By on November 27, 2012

A $25,000 EV with more torque than a Corvette? GM’s got it, and it’s not the Volt.

The Spark EV packs 130 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, compared to the gasoline spark’s 82 horsepower. 0-60 times are said to be under 8 seconds and the car will be able to integrate with Apple’s Siri system, for those with an iPhone. Range is expected to be between 60 and 100 miles, with an MSRP of about $25,000 once the $7,500 federal tax credit is applied.

GM says that the Spark is more than just a compliance car, but they only plan to sell it in Oregon, California, Canada and Korea. Perhaps they don’t want anyone realizing that the Volt is now obsolete.

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63 Comments on “Chevrolet’s $25,000 EV Packs 400 Lb-Ft of Torque...”


  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    They had to throw aero tricks on to get the cd *down* to .325? Yeesh.

    • 0 avatar
      toplessFC3Sman

      The Spark is a very upright, short car, without the length you really need to make an aerodynamically efficient design. Ever wonder why the Insight, Prius & Volt all have the kamm-back style hatchbacks? It drops the Cd since there’s less flow separation. If they did that with the Spark, they’d destroy all the rear headroom since there really isn’t much “trunk” space behind the rear seats

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      I think that the drag coefficient is quite impressive considering the stubby nature of the design. Subcompacts by their very nature never get great aerodynamics

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        It’s rather less impressive next to the .29 of the electric smart car.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I’m inclined to agree.

        The typical bullet has a cod of about .30 – the third gen Prius is .295.

        Have to admit I would have never guessed the smartfortwo at .290 but that is what the interwebs say.

        With that said, .32 is in line with other “box on wheel” cars like the Scion xB, the Toyota Matrix, and, according to the interwebs, the AMC Pacer.

        It’s also equal to the Honda Insight, for what that might be worth.

        But to play Devil’s Advocate in the other direction, GM did build the slipperiest production car money couldn’t buy. The EV-1 at 0.195!

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        The Prius is 4.5m (15′) long so it’s really not comparable.

        However … the 2001 Audi A2 was slightly shorter at 3.3m vs 3.6m for the Spark (11′ vs 12′), and almost identical height and width. Yet the A2 “3L” model had a drag coefficient of just 0.25.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        I agree, .325 doesn’t seem like much of an effort.
        If it’s a problem to get low drag in a short, square-backed vehicle, maybe they should have EV’ed something other than the Spark.

        The Prius C is pretty much the same overall shape and has a Cd of .29, so one wonders why GM couldn’t do better with this.

      • 0 avatar

        I think it’s wrong to talk about Cd all the time when there is no mention of frontal area. It’s like talking about HP/Liter instead of straight horsepower.

        Smaller cars can get away with poor Cds because they have less frontal area.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        The third-gen Prius actually has a .25 C-sub-d.

        It’s all about proportions and frontal area.

        The 1995 Mitsubishi Diamante (a completely random conventional sedan that had no real aero tricks whatsoever) achieved .27, as did the ’09 Mazda6.

        The rather upright looking ’01 Lexus LS ties the current Prius at .25 (compared to .26 for the second-gen Prius).

        .32 puts the Spark EV on par with such notably aerodynamic vehicles as the 1998 Nissan Altima, 1995 Geo Metro sedan, 1995 Buick Riviera, first-gen Toyota Matrix, the Chevrolet Corsica, 1975 AMC Pacer, second-gen Ford Taurus, current Honda Insight, last-gen Jaguar XJ, the second-gen Scion xB, and the road-going McLaren F1. A real mixed bag, there.

  • avatar
    wsn

    “A $25,000 EV with more torque than a Corvette?”

