Chevrolet released a new subcompact this fall, the Sonic, to replace the Aveo. Chevrolet is going to unveil a hot-hatch version, the Sonic RS, at the Detroit Auto Show.
First version only a few months old
Chevrolet released the successor to the Aveo subcompact this fall, the Sonic. The Sonic, according to AutoWeek, comes with two engine options, a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter and a turbocharged 1.4-liter. Both produce 138 horsepower, which gives the Sonic slightly more power than the Ford Fiesta and the Honda Fit. The turbo version comes with automatic or manual six-speed transmissions; the non-turbo version comes with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
The car, according to the Chevy website, comes as either a three-door hatchback or a four-door sedan. The hatch version starts at $14,635 and the sedan starts at $13,735, and they are selling fast. According to AutoBlog, Chevrolet dealerships are down to a 17-day supply of the cars. Typically, a dealership should have about a 90-day supply of any vehicle, according to The Detroit Bureau.
Detroit Auto Show gets 2013 Sonic RS
According to USA Today, Chevrolet is taking the Sonic RS to the Detroit Auto Show in January, months ahead of its release in late 2012 as a 2013 model. The RS isn’t going to get any more power under the hood, but it is getting styling and handling improvements.
The RS will only come as a hot hatch. Ground effects will come installed under the bumpers and the sides, and the car will also get sharper-looking headlights. The RS also comes with 17-inch wheels and much more aggressive-looking front bumper flares.
Inside, the RS gets a real leather interior, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also gets the MyLink “infotainment” system, including a touchscreen-operated stereo. According to AutoBlog, it won’t come with satellite navigation; instead, MyLink will upload directions via Bluetooth to the driver’s smartphone and the MyChevrolet app. The car also gets performance-appointed interior design.
The engine will be the same 1.4-liter turbo-charged four-cylinder, but a shorter-shifting transmission should make it a bit more sporty than the base model. The suspension is also tuned to lower the car by an inch, and all four wheels come with disc brakes.
Price to be announced later
Chevrolet hasn’t announced a price yet. According to Chevy’s website, the RS package is a $595 option for the upper range of the Cruze, so if the same holds true for the Sonic, it should be less than $20,000.
The car is not in competition with serious hot hatches like the Golf R or the WRX, but it is definitely more powerful than most other subcompacts. The closest competition that comes to mind is a Ford concept that was shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Fiesta ST. The ST, according to MotorTrend, makes 160 horsepower from the 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. However, it’s unknown whether it will make it into production for the U.S.