event / motoring / 24/07/2010

Chevrolet Spark Launch

I was invited to the Chevrolet Spark media launch in Cape Town on Thursday, 22 July. General Motors decided to do something different and invite “influential social media folks”, people who weren’t necessarily motoring journalists; and so my name was put forward.

When we arrived in Cape Town (there was a large group of us from Johannesburg), we were told to choose a car from the fleet, get into groups of four and self-drive to a warehouse in Brackenfell. Everything was waiting for us: keys in car, parking ticket to exit the parkade, and directions to the warehouse. We got there easily with my directions, well not mine, but me directing the driver 😉

After a short welcome, unveiling of the Spark and a quick performance by dancers, the formalities began.

We were told to get into the cars and tune in via FM transmitter to listen to the rest of the presentation.

Then the fun part began – driving the Spark! We got into groups of two and followed directions placed in the car, which took us to Franschoek. We had lunch, swapped drivers and drove back via a slightly different route.

The drive was scenic (well, it is Cape Town), and while I was doing 120km/h, I noticed a 60km/h sign with a camera below it. Oops. There was no point in slowing down; I (or rather General Motors) was going to pick up a fine anyway. Most of the journey was on a single lane road and there were lots of trucks. Overtaking was very tedious, but that’s what you’d expect from a car that size.

The Spark is a step up from the Spark Lite and two specification levels are offered, L and LS. Both are powered by a fuel-efficient 1.2L, 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine. The base L model offers power steering, air conditioning, radio / CD / MP3 player, Auxiliary USB port and driver & passenger airbags. The LS model additionally has electric side mirrors, ABS anti-lock brakes and remote boot release. These are just some of the features.

The Spark L is priced at R115 495 and the Spark LS is R125 495, which I’d say is ideal for students or as a first car. I wouldn’t be going out to buy one as I’d like a car with a bit more power. More information on the Chevrolet website here.

Thank you General Motors, for inviting me to drive the hot new Spark!



Nafisa Akabor
Always online... except when I'm offline.




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  • Very nice!! Were there any automatic cars in the fleet or only manuals?

    Oh, and I still want to know where in Franschhoek you had lunch! Beautiful there, isn’t it? Wouldn’t you like to move down?

  • Only manual.

    I don’t know, we were given food and drinks and drove to some place. See first and last pic. I don’t know CT that well. I think I need to come for a proper holiday and do the whole tourist thing before deciding… but I think I’d love Jhb more 😛

  • I wouldn’t have been driving then! I don’t know how to change gears anymore, since I had only been driving for about three months before leaving for the States, where I spent the next few years driving automatics. So now I also have an automatic. Clutch control is definitely not part of my muscle memory, ha ha!

    Yes, you definitely need to come back to W Cape for longer than a day!

  • I got my license on manual and when I went to the UK afterwards, never drove until a few years ago, and I got an automatic car, which I’m still driving. I brushed up on manual for this launch and am now going to trade my car in for a manual.

    When I do, I will be calling you up 🙂

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