Update: we missed the distinction between Imperial and U.S. miles per gallon. Article updated to reflect this.
As Chevy gets ready to launch the 2013 Spark in the United States with a 1.2 liter engine for just under $13,000, the Bow Tie brand’s Indian arm recently rolled out a Spark that burns diesel… and it gets 25.44 KMPL. That’s 59.84 miles per gallon (UK), and 49.82 miles per gallon (US).
The Spark Diesel, which actually wears the Beat nameplate in India (because the ancient Daewoo Matiz is called the Spark there), is powered by an all-new turbo-charged three-cylinder 1.0 liter XSDE SMARTECH Common Rail diesel mill that’s exclusive to the Indian market (for the time being). The engine has a power output of 58.5 PS (58 horsepower) and 150 Nm (110.62 lb.-ft.) of torque. The three-banger has an aluminum alloy DOHC setup with light-weight, graphite-coated low friction pistons.
The Beat/Spark Diesel also features something called Launch Support Logic and an Intelligent Launch Support System, which we’ve ascertained to mean Hill Hold Assist, as well as electronic power steering, which minimizes accessory drag on the engine. The vehicle has a starting price of 4,47,663 RS, or $8,700 using current conversing rates.
The GM Authority Take
Sure, 58 horsepower and 110 lb.-ft. of torque sounds measly. But then we realize that it’s nearly 50 miles per gallon we’re talking about here, without the use of a battery.
And this is only the beginning, since Chevy has an electric version in the works, as well as a variant powered by liquid natural gas (LPG). So here’s the question: should GM make any of these available in the States?