    Sounds like a question asked by someone without much knowledge about cars. Torque is irrelevant without the rpm info. 400 lb-ft is impressive if it spans between 0~4000 rpm. Not so much if it’s just 0~40 rpm.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Yes. Ultimately horsepower is the only quantity that mattters. But 400ft/lb at 0 rpm will definitely impress you getting off the line. It’s just like diesel engines and Harley engines. In terms of horsepower- they are slugs. But lots of people like them because of their tremendous low end torque.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        HP all that matters? Hogwash. How many HP does it take to maintain a vehicle of .32 CoD at, say, 60mph? Certainly not in the triple-digits. For the majority of Americans, I believe torque is what they prefer in their driving dynamics (“pick-up” in traffic), and even at higher speeds the 30-50 and 50-70 will likely be comparable with V6 engines as they are with Volt.

        If my math’s correct, that motor’s peak HP comes at about 1700RPM (RPM = (130*5252)/400).

      • 0 avatar

        You say Americans prefer torque.

        What you mean is low end torque.

        Or more specifically, a wide and tractable power band.

        You could also specify “low end horsepower”.

        Torque alone is useless. I can generate more torque at the crank on my bicycle than my car. The difference is torque per time. HP really is king.

        It all comes down to the fact that peak torque and peak horsepower are inadequate for describing an engine’s overall performance characteristics.

        We should all have dyno charts.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      If I am not mistaken, an electric engine has 100% torque from zero revs. It keeps that torque until power limitations and physics prevent the motor from revving higher and keeping in mind that with no internal friction that limit can be very high indeed.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        If that were the case of the traction motor in this Spark, and the torque were multiplied through gear reduction as in the Corvette, it would probably be able to do 0-60 in about 3 seconds instead of 8.

        Of course since the driveline isn’t really comparable to that of the Corvette, it’s apples to oranges.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        A motor’s torque is proportional to the current through it, and at rest, the current through the motor is highest, so yes torque is highest from zero rpms. Once the motor begins to speed up, a counter force – counter electromotive force, or EMF, builds in the windings to oppose the current flow, which is why the current drops as the speed builds….and torque drops.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        An electric motor has it’s peak torque at 0rpm and it starts to fall at 1rpm and continues to fall from there.

      • 0 avatar
        CarnotCycle

        The torque curve with electrics, with max available at zero turns, is why they use them in trains. If mechanical linkage was used to transfer power from a locomotive’s diesels to it’s wheels, the wheels would melt for lack of both sheer torque and precision control of same.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    “Perhaps they don’t want anyone realizing that the Volt is now obsolete.”

    Bwhahahahahahahaha!!!

    The Volt is STILL the best option for someone looking for a efficient car. Why?

    Because it’s not tethered to an electrical outlet like many of the other electric vehicles. Look at the POS Focus EV. Pitiful range and when you reach the end of that range, you’re dead on the side of the road.

    If anything, the Spark COMPLIMENTS the Volt, but why would anyone want to admit that…it’s evil GM afterall.

    • 0 avatar
      hf_auto

      Yes, the plug-in hybrid still makes more sense to me. As much as I like the increased electric range of this thing, it won’t get me to work and back- which is sort of an issue.

    • 0 avatar
      cmoibenlepro

      The volt costs $45k, for a compact. You could have 2 Cruzes for the same price, and you don’t even save that much gas. Fail.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Yeah but, I make at least 2 trips a year from VA to IN, more from VA to SC, and from where I live to DC is a 240 mile business round trip. Battery low, low on gas? Stop get gas, take care of business, and get back on the road. A Volt would be a much better choice. I’d be on battery for my daily commute.

      • 0 avatar
        colin42

        The Volt only cost $45000 if you select most the options, look at retail price, ignore all discounts and don’t haggle. That being said as discussed previously on this site you’d be mad to buy when there are such low lease deals out there. So I did – My lease all in costs <$300 /month (including all up front costs & tax.)

