Chevrolet Spark: the design
The official design sketches and photos of the Chevrolet Spark, the global compact car that was presented at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.
From the official Press Release:
Its angular, self-confident profile giving it the proportions of a larger vehicle, and making it appear self-confident among a sea of meeker looking city cars.
Spark was designed by a team of designers focused on making a modern mini car with global appeal.
The designers’ goal was to redefine what was expected in the mini car segment, to break the rules, defy convention and deliver something that offered great style and value for money, but without compromise.
“From the beginning, we wanted to have a revolution in size and design,” explains Taewan Kim, head of the Spark design team. “We wanted to make a statement with an innovative design that goes beyond mini.”
The exterior of the Spark features a ‘wheels-out, body-in’ stance, its single-arc roofline accentuated by strong, clean body sides free of cladding. The appearance is sleek, slightly aggressive, and unmistakably more upmarket than a number of mini car rivals.
“We wanted it to look ready to pounce,” says Taewan Kim. “It needs to look great from 360 degrees and it needs to generate excitement.”
The headlamps are sculptured elliptically into the body, stretching from the front grille right back to the A-pillar, with clear polycarbonate lenses and chrome-coated headlamp bezels to emphasize the frontal styling.
From the side, the rear-door handles are hidden away alongside the C-pillar, answering the conundrum faced by many a designer – is a sporty three-door better than a practical five-door? Spark delivers the appeal of both.
What’s more, the sharp looks are enhanced by a level of fit and finish that’s second to none. The panel gaps are laser-straight and engineered to be below 3.0mm or less across the car.
This precision and attention to styling detail is not only reserved for the car’s exterior – unlike some models in the segment, where interior design is purely practical, the Spark manages to add a youthful, vigorous appeal combining fun, fashion and functionality on the inside of the car.
The Spark’s cabin maintains all of the class attributes – comfort, spaciousness and easy-to-use controls, yet delivers them in a style that is unique to the sector.
The focal point of the cabin is the motorcycle-style instrument ‘pod’, which sits on top of the steering column and delivers all of the essential information in a compact yet easy-to-read manner.
The analog speedometer is backed up by a digital tachometer, just like on a sports bike, backlit by upmarket ice blue lighting when the headlights are turned on. It’s truly unique to the sector, and clearly illustrates the Spark’s intention to put the fun back into function.
Another smart feature is the Spark’s Integrated Center Stack, which incorporates all of the radio, navigation (where fitted) and heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls in one central location, leaving the fascia clean and uncluttered and putting all of the major switches in one central location that is simple and intuitive to use.
The climate control unit features a crystalline surround, which lights up in ice blue to match the instrument panel when driving at night.
A neat appliqué around the instrument panel adds even more attention to detail – finished in high-grade technical grain on base models, piano black on mid-range or a choice of silver, red or blue surrounds on top models, with matching inserts in the doors and color-coded seat fabrics.