It’s not a hybrid, but there will be an all-electric version, and given its diminutive A-segment size, some had speculated prior to government testing that the 2013 Chevy Spark due out this summer might return north of 40 mpg on the highway.
Unfortunately, that has not happened, as this week U.S. EPA testing for the 2,200-pound, 1.2-liter Ecotec-engined city car returned 32 mpg city and 38 mpg highway for the manual transmission model, and 28 mpg city and 37 mpg highway for the four-speed automatic transmission. Not bad, considering the first-generation Prius returned low 40s, but not awesome in today’s market.
The smallest Chevrolet to be sold in North America will start at $12,995 including shipping for the manual transmission model and will also come in trim levels for $14,995 and $15,795, with automatic transmission being $925 additional to any tier.
Its opening price will undercut the similarly efficient $13,249 SmartForTwo, as well as the $16,200 Fiat 500, but its fuel economy will not exceed potential mileage offered by larger Chevrolets the company is also offering to combat rising gas prices.
Time will tell how sales go compared to the next-size up 1.4-liter, manual transmission-equipped Chevy Sonic sedan and hatch models which both do achieve 40 mpg on the highway. Those cars as well as the 42 mpg highway Cruze Eco sedan with 1.4-liter and manual transmission start in the low $18,000 range.