        So far I've had it for just over 1 month / 1400 miles & 15 gal ~ 95 mpg. Yes I know the electric cost need to be included but so far I've not got a bill to estimate the increase, but from my original estimates it should be ~$40 / month. Gas in my world is ~$3.50 /gal so the electic cost equates to ~ 11.5 gal of gas which gives and equivelent cost of 52mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        collin42,

        Your equivalent – and actual – mpg with a $19K Prius C would also be 52mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        The Prius C, according to Consumer Reports:
        “The Prius C is an affordable, smaller alternative for those who want a Prius hybrid for less money, starting for less than $20,000. But its harsh ride, noisy engine and cabin, and slow acceleration make it feel more like an econobox than a sophisticated hybrid. It gets the best city fuel economy, 37 mpg, of any car we’ve tested, and its 43 mpg overall is just 1 mpg less than the regular Prius. The interior is full of cheap-looking materials, the driving position and rear seats are cramped, and there’s not much cargo space. Reliability is well above average, but the Prius C scores too low in our testing to be recommended.”
        Score: 53 out of 100

        The Chevy Volt:
        “The Volt electric car has a backup engine to extend its typical 35-mile electric range. It is quick, quiet, and responsive, with a taut ride. Once the lithium-ion battery is depleted, the 1.4-liter engine acts as a generator to extend the range an additional 315 miles. Recharge times are 4 hours on a 240-volt supply and 10 hours on 120 volts, taking in almost 13 kilowatt-hours on a charge. We got 2.93 miles per kWh overall and 32 mpg overall on gas mode. Visibility is so-so, and the four-seat capacity limits practicality. Reliability has remained above average.”
        Score: 68 out of 100

        If budget was king, the Prius C would be a good answer, but the Volt is certainly a viable car if the EV range is a close match to your commute – and it’s about the least “dorky” of alternative-fuel vehicles (that is “affordable” after the tax credit).

        I would have a Volt tomorrow if I weren’t so worried about having money for retirement – just hoping that more alternatives arrive. The Spark is a good move; a shame that it seems to be a “compliance car” (despite what Chevy says).

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      Add a small, 10hp auxiliary motor to this vehicle, and- Voilà!- a “mini-Volt” with the advantages of both cars- though it’s too bad this vehicle isn’t $25,000 BEFORE the tax incentive! (which would make it $17,500 and a screaming bargain!).

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Yeah, well, it isn’t a screaming bargain. Batteries are not cheap.

      • 0 avatar
        TR4

        What would you expect a 10hp auxiliary motor to do? A normal size car requires about 25hp to move at highway speeds. A 10hp engine will drive a 5kW generator so that would take a couple hours or so to charge the EV’s battery. I don’t see the point.

      • 0 avatar
        potatobreath

        TR4, I’m trying to understand your comment. What do you mean when you say that a small 10 hp motor would take hours to charge the battery?

        I don’t think the little scooter motor necessarily needs to power the drive wheels mechanically. Using it as a range extender looks interesting. But are you saying a tiny motor isn’t worth the added expense and weight because it won’t provide enough range? Does the gas motor need to be much bigger?

      • 0 avatar
        Herm

        The new BMW I3 BEV will (may) offer a small range extender as a option.. the interesting thing is that the range extender has a very small fuel tank (1 or 2 gallon?) and will extend the range less than the original electric 80 miles.. it is intended for occasional use, just to get you home. Not meant as a long distance autobahn cruiser like the Volt is.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Maybe next gen Volt will have this sort of power and this model is a public beta for the technology?

  • avatar
    Angus McClure

    The volt makes all sorts of good sense but it’s so difficult to separate it from politics. I guess we are going to be reduced to pulling a trailer with a lawn mower engine and generator if we want any range with the EV’s coming down the pike.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      It’s not the politics that is holding it back. It’s the price and the horrendous styling. Both exterior and the interior- where it’s a jumble of clashing themes. It’s design by committee at its worst.

      • 0 avatar
        jeffzekas

        Agreed- PRICE and RANGE are my two main considerations for our next car- I can buy a used Lexus for $25,000- so why buy this car? Because I need a car for around town, AND to visit my kids (six hours/ 360 miles away) which mean either a hybrid or electric with petrol back-up (i.e. Volt).

