debut in New York and Seoul.

by on Mar.09, 2015

Chevy hints the 2016 Spark will be sleeker, and more aerodynamic than the old minicar.

Chevrolet plans to take the wraps off the new 2016 Spark – twice, with a dual debut scheduled at the upcoming auto shows in New York and Seoul.

The Korean-made minicar has been defying recent trends that have seen sales of small passenger cars slump in light of the drop in fuel prices. Demand for the Chevrolet Spark surged 32% during the first two months of 2015 compared to the same period last year.

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Though the 2016 Spark will retain its basic, tall hatchback shape, GM promises a “sleeker, more aerodynamic profile and a progressive take” on the outgoing model’s basic design cues. That fits into efforts to win over young urban buyers who want something small but not necessarily a basic econobox.

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Consumer Reports Yanks Honda Fit Recommendation

Move follows bottom-ranked performance in IIHS front crash test.

by on Jan.22, 2014

The Honda Fit -- along with the Fiat 500 -- had the worst scores in the IIHS small-overlap crash test.

Consumer Reports magazine has taken the rare step of yanking its “Recommended” rating for the Honda Fit minicar, a move that follows announcement that the Fit was one of 10 out of the 11 vehicles that failed a critical new crash test.

The current Fit model was, in fact, tied for the worst performance in the so-called small-overlap front crash test run by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a test designed to replicate what happens when two approaching cars clip one another on the highway, or when a vehicle strikes a pole or tree. Of the 11 vehicles tested by the IIHS, only the Chevrolet Spark received an Acceptable rating. The Fit was the only model – prior to the IIHS test – on the influential Consumer Reports Recommended list, however.

Keeping You Safe!

“Based on these findings, the Honda Fit lost its Recommended status,” the non-profit magazine announced. But the magazine also said it has hopes the Japanese minicar could soon earn its way back on the list, noting that, “A redesigned Honda Fit is due out this spring, which we would expect to pass the test based on the newness of its design and Honda’s recent accomplishments with this stringent test.” (more…)

Most Minicars Fail New Frontal Crash Tests

Chevy Spark the only model to pass – barely.

by on Jan.22, 2014

The Chevrolet Spark was the only one of 11 minicars to pass the IIHS front crash test.

A new round of crash tests could give serious pause to those hoping to downsize in order to lower their fuel bills or simply to reduce monthly payments – especially those who don’t want to downsize their safety.

Of 11 new minicars examined by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 10 failed the trade group’s challenging new small overlap front test, the sort of crash common in real-world driving.  Only the Chevrolet Spark passed, and then just barely – the IIHS dubbing “these tiny vehicles the worst performing group of any evaluated so far.”

Safety News!

As a result, the Spark is now the only minicar to earn the group’s coveted 2014 Top Safety Pick award.  Several other models previously honored lose that endorsement after failing the new crash test which is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another car or an object like a utility pole or tree.

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Chevy Puts “Performance” Into New Spark EV

More torque than a Ferrari 458?

by on Nov.07, 2013

The Chevrolet Spark EV Tech Performance package delivers more torque than a Ferrari 458.

The annual aftermarket extravaganza known as the SEMA Show has traditionally put a premium on performance, so that left many folks wondering why there was a little Chevrolet Spark EV on display at the Detroit maker’s stand alongside more traditional muscle cars like the Camaro and Chevrolet.

This wasn’t a regular Spark EV, it turned out, but a modified model that Chevy redubbed the Spark EV Tech Performance. And it has delivered a bit of a shock to those who think that battery cars are little more than high-tech stone ponies.

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The numbers suggest something quite different, the Tech Performance package pumping out an impressive 450 pound-feet of torque.  That’s 50 more than the stock Spark EV – but to put it into better perspective, that’s also more than the classic 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS muscle car and 52 more lb-ft than a Ferrari 458 Italia.

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Ten Best Base Model Cars

No econoboxes, these.

by on Jun.13, 2013

The base Honda Civic LX offers some big surprises for a "base" car, including a rearview camera.

New car prices have been rising fast in recent years.  That’s priced a lot of potential buyers out of the market while others have been forced to downgrade their aspirations.

