The Chevrolet Sprint, also known as the Suzuki Cultus, Chevy Metro and Geo Metro, is manufactured by the Japan-based Suzuki Motor Corporation and was rebadged as the Chevy Sprint for the North American and other markets. The 1985 to 1988 Cultus/Sprint was badged the Holden Barina, and in Canada it was known as the Pontiac Firefly. The Sprint is a supermini car that earns exceptional gas mileage and sells at a low price.
The Suzuki Cultus was launched in 1983 at the Tokyo Motor Show and hit the North American market two years later as the Chevrolet Sprint following a partnership agreement between Suzuki and General Motors, the parent company of Chevrolet, that was developed in 1981. Assembly plants throughout the world produced versions of the Cultus. The Cultus is immensely popular in Pakistan, where it remains in production. The Sprint’s final production year was 2004 in Colombia.
Given its roots in economical design, the Sprint was a rather boxy, stubby vehicle offered as a 3- or 5-door hatchback with few amenities. In fact, air conditioning was the only option available on the Sprint for many years. Power door locks and windows were not available, nor were most other appointments readily available on most U.S. domestic and imported vehicles.
The 1989 to 2003 Sprint, which was originally badged as the Suzuki Cultus 1000 GU, was placed on a short wheelbase only 88.2 inches long. It measured only 140.9 inches long and 60.2 inches wide. In keeping with its box appearance, the Sprint also stood at 60.2 inches, which is exceptionally tall for a supermini model. Curbside weight was 1,367 pounds. Some versions, depending on the country in which it was assembled, had the wheelbase stretched to 93 inches with an overall length of about 144 inches. Curbside weight could reach as high as 1,560 pounds, according to Carfolio.com and Ukmotorists.com.
The Cultus 1000 GU, or Sprint, featured a tiny 6-valve 60-horsepower 993cc (60.597-cubic-inch displacement) in-line 3-cylinder engine. Torque–the twisting power the engine creates for acceleration–was a minuscule 61 foot-pounds. A 70-horsepower Turbo diesel generating 107 foot-pounds of torque helped make up for the power shortage of the gasoline version. The engines were complemented by a 3-speed automatic or 5-speed overdrive manual transmission.
The 1988 to 1990 Geo Metro/Sprint earned 54 mpg city driving and 58 on the highway. The coupes and sedans achieved 44 in the city and 49 on the highway. The Turbo diesel coupes earned 37/43. Base price for a 1988 Geo/Cultus/Sprint was $5,495, with the Turbo diesel costing $8,240.
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