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      What’s wrong with attaching a small trailer when you want to take it on a long trip?

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        A trailer-based range extender is a much better solution than the on-board option like the Volt:
        - There’s no reason to lug around the extra weight when you don’t need it.
        - There’ no reason to have to buy it if you really don’t need it. It could even be offered as a rental for long trips.
        - It can be shared between vehicles.
        - It frees up space in the car for other uses.
        - It offers more options to consumers and is simpler to upgrade and/or work on.

  • avatar

    Will only cost $22K after the $3K CA rebate. Why sell in only two states if it isn’t a compliance car? Will it eventually be available nationwide? It could do very well in the NE. With battery thermal management, this just might be a last nail in the coffin for the Leaf.

    The Spark EV barely shares any components with the Volt. IMO GM could have saved costs by making a “For California only” Volt EV sans gasoline engine. 45 to 50 Mile range without the added weight of gasoline engine and other ICE components like fuel pumps, gas tanks, transmission, radiator and cooling systems.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I see a future for this little commuter and it looks like GM has done their homework to.
    One concern or question is, did GM upgrade the drive train, suspension, wheel bearings etc. With that amount of torque going through wheel bearings designed for a 1.0 liter gas engine I expect it will eat them every three months, depending on individual driving styles, of course!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Let’s hope that there is a future for this little electric and anything else GM. GM desperately needs models that appeal to the buying public, en masse. Fleet sales are never profitable and undercut the retained value of the used-car market or trade-in value.

      Right now, the best sellers are the F150 and the Camry. GM cannot come close to either of those with anything they have on the market now.

      Maybe GM can try to compete with the Prius line of vehicles with this entry. As far as actually being best-sellers, the Prius line is the only thing that GM needs to beat with this entry.

      I’m not a candidate for an EV of any persuasion, Hybrid, Plug-in or Pure, but if I were to buy an EV, my choice would be any of the Prius vehicles. I see them around everywhere. They’re like vermin! They’re everywhere! They’re everywhere!

      I know several old codgers who have owned a Prius since day one, in addition to their other ICE vehicles like a truck, minivan, SUV and/or sedan. Every EV owner I know has at least three vehicles with the EV being like a toy or green show-piece.

      I have yet to see any Volt on the road. Maybe this little entry will appeal to the inner-city and/or the high-mileage commuter crowd, but at $32,500 a pop (entry) that is a hard sell.

      For that amount of money you could buy TWO Yaris, Accent, Mazda2 or Fit class vehicles and have money left over.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I know where you are coming from but lets stay factually based on one small point – YTD F-150 sales is 520K, YTD for Sierra/Silverado is 464K (or 90% of the Ford total). Seems pretty close to me and this is before the new trucks (and powertrains) arrive which it would be expected (although not a given) to increase sales.

      • 0 avatar
        oldfatandrich

        What billingsgate is this electric nonsense. I get 33 mpg with my new S350 diesel—a 5000 lb yacht. Want mileage without constant glances at the “miles remaining”—or however it’s styled on the cdashboard ? Go to a VW dealer(or a Benz dealer if you have some dollars to spend) and get a Jetta/Passat diesel. Enough of this elctric foolishness. Kettering closed the book on electric cars and that book should—and will after the present comic interlude—remain closed.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        oldfatandrich….

        I agree.

        I think we should distinguish between a Real Automobile (RA) and a Driving Appliance (DA).

        1) A Real Automobile has beauty, character, unlimited range, and “vroom”. It breathes air and runs on an ICE burning a combustible fuel. It’s other reactant is O2 in the atmosphere, which does not need to be carried along.
        2) A Driving Appliance is ugly, featureless, range-limited, and silent. It breathes electrons in a motor and runs on batteries. That chemical potential requires both anode and cathode reactions, hence, both “reactants” (if we think of them that way) must be carried along. They are EV’s.

