Revealed simultaneously in April last year at the New York and Seoul motor shows, the new Spark - which will no longer be branded as part of the Barina line - will launch as Holden’s new entrant in the micro car market.
Pricing for the new model is still to be revealed, but, as with its Barina Spark successor, the Spark will lead the bottom end of the Holden range as its most affordable offering.
As revealed last year, the Spark will be powered by a new 1.4-litre petrol engine, producing 73kW of power and 128Nm of torque, neatly bettering the 59kW and 107Nm offered with the Barina Spark’s 1.2-litre engine.
Headlining the new Spark’s info pack is a local tuning program that has seen unique suspension and steering setups developed specifically for our market by the local Holden engineering team both here and during initial development in South Korea.
“Spark is a truly global car but our engineers have made sure it performs exceptionally in Australias varied road conditions, Holden’s vehicle performance director Ian Butler said.
“We have been working with GM Korea since the beginning of the program and were able to collaborate to ensure the car is agile and nimble in urban environments whilst remaining composed and comfortable on the open road.”
“Key to developing the drive characteristics, was a significant round of testing and development at our Lang Lang proving ground conducted by our engineers, in addition to giving target customers the chance to evaluate the car.”
Features standard across the local Spark range will include the new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems, joining a small but rapidly growing number of new models to offer the advanced phone connectivity platforms in Australia.
Active safety technologies will include electronic stability control, hill start assist, EBD, ABS, traction control and - although only for the top-spec LT model - a rear view camera.
The Spark will also be equipped with six airbags as standard, which, although short on the 10 airbags offered with the North American model, matches the fit-out of its Opel Karl and Vauxhall Viva siblings in Europe.
Sales in the micro car segment took a huge tumble in 2015, falling to 10,717 by the end of the year - down from 15,828 at the end of 2014.
The Barina Spark nonetheless bettered its 2014 performance, climbing from 1257 to a total of 1450 by year's end in 2015.