Cheaper Spark joins SA-Built Chevs
General Motors South Africa has extended its locally built Spark range downwards by adding a new entry-level derivative, the 1.2 Campus (no prizes for guessing who that's aimed at!) in the hope of combining current-generation styling and technology with a killer price.
Unlike VW (with the Polo Vivo) and Ford (see under Figo), each of whom has followed the time-honoured South African tradition of reviving an older model as a cut-price entry-level offering. And the price?
So, what do you get for less than a hundred grand - or, more importantly, what don't you get?
You don't get a sound system.
That makes sense because that's probably the cheapest and easiest 'extra' to get on the aftermarket. You do, however, get antilocking brakes, driver and passenger front airbags, an immobiliser and central locking via the key.
Power steering, a pretty basic aircon system, tinted glass, a height-adjustable driver's seat, rear-window defogger and cup holders are also standard, as are colour-coded bumpers, door handles and mirror housings, where black would have been cheaper but a little low-rent looking.
Mechanically the Campus is identical to its L and LS siblings, with a 1.2-litre twin-cam transverse four rated for 60kW at 6400rpm and 108Nm at 4800, driving the front wheels through a five-speed 'box.
Chev quotes 0-100km/h in 13.3 seconds and a top speed of 164km/h at a cost to the planet of 5.4 litres per 100km and 129 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
TAILORING SPEC TO LOCAL NEEDS
GMSA marketing head Malcolm Gauld said: “The new Spark has an important role to play in our local production programme, helping to raising its volume to 50 000, in line with the government's automotive production development plan.
“Building the current-generation Spark in South Africa means we can tailor it to what local drivers want and pass on the savings to our customers.”
The Chevrolet Spark 1.2 Campus comes with a five-year or 120 000km warranty with roadside assistance for the full warranty period. Service intervals are 12 months or 15 000km, whichever comes first, and an optional three-year or 60 000km service plan is available.