Penned jointly by Chevrolet’s design studios in North America and South Korea, the Spark RS looks markedly sportier than the regular-production econobox on which it’s based. Its front end wears a deeper bumper with a bigger air dam and a splitter, a specific grille with a red RS emblem, an extra dash of chrome trim, and blacked-out headlights.
Beyond the front end, designers have added side skirts, carbon fiber trim on the rear bumper, a roof-mounted spoiler, and 17-inch alloy wheels whose design is inspired by the wheels that the 650-horsepower Corvette Z06 rides on. The finishing touch is a black racing stripe that stretches down the driver’s side of the car.
Chevrolet hasn’t revealed what the Spark RS is powered by. The regular-production Spark is fitted with a 1.4-liter EcoTec four-cylinder engine that sends 98 hp to the front wheels through either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT. It’s no powerhouse, but it allows the Euro-bred hatchback to return roughly 40 mpg on the highway.
It’s not too farfetched to speculate that the concept is fitted with roughly the same four-banger as the stock Spark. Although the RS name has generally been seen in the same sentence as “Ford Focus” in recent months, Chevrolet has used the moniker since the late-1960s to denote a series of appearance packages that, broadly speaking, mostly bundle visual add-ons.
The Spark RS concept was built to gauge buyers’ reaction to the idea of a sportier-looking city car. Chevrolet openly admits that the concept stands a good chance of getting the green light for production if Bowtie aficionados ask for it.