        An RA can be used generally and safely at 110 deg F in Arizona or -20 deg F in Minnesota. It will keep you cool or will keep you warm, indefinitely, year after year. It can go almost anywhere.
        A DA can only be used reliably in moderate climates over short distances (near charging stations), which get shorter with temperature extremes, and must have expensive battery replacements after 8-10 years. It can go reliably in city / suburban commuting traffic, and almost nowhere else.

        An RA inspires passion and affection, because it breathes and “lives” in a sense, and because it harnesses and tames fire and explosions, appealing to our primitive, sporting nature.
        A DA inspires disinterest and indifference, because it is a robotic device, — detached from our more emotional side.

        An RA allows you to store up fuel ahead of time for emergency power failures, and still allows you to have mobility, perhaps to escape disaster.
        A DA goes nowhere in a massive power outage, and hence you go nowhere. Or you can walk.

        RA’s are improving to get between 40 and 60 mpg on a REAL basis, and could do so with CNG or hydrogen as well.
        DA’s are getting a phony 100 “mpge” based on 70% electricity generation from coal-burning power plants that produce CO2 exclusively. That means, on the average, DA’s are getting 100 mpge * 0.30 = 30 mpg on fuels that produce the same CO2/H20 mix as petroleum products in ICE’s.

        Hence, DA’s (or EV’s) at present have got to be one of the biggest scams ever foisted on the public. Frankly, it is simply the wrong way to go. But entire civilizations have done dumb things before, so why stop now?

        ——————–

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        This EV fad is just a sign of the times and of the current political influence over the US auto industry since the bailouts, handouts and nationalization of 2009.

        As long as oil is readily available, as it will be for at least the next two hundred years, EVs are just going to be a niche or novelty market.

        EVs are and will continue to be an infinitesimally small fraction of the overall number of cars on the road.

        I believe they should be available for all those who want to buy an EV but only Toyota can claim that they actually made money on their Hybrids and EVs. All the others can only claim that they sold each of their EVs at a loss and hope to make it up in volume. (That was sarcasm, for those who can’t differentiate.)

        GM desperately needs to develop products that people will flock to, like buyers flock to the Camry, the Prius line and the F150. Everything else is an exercise in futility.

        Notwithstanding that GM truck sales are 90% of the F150 sales, GM is still dying on the vine today because no matter what profit they make in any one market, GM has so many other aspects of its organization that are losing money faster than they can make profits with the cash cows.

        So, this little Spark EV should be heavily marketed to demographics like the inner cities, the long distance commuters and to the grocery-getters in retirement communities. We should all hope that GM is successful and returns to being a viable company, negating the need for another massive bailout in the very near future.

        The trick is to convince those demographics that $25K after the $7500 federal tax credit is applied, is a great deal. I don’t think it is, but then I don’t qualify for that $7500 tax credit.

        We also have to consider that a great many people (like me) don’t even qualify for the $7500 tax credit because they don’t pay that much in taxes (for a variety of valid reasons), so all those people are out of the running as well, since paying $32,500 instead of $25K REALLY is a bad deal when the Prius C can be had for $20K, if you can find one that hasn’t already been sold.

        Ultimately it becomes a decision of buying one ICE vehicle in that class instead, and use the money you save for fuel, OR buy two ICE vehicles in that class for the price of one Spark EV over the same time period of ownership.

        That’s the way I see it.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        The fact that you think an EV should be marketed to ‘long distance commuters’ is rather amusing. Good advice.

        Thankfully, no one listens to your advice.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I understand your perspective HDC that if oil is readily available for 200 years then EV’s will be a tiny part of the market.

        My problem is when you make false assertions :
        “Notwithstanding that GM truck sales are 90% of the F150 sales, GM is still dying on the vine today because no matter what profit they make in any one market, GM has so many other aspects of its organization that are losing money faster than they can make profits with the cash cows.”

