RonDawg
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:06 pm

SanDust wrote: On the Spark EV being better than the gas equivalents, I suspect the same will be true of the Fiat 500e. These smaller cars are made for EV drive trains.


In the case of the Fiat, the gas version was already pretty well received, particularly in Abarth spec. The EV version made a good car even better.

In the case of the Spark, the electric motor turned a terrible car into one that's pretty decent. If GM/Daewoo had spent as much time refining the Spark's ICE as Fiat did, the difference probably wouldn't be so dramatic. But then, the ICE Spark was built to a price...the most expensive version barely touches the Fiat's base price.
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SanDust
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:27 pm

RonDawg wrote:But then, the ICE Spark was built to a price...the most expensive version barely touches the Fiat's base price.
Right on with that. The cars are in totally different classes. The Fiat 500 really competes with the Mini while the Spark competes with the Smart. I guess this proves that the ride and performance advantages of an EV drive can make a decent car out of just about anything. (Not knocking the Spark, I think it's ranked #1 in India and China, which are its primary markets).

RonDawg
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:35 pm

SanDust wrote:
RonDawg wrote:But then, the ICE Spark was built to a price...the most expensive version barely touches the Fiat's base price.
Right on with that. The cars are in totally different classes. The Fiat 500 really competes with the Mini while the Spark competes with the Smart. I guess this proves that the ride and performance advantages of an EV drive can make a decent car out of just about anything. (Not knocking the Spark, I think it's ranked #1 in India and China, which are its primary markets).


Actually, the Smart is closer to the Fiat than the Spark, demographic-wise. The Smart and the Fiat are targeted to young urbanites seeking a cool European city runabout. Neither are the cheapest nor the most fuel efficient for their size, but that's secondary to the image factor.

The ICE Spark OTOH takes up where the Aveo left off, and continues a legacy that started with the Chevy Sprint, and arguably the Chevette Scooter, a car so stripped even the back seat was optional. It was never meant to be cool; it was meant to be dirt cheap. It's GM's cheapest car in the US, and America's second-cheapest new car; only the Nissan Versa SV is cheaper. That's why I said GM "built it to a price."

In terms of marketing to urban American youth, GM has put its efforts towards the Sonic instead of the Spark, with advertisements like a Sonic doing a barrel roll, or parachuting out of an airplane, or bungee jumping in which the car slowly drops over the edge every time a certain hyperlink is clicked on.
Last edited by RonDawg on Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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evnow
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:45 pm

SanDust wrote:(Not knocking the Spark, I think it's ranked #1 in India and China, which are its primary markets).


Spark, I think, is ranked 145 in China.

http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2013/06/ ... ble-sales/

In India it is ranked 55.

http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2013/06/ ... irst-time/

Not doing too well in the "primary markets", I guess ;)
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:10 pm

evnow wrote:Spark, I think, is ranked 145 in China.
Not doing too well in the "primary markets", I guess ;)
OMG. I forgot that the Toyota Highlander and the BMW 3-Series were in the same class as a Spark!

The point was that the Spark is decent for the sub-compact class it competes in. Along that line, I was thinking more about quality. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes ... olet-optra (The new Chevrolet Spark leads the compact car segment, with the Chevrolet Aveo similarly topping the midsize segment); http://www.sify.com/finance/chevrolet-s ... iagfe.html (Chevrolet Spark has won the top award for quality for the third consecutive year in the India Automotive Initial Quality Study).

Of course you bring up an interesting point. In 2012 the Spark ranked 34/1000 in worldwide sales. The Leaf ranked 468/1000. http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2013/03/ ... ng-models/ If the Spark "isn't doing too well" then how do we describe how well the Leaf is doing? :cry:

KeiJidosha
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:33 pm

Got to test drive the Spark EV today. Very Impressed. Nice upright seating position with good visibility. Comfortably seats my 6’1” frame with sufficient knee room for me in the rear seat without seat repositioning. Nice quality interior finish, and both dash and infotainment displays are clear and sharp with graphics that really pop. Power comes on solidly and stays thru to merging speeds. Very believable sub-8 second 0-60. Quiet ride with virtually no inverter whine. “Drive” produces lift throttle coast, while “Low” gives stronger lift throttle regen. Remaining range display shows a forecast range based on previous driving PLUS a Max range above and Min range below. These bookend numbers will merge as battery SOC drops. Push button start and parking brake, along with a ”Sport” mode that re-curves the throttle for more aggressive acceleration. Rear seats fold down leaving ~5° incline, but flush with rear cargo area.

