At a recent Track Day event hosted by the Motor Press Guild, the Chevy Spark EV hit the Willow Springs Raceway for some action.
Spark EV Right at Home on the Track
Other vehicles were there too, including the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Ford Focus ST, and Scion FR-S. So, how did the Spark EV stack up?
Well, it wasn't a race, so there will be no times to compare here.
Rather, the vehicles were driven individually around the track.
Here's what About.com says of the event:
"...there was a reason GM put the Spark EV on the track: Its electric motor puts out 400 lb-ft of torque. That's about the same amount as the 5.7 liter V8 in the Dodge Challenger R/T, and it propels the Spark EV to 60 in 8 seconds. Floor the Spark EV's accelerator at around 20 MPH, and it will break the tires loose."
"...How was it? Well, you can probably guess that it was pretty quick -- maybe not quick enough to pass the other cars on the track, but quick enough to nip at their heels. The Spark EV's low-rolling-resistance tires weren't exactly happy in the corners -- my whole run was a cacophony of squealing rubber -- but the suspension stayed surprisingly composed."
"The Spark EV's battery pack is in the rear of the car, a convenience that happens to give the car a near-50/50 weight distribution. That, combined with those skinny tires, makes for a rather comedic effect: Once the Spark EV hits its limits of traction, it's anyone's guess which end will break loose first."
"And believe it or not, running on the track wasn't all that hard on the Spark's battery. There's a lot of foot-to-the-floor acceleration, but there's also a lot of braking, which generates power to charge the battery. I probably ran 3-4 miles on the track, and only used up 5 miles of range."
"The bottom line is that I expected the Spark EV to be totally inept on the track -- and yet it drove like it belonged there. I drove some pretty awesome metal at Willow Springs, but the Spark EV was the highlight of my day."
The highlight of the day...That's the Spark EV. Now, if only we could get GM to make this racetrack-ready EV available nationwide, then we could all experience it.