Chevrolet’s 2014 Spark EV will have its official coming out party at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, but GM has released a few details ahead of the ball. It plans to price the electric hatchback under $32,500 (before incentives), slightly undercutting the $35,200 Nissan LEAF, and to sell it in several global markets (not just California).
The Spark EV sports a 110 kW (130 hp) motor, which offers 400 lb-ft of torque, a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and one of the new SAE Combo charging plugs, with optional DC Fast Charge capability. No official range figures were released, but Chevy claims it will be “among the best EV battery range in its segment.” The Spark EV’s body has been redesigned to improve its aerodynamics over the legacy gas-burning Spark, an effort that GM says has squeezed out a couple extra miles of range. The interior features two seven-inch color LCD screens with a full palette of high-tech goodies.
It sounds like a worthy competitor to Nissan’s LEAF, Mitsubishi’s i and Ford’s Focus EV. But does GM intend to sell a substantial number of Sparks to real live buyers (as the LEAF has done), or is it just a compliance car? Back in May, Green Car Reports’ John Voelcker labeled it with the c-word. This week, however, GCR’s Antony Ingram expressed optimism that the Spark is the real thing, citing its impressive specs and tempting price.
[Updated 11/27/12 5PM EST: Added expected ragne.]