Bottom line is it feels a sporty and capable drive. Lots of guesstimation about how the Spark EV will do in the market. I envision test drives will be surprising, and very compelling to perspective owners.
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:27 pm

KeiJidosha wrote:Got to test drive the Spark EV today. Very Impressed. Nice upright seating position with good visibility. Comfortably seats my 6’1” frame with sufficient knee room for me in the rear seat without seat repositioning. Nice quality interior finish, and both dash and infotainment displays are clear and sharp with graphics that really pop. Power comes on solidly and stays thru to merging speeds. Very believable sub-8 second 0-60. Quiet ride with virtually no inverter whine. “Drive” produces lift throttle coast, while “Low” gives stronger lift throttle regen. Remaining range display shows a forecast range based on previous driving PLUS a Max range above and Min range below. These bookend numbers will merge as battery SOC drops. Push button start and parking brake, along with a ”Sport” mode that re-curves the throttle for more aggressive acceleration. Rear seats fold down leaving ~5° incline, but flush with rear cargo area.

Bottom line is it feels a sporty and capable drive. Lots of guesstimation about how the Spark EV will do in the market. I envision test drives will be surprising, and very compelling to perspective owners.


Thanks for the review. I sat in a Spark at the last LA Auto Show and although it was the ICE version (the EV version was displayed but you couldn't sit in it) and I found the materials inside to be, well, "on par" for its price. And I haven't seen car doors that thin since Chevy sold the Sprint. But I was impressed with the MyLink infotainment system which a rep demo'd for me, and when Apple made its recent announcement how it is working with auto manufacturers to better integrate iOS with car infotainment systems, the image they used was that of the MyLink.

That Max/Min range is perhaps the best answer so far to the GoM for those who feel the need to have a set of mileage numbers rather than charge percentages.
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Boomer23
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:32 pm

KeiJidosha wrote:Got to test drive the Spark EV today. Very Impressed.


Nice review, K. I'll be looking for a dealer with a demo unit.

EDIT: I just realized that you're the perfect one to compare it with the feeling of driving the MiniE, one of my EV benchmarks. How did it compare per your calibrated sensors?
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KeiJidosha
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:49 pm

Boomer23 wrote:
KeiJidosha wrote:Got to test drive the Spark EV today. Very Impressed.


Nice review, K. I'll be looking for a dealer with a demo unit.

EDIT: I just realized that you're the perfect one to compare it with the feeling of driving the MiniE, one of my EV benchmarks. How did it compare per your calibrated sensors?

Downtown traffic did not give a lot of opportunity to check handling. But acceleration is like the MINI E in that it just keeps on pulling. Fit EV feels as strong on take-off, but starts to wane above ~40mph. Spark, like the MINI E seems to pull well into the 60's. Lift throttle regen is not as strong as the MINI E, even in "Low". Closer to the Fit EV in "B", but no idea if it gets stronger descending inclines. I'm really looking forward to an instrumented test (or a chance to drive it out Decker Canyon to PCH). Impression was defiantly fun-to-drive. :)
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Re: Chevrolet to Produce Spark EV All-Electric Vehicle

Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:50 pm

KeiJidosha wrote:Got to test drive the Spark EV today. Very Impressed. Nice upright seating position with good visibility. Comfortably seats my 6’1” frame with sufficient knee room for me in the rear seat without seat repositioning. Nice quality interior finish, and both dash and infotainment displays are clear and sharp with graphics that really pop. Power comes on solidly and stays thru to merging speeds. Very believable sub-8 second 0-60. Quiet ride with virtually no inverter whine. “Drive” produces lift throttle coast, while “Low” gives stronger lift throttle regen. Remaining range display shows a forecast range based on previous driving PLUS a Max range above and Min range below. These bookend numbers will merge as battery SOC drops. Push button start and parking brake, along with a ”Sport” mode that re-curves the throttle for more aggressive acceleration. Rear seats fold down leaving ~5° incline, but flush with rear cargo area.

Bottom line is it feels a sporty and capable drive. Lots of guesstimation about how the Spark EV will do in the market. I envision test drives will be surprising, and very compelling to perspective owners.


This is awesome news! Do we know if the Spark is just a compliance car or will it come to all 50 states?
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