        How is GM making $6billion profit (from their cash cows one would assume) “losing money faster than they can make it”? I am not defending their product (some is good, some is not) but lets at least admit in the reality based world that they make money (predominately in the US) as a global corporation. You mention sales being important and yet don`t like it when it is mentioned that Chevy/GMC truck sales are close to the F-150, when Chevy/GMC compact CUV sales (Equinox/Terrain) beat the CRV etc.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Mike978, Google “GM money woes” and watch the litany of articles extracted for your reading enjoyment. I have to say that I normally don’t do this, because I’m not here to educate. I’m here to comment on articles that I have an interest in.

        So what I put out is a reflection of my view as I interpret the facts, sometimes with help from editorials, comments and Op-Eds from the people whose business it is to analyze that situation.

        I’m a long-time owner and supporter of GM and have owned numerous GM products over the years. I even held several blocks of GM stock prior to 2007/2008. GM did very well for me. GM stock put money in my pockets. Lots of it.

        But this does not keep me from being able to tell it like it is, unlike the one-dimensional thinkers who think that bailouts, handouts and nationalization are great, and that GM is now a viable and self-sustaining automaker. It’s not.

        The people whose business it is to make money on GM are not nearly as optimistic as the fan club. They sense trouble ahead. Which brings us to the Spark EV.

        I hope it sells well. I think it could, maybe, if the marketing strategy is properly developed. I stand by my view that people who live in the inner cities or who commute a distance of more than 40 miles, one-way, and have a charging station available to them at their work place, will see a drastic reduction in gasoline purchases, IF they choose a Spark EV to buy.

        But with the majority of Americans not caring about the price of gas or diesel, the demographic that may be attracted to the Spark EV has several other offerings to choose from in that size class, all at a much better price.

        In New Mexico we have an enormous amount of Solar and Wind Farms to supplement our Texas-net supplied electricity and our Palos Verdes Nuclear Plant supplied electricity, and the cost of electricity is still skyrocketing, as is currently before the NMPRC for case No. 12-00317-UT. Yup, yet another rate hike with just as many black outs and brown outs as before.

        With an overabundant supply of gasoline, I just don’t see any EVs as being the salvation and I hope that GM will do well, so that we, the people, don’t have to bail them out again. At the current rate, I think it’s coming to that, again.

        But GM is taking steps to go where the money is, aside from the US Treasury. In another article, GM is expanding its design center in China.

        And that’s a good thing because that’s where the money is since the US market has diminished in importance, whereas the Asian market has grown significantly in prominence and will continue to grow for decades to come.

        So, who knows? Maybe this little Spark EV will sell very well in China, since they are not constricted by electricity-generating limitations that hamper the American plants.

        In the mean time, I see the F150 and the Camry remaining the best-sellers in America, while EVs will remain expensive toys reserved for those who wish to make a politically-correct environmentalist-centric statement.

        Unless the NEW 2014 GM trucks have evolved to the level of the current F150 and 2013 RAM, I think they will forever remain also-rans in the pickup truck market, and I don’t see anything that GM has in its product line-up that will rip away customers from the foreign competition.

        So, there you have it. We may not agree, but I value your opinion and your steadfastness of your belief in GM. Let’s hope YOU are right, in the long run. I don’t mind being wrong if GM suddenly takes a turn for the better, regains marketshare to 30%, and resolves all its global money woes.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        HDC – thanks for the articles. I will look at them as i too want to be educated and will not just accept what is stated in one place. I don`t know if GM has a long term future, I was just going of their current financial performance (which should be good after the cost shedding due to the bankruptcy) and their positioning in the world (good market share in all major markets). Time will tell, but thanks.

        Just to clarify I am not affiliated with GM and have never owned any of their vehicles. My step-mother does like the Astra and has been loyal to Vauxhall. My favorite manufacturer at the moment is Mazda because they put their money where their mouth is.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @HDC- GM does not have money woes. They continue to generate very strong profit in NA, more than anyone else except,maybe, Ford, and can more than sustain euro losses with other overseas profits. Their Full size truck platform, including the Utilities, remains the largest volume platform in the country, and that despite being in the last year of an extended product cycle. As Mike978 points out, the pickups still sell 90% of Ford’s new model volume.

