With a name like Spark, Chevrolet’s smallest offering was always destined to get electric power at some stage.
It’s been around in the U.S. for a few months, but arrives in Europe for the first time at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.
Outwardly similar to the current model, it’s virtually unrecognisable under the skin.
Replacing the usual line-up of small, wheezing petrol engines is a 100 kilowatt electric motor. That’s 130 horsepower in old money, which makes the Spark something of an electric hot hatchback.
Plant your foot from a standing start and the Spark EV will hit 62 mph in just 8.5 seconds. For comparison, that’s a whole three seconds quicker than the Nissan Leaf.
In the narrow, upright Spark body it should feel even quicker, particularly given the incredible 400 pounds-feet torque figure.
That number doesn’t just beat the Nissan Leaf, but it’s more peak torque than a Ferrari 458 Italia too. Torque isn’t everything, of course – the Ferrari’s high engine speeds and epic power output will let it waltz away from the Spark EV in a straight line (and around corners, and everywhere else), but it gives you an idea of just how much twist these electric motors can produce.
What the Ferrari certainly can’t do is drive around town in zero-emissions silence, which is what the Spark will excel at.
Plug it in to the wall, and its 20 kilowatt-hour battery pack will charge in 6-8 hours, though a fast-charge option will replenish 80 percent of its capacity in 20 minutes. Chevy also promises the battery is capable of handling multiple daily fast-charges.
Range hasn’t been announced, but you can expect the typical electric car figure of around 100 miles.
The Spark’s exterior is unremarkable (the Ferrari comparisons ended long ago…) but subtly different from the regular car. A Chevrolet Volt-like grill adorns the front, while the interior gets two display screens too, also inspired by those in the Volt.
Priced from: Not yet announced
On sale from: Not yet announced