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Spark van: A flash of genius

2013-02-21 21:58

'GET THERE, PRONTO!' When GM was pondering a facelift for the Chevrolet Spark mini car somebody thought 'Why not a mini van, too?" And so it came to pass - the Spark Pronto.

LES STEPHENSON

Not every business needs a bakkie: think florists, travel agents, pharmacies, boutiques, milliners, bakeries, couriers, even pizza delivery guys. A small van, perhaps...?

Yeah, but a van is slightly plumberish, secretive, its contents hidden from view – park one on a suburban Jozi street corner and see how long it takes until a police van sniffs on by. A small van with windows, then...?

Which is precisely what General Motors Africa came up with when its marketeers had thoughts of a revamp for the popular Chevrolet Spark. A light went on in somebody’s brain that flashed “ditch the rear seats, put in a fibreboard lining and some nice security bars across the rear windows and...” well, the result was the Spark Pronto – a clever name that suggests delivery with speed, Mexican cheek and, with some smart sign-writing, a distinctive little work vehicle.

THREE LOAD DOORS

The front end and drive train are exactly the same as the entry-level Spark Campus (including aircon), the boot and ex-rear seat space can take floral displays standing up, you’ve got three doors to access the load volume from all sides and it all look smart and professional.

Given you have a business with VAT exemption, the Spark Pronto will cost you R89 000. Which gives you a seriously cute delivery van with a 60kW/108Nm engine and a 275kg payload that should easily manage around six litres/100km around a city.

And given that roof rails can be fitted to any Spark, you’ve a roof rack for longer items. It’s pre-wired for your own sound system and safety gear includes front air bags and anti-lock brakes.

The front seats are separated from the load bay by a sturdy tubular divider and lining so if you have to park your Pronto in a dodgy area, it’s likely your cargo will stay safe – at least for a while!

All Chev Sparks for South Africa are made here, including the Pronto, though it also has a presence in Mexico and Korea. They are also covered by a five-year or 120 000km warranty with roadside assistance on call for breakdown or collision.

2013 CHEVROLET SPARK MODELS/PRICES
Chevrolet Spark 1.2 Campus - R106,100
Chevrolet Spark 1.2 - R113,600
Chevrolet Spark 1.2 LS - R123,000
Chevrolet Spark 1.2 LT - R136,500
Chevrolet Spark “Pronto” van - R101 500 (R89 035 exc VAT)

All prices include VAT and CO2 Tax.

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