Before the sheet is pulled off the Chevrolet Spark EV during the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show at the end of the month, GM decided to show off the ins and outs of the upcoming electric runabout.
While appearing nearly identical to the gasoline version, the Chevrolet Spark EV does feature a few aerodynamic enhancements that are easy to spot with the trained eye. Look for a rear spoiler, smooth plates running along the underbody, active grille shutters, and smoothed-out front and rear fascias.
Think it’s a wimp? How’s this tidbit: when the Spark EV hits dealerships come summer 2013, it will pack a 134 horsepower motor with 400 lb-ft of torque. The petrol-powered Spark gets by with just 84 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque.
Yes, the Spark EV will have four hundred pound feet of twisting force sent to the front wheels. That number is significant to even a moderately quick sports car, but the fact that you can find it in the Spark is delightful. But to be honest, it needs every single pound-foot, as anyone who has ever driven or ridden an EV will tell you, the pickup dies off as the speed increases, as a conventional transmission is absent. As such, GM predicts that the Spark EV will accelerate from 0-60 in the seven-second range — much better than the gasoline version. And that’s with the extra 560 pounds of weight the electric powertrain adds on.
While the Spark EV is still undergoing validation, it is expected that the battery pack will pack 20 kWh of energy, which is good enough to give the Spark EV a range of roughly 60 to 70 real-world miles. Being the city car the Spark is made out to be, the range sounds great. As far as charging goes, the Spark would need roughly seven hours to go from totally drained to a full charge with a 240V charger. Go for the optional DC fast charging setup, and the battery is charged to 80 percent from nothing in a matter of 20 minutes — plenty of time to fiddle on your smart phone and Twitterfacestagrambooksquare all about it.
For those wondering, current estimates pin the MSRP somewhere in the high $20,000 range, before a $7,500 federal tax credit is implemented. But here’s the catch: at first, GM only plans on selling the Spark EV in California, and South Korea, its birthplace. However, the Spark EV’s motor and drive unit will be manufactured at GM’s transmission plant in White Marsh, Maryland, just outside Baltimore. It also marks the first time a U.S. automaker has built both a complete electric motor and drive unit for a modern electric vehicle in the United States.
All things considered, does the Spark EV sound reasonable? Given the new information provided, we’re definitely curious.