Not all that long ago, trying to find a nice new car, truck or crossover on a budget meant settling for some stripped-down econobox that offered little more than basic transportation.  But these days, makers seem intent on upgrading their base models to keep customers happy – betting that will increase loyalty and return sales when owners can afford to trade in on something more lavish.

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“Just because you might not be able to afford all of the bells and whistles in a car doesn’t mean you have to sing the base-model blues,” said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief of the website Cars.com. “Some automakers are packing even their base models full of features making them more valuable to shoppers looking for a good deal.”

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First Drive: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

This heartbeat is battery-powered.

by on Dec.11, 2012

The Spark EV will do 0 to 60 in under 8 seconds, significantly quicker than the gas model.

Is there a market for small battery-electric vehicles in the U.S. market?  Buyers be damned, it’s full speed ahead for the auto industry – in large part due to strict new rules passed by California’s seemingly all-powerful regulators.  Over the next several years you’ll see so-called Zero-Emission Vehicles coming from all the major auto manufacturers – unless they’re comfortable with being locked out of the huge California market.

Among the new offerings is the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV. The electrified version of Chevy’s new minicar is the first General Motors battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, since the old GM EV1 was abandoned back in 1999.

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Officially unveiled at the recent LA Auto Show, TheDetroitBureau.com was invited to attend a background briefing on the Spark EV – including a short drive.  While we didn’t have enough time behind the wheel to deliver the sort of full review we’d prefer we did get a sense of what to expect from the little battery car.

For those who might lump minicars and battery vehicles into the same, boring green category, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is no stone pony.  Quite the contrary. In fact, it’s a lot more fun, especially coming off a stoplight, than the gas-powered version of the Chevy minicar.

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GM Plans to Have 500,000 “Electrified” Vehicles on Road by 2017

Emphasis is on plug-ins, though hybrids also included in the mix.

by on Nov.15, 2012

General Motors will put its next plug-in hybrid, the Cadillac ELR, into production in 2013.

General Motors expects to have as many as 500,000 “electrified” vehicles on the road by 2017, says the maker’s global product czar. That will include conventional hybrids, according to Senior Vice President Mary Barra, though the emphasis will be on plug-based models.

The automaker is steadily ramping up sales of various battery based vehicles, though demand has risen at a slower-than-expected pace for its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. Meanwhile, GM is expected to formally unveil its first pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, in more than a dozen years at the upcoming LA Auto Show.

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“Plug-based solutions will play a significant role in our technology portfolio going forward,” said Barra during a presentation of GM’s battery-electric strategy. While some of the new products under development will help GM meet government mandates, she stressed, “we’re not building (them) to check a regulatory box.”

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Is New $50 Chevy Navigation System a Game-Changer?

Maker turns to the Cloud.

by on Aug.03, 2012

The 2013 Chevrolet Spark will offer a $50 navigation system called BringGo.

Sales of factory-installed navigation systems have long fallen short of expectations in the U.S., analysts say, because of the high cost of the technology – which in most vehicles still pushes north of $1,000 and can run almost double that in a few models.

Chevrolet hopes to see a paradigm shift in demand, however, with the upcoming launch of its new BringGo system.  The smartphone-based navigation package will cost buyers just $50.

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BringGo is actually a hybrid that relies on so-called “cloud”-based data rather than building everything into the vehicle itself.  The maker pairs a smartphone-based navi app with an in-car video display with the system which is debuting on the new Chevrolet Spark minicar.

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Chevy Says “Gogo” With Low-Cost App-Based Nav System

Spark and Sonic will be first to get smartphone-based navi.

by on Mar.29, 2012

Chevrolet's GogoLink is a new smartphone app-based nav system that GM says will provide full-featured navigation with traffic updates at less than the cost of traditional navigation.

The traditional – and expensive – in-car navigation system is about to move one step closer to extinction.

Chevrolet will introduce GogoLink, a navigation system that connects with the owner’s smartphone and displays maps and directions on a car’s touchscreens. It will first appear in the 2013 Chevrolet Spark and Sonic — but could eventually migrate to other models in the Chevrolet and broader General Motors line-up.

Yes, There's an App for That!

The new system works through Chevrolet’s new MyLink infotainment system.  General Motors calls Gogolink an embedded smartphone app and claims it delivers “full-function navigation.” The automaker will formally reveal it next week at the New York Auto Show.

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