        Electric cars are the future. The world’s vehicle population is over 1 billion and will rise dramatically as China and India develop. Electrification is inevitable, and GM is the leader. Every other significant carmaker is betting on electrification as well.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        So I Googled “GM money woes” and I got a bunch of articles from 2009.

        Anyone telling you this now is probably a bit biased (e.g. that stupid article about the Malibu Eco). GM would have money woes if it followed the EV as a long distance vehicle strategy — hard to take you seriously after that.

  • avatar

    “…the Spark EV will have four hundred pound feet of twisting force sent to the front wheels.”

    To the wheels.

    An honest comparison would be to the Corvette’s torque to the rear wheels. That would be 428 (torque at the engine) times 2.66 (first gear ratio) times 3.42 (rear axle ratio) times 0.85 (to account for ~15% driveline losses.)

    All this adds up to ~ 3310 ft-lbs to the rear wheels. Which is more than 400.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    “Perhaps they don’t want anyone realizing that the Volt is now obsolete.”

    Not so, if you want to avoid range anxiety.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Is “integration with Siri” anything more than a bluetooth speaker connection?

    • 0 avatar
      CalgaryGuy

      Far more. The goal is to have an entirely new level of distraction-free telematics and informatics. A better MyFordTouch. But no screen and no touch! (That’s the “distraction-free” part. Government types will love GM for this — and it might actually be a safer system)

      Why the entry level car? Mostly because this system is dirt-cheap. The electronics from Apple is probably cheap since it helps to sell iPhones. The system is cheap for Chevy to manufacture because it requires no fancy screens or joysticks. But one can sense their nervousness, remembering all the problems with early versions of MyFord Touch and BMW iDrive. One more reason to start with an entry level car.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Odd picture. They point to a rocker panel in the wheel arch. Hopefully, that graphic was done by an agency and not someone who should know better.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I don’t think this make the Volt obsolete – but it sure doesn’t help Leaf sales IF IF IF GM broadens availability.

    Everyone is getting very conservative on how many and where they are selling their electric cars.

    I sat in a Spark at the car show, the biggest, “wow,” I had was my 6′ frame actually fit in the backseat with a normal sized driver in front of me. The cabin is HUGE. I don’t know what warping of time and space GM is doing in the Spark, but it is pretty darn impressive.

    As a very basic, electric commuter appliance and grocery getter, that needs to provide occasional yeoman duty for 3 or 4 – it seems — acceptable.

  • avatar
    OldWingGuy

    I think this is fantastic. I think it would make a great second car for people to use to commute.
    I recently visited Los Angeles and was amazed at how many vehicles are on the freeways at any given time. And with the HOV lane largely empty, I’m assuming the vast majority of the vehicles on the road at any one time have only one person in them, commuting to/from work.
    Imagine how much gasoline could be displaced by regular commuters using an EV. Staggering.
    I can see how it wouldn’t be much use for a primary vehicle, but as a second commuter car it would be quite practical.

    • 0 avatar
      Herm

      Primary or Secondary vehicle?.. since most people commute 37 miles a day the Spark EV with its 80 miles of range (hwy.. much higher in the city) quickly will become the primary vehicle in most households.. the fuel sucking pig will quickly become relegated to rare long distance trips and the secondary vehicle when everyone is fighting over the Spark.

      You need to redefine what you mean with Primary or Secondary

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    The Volt was obsolete the day it was built by the first-gen Prius.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Looks like with the Spark GM is going to have the 2 best plug-ins on the road.

    Per the comments about a pull behind gas generator: As a boater and snowmobiler I pull trailers year ’round(so I now the downsides) and the last thing I would want is an EV with a pull behind gas generator to leave town. A terrible idea. GM did it right by making the range extender part of the car.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Does “35-count” mean 35 thousandths? I’ve never heard that expression in that sort of context before.


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