Chevrolet India, division of GM India private limited, has launched limited edition of its Spark hatchback in Indian market at Rs 3.44 lakh. This limited edition comes with host of external and internal cosmetic changes though on mechanically front things are left untouched. Rising competition and depleting market share has forced the Chevrolet motors to introduce this limited edition variant of Spark that has been out of customers’ radar for quite some time.
Although this dinky hatchback scores high on utility and practicality aspects still it fails to convert these positive sentiments into outright sale. Plethora of other more commendable and holistic packages bordering on almost the same price as of Spark are some of the critical factors responsible for sales drought Spark has been grappled with for quite some time now. Chevrolet believes that this new limited edition will help ailing Spark to get back on its feet and reclaim its lost glory. We test drive limited edition Spark to gauge the substance behind new gleeful appearance this small car now comes with.
Limited edition Spark comes with host of external changes though the nature of these alterations can be best descried as subtle. Two-part grill with Chevrolet emblem stares right in the face though in an innocuous manner. Two-tone bumper with black matte strips add a bit of excitement and feel youthful in nature. Head lamps have grown a bit in size compared to older model and now features clear lens provision. Top version is also equipped with provision of fog lamps which are in fact neatly integrated in bumper.
Side profile is more or less remains unchanged as parallel sleek lines lend a unique sense of perspective to Spark. Top variant of Spark gets the silver roof-rails exuding energetic exuberance from this dinky vehicle. Like front, rear bumper too gets two-tone profile that help Spark to score some brownie points. Tail lamps have been modified though the changes are far from being easily perceptible.
Overall limited edition Spark feels young, fresh and its energetic appearance makes it quite attractive too. Having said that Spark design has now started showing signs of age and despite of these design fillers, Spark now feels a bit overfamiliar. A design that although doesn’t intend to offend but neither feels in synch of modern times.
Inside the cabin, the changes are more perceptible than the outside alternations this limited edition comes with. Black beige two-tone dashboard feels nice though quality is sub-par especially when compared against Hyundai Eon. Instrument cluster is centrally located and claimed to have come inspired from wing-theme. We like the way this instrument cluster combines both digital and analogue display modes. Steering gets a new cover and foot-well now comes with provision of light.
Top variant of Spark limited edition will get red strips on seats that blend quite well with overall colour scheme. Space proposition remains unchanged and that means Spark is strictly made for only four adults to travel in comfort. The adjustment of 5th passenger, even for a short run around, is punishingly hard and hence must be avoided.
Overall quality of material used in just about average as most of the bits and bytes really feel fragile. AC vents feels like these are just a straight life from Tata Nano and so are the low quality stalks. Boot space, in line with average interior space, is just about commoner at 170 litres with no attention grabbing specificity.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
There hasn’t been any change on engine and transmission front as this limited edition comes with same 1.0-litre 4-cylinder gasoline engine that works force in ordinary Spark. Engine is good for max power of 63 PS @5400 rpm along with max torque of 90 Nm @4200 rpm.
Spark has enough grunt to take on any of its rivals especially in-city driving. Engine feels peppy and strong. Throttle responses are sharp and Spark moves with good alacrity. On paper power & torque figures are modest but then what favours heavily on this dinky vehicle side is ultra-light kerb weight of 840 kg. Once out on highway howeverSpark tends to constantly reminds one about its small heart capacity. After crossing 3-digit speed mark, Spark feels a bit restless.
Spark engine is mated with 5-speed manual transmission that channelizes power to front wheels of the car. Gear shift is notchy and far from being precise. Clogging of teeth doesn’t inspire confidence as every shift requires directional effort. On the positive side though clutch feels light and though we would like it to be more progressive still it plays its part satisfactorily. Brake pedal wobble a bit but provides good stopping power which is quite reassuring.
Spark uses McPherson strut up front and torsion beam at rear to suspend the 13” wheels. Shrouded with 155 mm wide rubber, these wheels do their duty quite satisfactorily. The overall suspension set up is on softer side. The ride quality is commendable and suspension does a good job of insulating passengers from road conditions. Only potholes intrude into the cabin though for most of the part Spark rides well.
Handling of Sparkcomes out to be surprisingly good as we didn’t expect this car to perform so well on this front. Small dimensions, little overhangs and a bit tight chassis help Spark to handle well around corners. With small turning radius of 4.6m, Spark is one of the easiest manoeuvrable vehicles available for sale in market.
Limited edition Spark price ranges between Rs 3.44 to Rs 3.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This limited edition marks the effort GM India is putting to get reclaim glory that Sparks earned during its initial market stint. Spark quest to get back on customers’ wish list is not going to be an easy affair. The hatchback path of Indian auto industry is throngs with difficulties and revival in this segment require nothing but exceptional efforts with cunning preciseness. Limited edition Spark is a good step forward by Chevrolet though we suspect ability of this effort to cut the ice with spoilt and choice smitten Indian consumers. With so many more commendable offerings backed by even more credible brand names like Maruti-Suzuki and Hyundai, it requires more than just limited edition for Spark to once again bounce back in the game.
Style & Substance 3/5 Ride & Handling 3.5/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3/5 Safety & Equipment 3/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 3/5 Fuel Efficiency 3.5/5
Value for Money 3.5/5