• The 2013 Spark is dropping its CD player
  • Base models will include an AM/FM stereo and an auxiliary plug
  • Upscale 1LT and 2LT models will offer Chevrolet's MyLink information and entertainment system

Chevrolet has announced that the upcoming 2013 Spark subcompact won't have one feature that had been standard in its cars for years: a CD player. According to the automaker, the upcoming model won't even include the feature on its options list, ending a 20-year run in which a CD player has been offered throughout Chevrolet's entire lineup.

Instead of a CD player, the base Spark LS will include an AM/FM stereo and an auxiliary jack for portable music players, Chevrolet said. And although pricier Spark 1LT and 2LT models add a host of high-end equipment, they still won't offer a CD slot. Instead, the more upscale Spark models will feature Chevrolet's MyLink information and entertainment system, which comes with a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth for streaming audio, an app for Pandora Internet radio and a seven-inch touchscreen among its standard features.

Not surprisingly, the move comes as both a cost-cutting measure and a nod to the car's target audience: young drivers. In addition to helping Chevrolet bring the Spark to market with a base price of under $13,000 before destination, leaving out a CD player also allows the brand to connect with the Spark's likely buyers, many of whom left CD players behind years ago in favor of MP3s, iPods, USB devices and Internet radio.

Despite Chevrolet's decision to remove the CD player from the subcompact Spark, the automaker promises it has no immediate plans to drop the feature in other models. Nonetheless, we can't help but wonder how long it will be until the CD player goes the way of the cassette deck, which saw its last use in Lexus's luxurious SC430 convertible before that model's cancellation following the 2010 model year.

While in-car CD players were first offered by several upscale automakers during the late 1980s, Chevrolet introduced the feature on its 1990 Corvette. Interestingly, CD players have never been standard equipment across the whole Chevrolet lineup. Recent models that continued to relegate the feature to the options list include the Aveo and Sonic subcompacts, the Colorado pickup and the full-size Express cargo van.

The Spark goes on sale nationwide later this summer. An all-electric plug-in version is also expected to reach U.S. dealers sometime in 2013.

What it means to you: If you're still a CD lover, now is the time to start transferring your music to iPods and portable music devices.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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