The 2014 Chevrolet Spark will have one significant powertrain change when it arrives in showrooms late this summer: the optional four-speed automatic will be replaced by a continuously variable transmission.
Chevrolet spokeswoman Annalisa Bluhm tells us that the Spark was always supposed to have a CVT, but the transmission wasn't ready in time, so the car launched with a four-speed automatic for its first year. However, customers and the media have complained that the Chevrolet Spark feels underpowered with the automatic transmission, whereas Bluhm says the CVT feels like it has, "a little more pep." The CVT is also expected to improve fuel economy ratings, although no official numbers are available yet. The 2013 Spark returns 28/37 mpg (city/highway) with the four-speed automatic.
No changes are planned for the 84-hp, 1.2-liter inline-four engine, and a five-speed manual will remain the base transmission (although Bluhm says that more than half of buyers pick the automatic). There are a handful of other changes in store for the 2014 Spark: automatic headlights become available, the funky Techno Pink paint makes way for Grape, and Fresh Lime replaces the current bright green Jalapeno paint.
Chevrolet will announce pricing and fuel economy for the 2014 Spark later this summer.