By on June 8, 2016

Chevrolet Beat Activ

A certification document published by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) shows General Motors plans to sell a new version of the diminutive Chevrolet Spark in the U.S.

The Chevy Spark Activ, marketed as a “soft-roader” in India (where it will soon be sold as the Chevy Beat Activ), shows up in the CARB document as a 2017 model, alongside the regular Spark.

The Beat Activ (seen above) adds muscular-looking bodyside cladding, graphics and body color interior panels to the existing Beat package, though no extra horsepower. According to the document, the Spark Activ will come with the same 98-horsepower 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Spark.

The term “soft-roader” seems a little out of place with this model, but it does bolster the image the company wants for the vehicle.

No doubt, GM wants the Spark Activ’s funky package to boost the model’s appeal with young people. The automaker recently launched a marketing campaign aimed at young carbuyers, designed to get them thinking about (and buying) Chevrolet’s lineup of small cars.

To be sold countrywide, the Spark Activ needs to be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency, but the document from the California regulator, plus the fact GM trademarked the name in the U.S., makes it a safe bet we’ll see the model on these shores.

[Source: AutoGuide] [Image: General Motors]

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35 Comments on “Soft-Roading: Chevrolet Spark Activ is U.S.-Bound, Document Reveals...”


  • avatar

    Wake when they are the size of the Malibu and the Equinox.

  • avatar

    I for one think we need more fluorescent yellow green vehicles, although I really don’t want a Spark. If Chevy puts this color on a Colorado I’d consider it though. Although it might be a little too “State Highway Department” on a pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      +1 on the color. But why the heck does an appearance package have to be certified by the EPA?

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        I don’t think this statement in the article is really correct. With the only change vs. the base model essentially being the name (and some plastic bits nobody cares about), the “certification” consists of listing the additional name on the same application as the base Spark. (The attached .pdf is for the ’17 Spark, and happens to also mention the Spark Activ on the bottom, with the same numbers listed for both.)

        I imagine the EPA process will be similar.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Roof rails and body cladding. “Look, it’s a CUV now! We can charge an extra $10k!”

  • avatar
    gasser

    This CUV thing has now officially “jumped the shark”

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    It’s a shame this actually isn’t a small cheap AWD thing, because it would be nice to have a cheap AWD thing as opposed to all the overinflated AWD things.

    • 0 avatar
      993cc

      This is an unfilled niche in the market ever since we lost the Suzuki SX4, which sold like hotcakes in Vermnt and Northern NY. It could even be set up as a mild hybrid with some sort of low-speed electric drive to the real wheels and would sell well.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        Isn’t this niche pretty much filled by the Impreza, and now the HR-V?

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Can you get a HR-V with AWD for less than 20 grand, though?

          • 0 avatar
            IAhawkeye

            My 2 seconds of research shows MSRP of an AWD HR-V is nearly $24k, so no.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Well there ya go.

            I see a market for a 20k (or maybe even a bit less) AWD hatch thing, especially if Subaru no longer makes an Impreza hatch.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            When I cross-shopped an SX4 and an Impreza in 2011 the OTD prices for similarly equipped machines were within $1k of each other.

            MSRP on a base 2016 Impreza CVT is $19,795, and Truecar shows average OTD prices below that *with* destination included.

            The current-generation Impreza is available as a hatch; and it appears as though the next-generation 2017 model will be too.

  • avatar

    It’s the same thing FIAT does with the Trekking trim level of the ungainly 500L.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Are people really buying into this? As in, are people who wouldn’t have considered a Spark otherwise suddenly interested because it’ll have textured plastic on the bottom?
    Or are they just carving up the Spark market in a trim level sort of way?

    I was going to work in a comment about how Audi did it with the allroad, but then I noticed you can’t buy an Audi wagon at all anymore other than the allroad. That’s depressing.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Cheer up, the Golf Alltrack wagon will be here soon*. It too will have plastic lower-body cladding.

      * – Pending whether or not VW decides to stay in the US market

    • 0 avatar
      larrystew

      Subaru did it with the XV Crosstrek. All that is is an Impreza hatch with more road clearance and lower body cladding. But sales skyrocketed. I would love to have one of those, but the price also skyrocketed. :(

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    Wut? Why?

    Seems appropriate somehow that we have seen 2 separate article in the past week regarding the overuse of black plastic cladding on cars…..such as the case here. GM still has a small, cheaply built, under powered and poorly handling city car which will now carry a markup because hey it’s a CUV now!

    If GM wants to do something interesting, bring out a trim to compete with the Fiesta ST – sport tune the suspension, add a high horsepower/high torque turbo engine, sport up the styling and market a Chevy hot-hatchback. They might just be surprised by the results….and no the Sonic RS does not count.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    I’ll get one and weld some front and rear tow hooks to it and see how far it will make it through rausch creek off road park. I’m guessing 15 feet from the parking lot and its done

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    It’s so cute and hip.. and I can’t wait to get weird on the Chevy small car site checking one of these out (:

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Agreed. The definition of cheap and cheerful – in a good way.

      • 0 avatar
        IAhawkeye

        My comment was half a joke about Chevy’s small car website, but I totally agree. I really see no issues with this and think there’s plenty of people who’d like one. It certainly looks more fun then the current Spark being sold.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Hey, it’s one of Rickie Fowler’s shoes!

    …For when a Trax is just TOO DARN BIG

  • avatar
    4LiterLexus

    The Mirage is less embarrassing than this thing. At least the Mitsubishi doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t.

  • avatar

    Overall, literally I love this design. But, unfortunately, There is no photos about the interior including dashboard and seat

    hmm,

  • avatar
    TMA1

    It still looks like it should be launched out the back of a Suburban as an escape vehicle.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Hey ! I’m unbanned again !

    Are they going after the gay market with this car/color ?

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    Fake AWD has been going on for years overseas. VW CrossGolf CrossFox or CrossPolo. Something like that. Honda did it to the last gen Fit/Jazz in Brazil. At least 40% of Americans buy 2WD SUVs. Might as well base them on Hatchbacks to save weight.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Definitely a marketing exercise rather than any practical improvement for rough-road use. I just returned from what can be best described as a rough-road destructive testing grounds (rural Siberia), the common trend for most used Japanese sedans was a ~1 inch coil spacer lift, and the addition of a skid plate to protect the oil pan. One hapless fellow in my grandmother’s village had a un-lifted newer Mazda6, the bottom of the front fascia was totally shredded. I doubt this Chevy would be in any better shape.

  • avatar
    RHD

    The Spark Activ has flower-shaped fog lights, no additional ground clearance, and bubbles on the rear quarter panels.
    Genius, GM, pure genius!

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