LOS ANGELES – General Motors held a press conference at the LA Auto Show where it showed its new plug-in electric Spark EV, which is set to go on sale next summer. The automaker also had its 2014-MY Chevrolet Impala, which debuted at the New York Auto Show, on hand as well.
On the outside, Spark EV color options include Electric Blue, Black Granite, Summit White, Silver Ice, and Titanium.
Under the hood, the Spark EV features a GM-designed, coaxial drive unit and electric motor. This powertrain can deliver 130 hp (more than 100 kW) and 400 lb.-ft. of torque for instant acceleration. The vehicle also comes with a 20-kWh lithium ion battery that GM expects to provide the best EV range in its segment. The battery consists of a 560-lb. battery pack made of 336 cells and features an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
In terms of charging times, the Spark EV can charge to 80% in 20 minutes using the optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability. That said, the vehicle can accommodate all three charging platforms, including DC Fast Charge, AC 240V, and AC 120V. The charging times with a dedicated 240V outlet is less than seven hours.
GM is also offering a Chevrolet Mobile App powered by OnStar Remote Link that allows owners to manage charging. Owners can charge the vehicle based on departure time or on lower-cost off-peak electricity rates.
The Spark EV also comes with Chevrolet’s MyLink radio, which features apps such as BringGo navigation, TuneIn global internet radio, Pandora, and Stitcher.
GM also had its 2014 Chevrolet Impala, which will come in three trim levels, LS, LT, and LTZ, on display on a rotating platform at the event. The 2014-MY Chevrolet Impala features an all-new exterior; three engine choices, including a 3.6L V-6, a new 2.5L four-cylinder, and a 2.4L four-cylinder paired with GM’s eAssist technology; the next generation of MyLink, viewable on either a 4.2-inch standard or 8-inch available screen, and a range of safety features.
The next-generation MyLink system features natural language voice recognition that allows users to give the vehicle voice commands without needing to remember key phrases or look at the screen. The system cal also store up to 60 favorite radio stations across different bands (AM/FM/XM).
The new MyLink allows users to configure the instrument cluster and integrated center stack. Also, for vehicles with navigation, users can entire destinations in a single step, without the need to enter different parts of an address in separate stages. GM also said it designed the new system to accomodate upgrades and new features.
The 2014 Impala also comes with six months of OnStar's Premium Directions and Connections service. Smartphone owners can also use the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App to manage certain vehicle functions via their phone.
When it comes to safety features on the Impala, they include as 10 standard air bags, OnStar, and camera-based forward collision alert, a lane-departure warning system that features a sensor-based side blind zone alert system, and a rear cross traffic alert function.
Photos by Greg Basich and Lauren Fletcher