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    Detroit 2012: Chevrolet Sonic RS Takes A Bow



    William Maley

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    December 19, 2011

    Chevrolet has pulled the curtain back on a hotter version of Sonic. The 2013 Sonic RS will make it's official debut at next month's Detroit Auto Show.

    The Sonic RS differs from the regular Sonic with a new front and rear fascia, rear spoiler, side sills, five-spoke alloy wheels, and a lower, stiffer suspension.

    Power comes from the Sonic's 1.4L turbo four producing 138 HP and 148 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard with a six-speed automatic optional.

    Inside, the Sonic RS features sport seats, sport steering wheel, aluminum sport pedals, new trim, and gauge cluster treatment. The Sonic RS will also come with Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system standard.

    Pricing for the Sonic RS hasn't been announced. The Sonic RS will hit Chevrolet showrooms sometime late next year.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Turbocharged 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Pushes Performance

    Unique exterior and interior styling, sport-tuned suspension and standard MyLink

    DETROITA hotter Chevrolet Sonic is about to sound off – the 2013 Sonic RS. It goes on sale in late 2012, after making its public debut at the North American International Auto Show Jan. 14-22.

    The new RS amplifies the Sonic’s youthful style and driving experience with unique exterior and interior features matched with a 138-horsepower (103 kW) Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine. Sonic is the only vehicle in its segment to offer a turbocharged powertrain.

    “The new Chevrolet Sonic RS pushes Chevrolet’s performance heritage in a new direction, for a new generation of drivers,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Global Chevrolet Marketing. “It takes the Sonic’s great design and latest connectivity features and combines them with a more performance-oriented look and feel.”

    The Sonic RS is offered exclusively in the five-door body style. Chevrolet’s exclusive MyLink infotainment system is standard. It enables navigation directions downloaded through a smart phone to be shown on the radio’s large display, and offers the personalized connectivity of Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio.

    Sonic RS exterior features

    • New front fascia with new fog lamp design
    • New RS-specific grille
    • New rear fascia
    • New rear spoiler
    • New rocker moldings
    • Unique mirror cap finish
    • Retuned sport exhaust with chrome outlet
    • Unique 17-inch five-spoke wheel design
    • Lowered and stiffened suspension with performance-tuned dampers
    • RS badging.

    The more-aggressive look of the Sonic RS is inspired by the concept that debuted in Detroit in 2010. The Sonic RS will be available in Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic and Black Granite Metallic, which is a new exterior color for the 2013 Sonic.

    “The Sonic RS remains true to the progressive spirit of the concept and brings an unmistakable attitude to the segment,” said John Mack, design director for the Sonic. “From every angle and every touch point, it is a car that is unabashed in its performance statement – and one that drives Chevrolet’s performance legacy into its second century.”

    One of the most-dramatic cues from the concept carried into the production model is the Sonic RS’s front fascia, which has a deep air dam design that enhances the car’s road-hugging stance. Vertical intakes at the edges of the fascia reinforce the wide, low proportion and house the fog lamps.

    Sonic RS interior features

    • New front sport seats
    • New sport steering wheel with thicker rim and racing-inspired flat-bottom design
    • New shifter knob (manual transmission)
    • New aluminum sport pedals
    • Specific instrument panel cluster graphics
    • RS-specific interior trim color for the instrument panel and door trim inserts.

    “Like the exterior, the Sonic RS’s interior looks and feels the part of a true performance car,” said Mack. “The seats are firm and provide great lateral support during quick cornering and the feel of the thick, flat-bottom steering wheel is a feature driving enthusiasts will truly appreciate.”

    The Sonic RS’s interior is a connected environment, with the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment seven-inch color touch screen radio. This system allows customers to bring customized music libraries into the vehicle and use their smart phones and Bluetooth connectivity to access Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio and navigation. Navigation directions downloaded through a smart phone can be displayed on the screen and, when the vehicle is stopped, users can project video and even personal photo albums onto the screen from their phone.

    Sonic RS performance

    The Sonic RS is powered by a standard Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine that is rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) – and provides an immediate feeling of power that is sustained across the rpm band, for a greater feeling of performance at lower rpm. It’s matched with a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic.

    Unique gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission and unique final drive ratio for the automatic give the Sonic RS a sportier feel than non-RS models.

    Complementing the segment-exclusive turbocharged powertrain is MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and a semi-independent, torsion beam axle-mount compound link-type rear suspension – featuring a robust, tubular V-shape beam – with gas-charged shocks. The front and rear tracks are identical at 59.4 inches (1,509 mm), for well-planted stability and balance.

    The new RS is the only Sonic model offered with four-wheel disc brakes, which are partnered with a four-channel anti-lock braking system. The four-sensor system – one at each wheel – incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo.

    Electric power steering is standard and features a wear compensator that continually adjusts the system interaction with the steering gear to ensure precise steering action over the life of the system.

    Sonic lineup at a glance

    The Chevrolet Sonic is offered in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a five-door, with a starting price of $14,495 (including destination charge). Each body style delivers class-leading, rear-seat roominess and cargo space. Vehicle highlights include:

    • Standard Ecotec 1.8L engine (non-RS models) paired with five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions
    • Standard electric power steering and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing
    • Sedan offers trunk capacity that is greater than most compact cars; hatchback and sedan offer better rear-seat roominess than Ford Fiesta. With a rear seat that folds nearly flat, the Sonic hatchback has greater cargo capacity than Fiesta
    • Connectivity includes OnStar with six months of Turn-by-Turn navigation. Available features include XM Satellite Radio, USB and Bluetooth functionality and MyChevrolet mobile application
    • Remote start, heated front seats and sunroof – all rarities in the segment
    • Ten standard air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.

    Sonic is built at the General Motors’ Orion Assembly Center in Michigan, which received a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling and helped restore approximately 1,000 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area.

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    If you're the kind of person who forgets what trim level your car is whenever you bend down and look between your legs while sitting in the front seats, the Sonic RS is the car for you.

    J/k. The appearance upgrades are nice. The louder colors really do make this car.

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    I've not seen but maybe 2 on the road so far, and a $h!load of Fiestas. I still don't see evidence of real cool colour selection, like the Schpark has. Way too tame on the colour selection, ppl.

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    Saw one over the weekend sedan and was moving fast and didn't get a good look what I saw though was good narrow & tall but good. Spark & Sonic look too similar to me though.

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    A power bump would have been nice.

    Yeah that's what they did the RS gets the turbo1.4 not the std. 1.8na

    Yawn. When you start off with new fascia and fog light design as the features, there isn't much exciting.

    See above post

    Your getting tiresome

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    67impss, you know the 1.4t is available as an option on the LT and LTZ, right? I've seen them on the lots. The RS has no power bump, but it does have different gearing, suspension tuning, and 4 wheel discs in addition to cosmetic changes.

    At least it has more special hardware than Yaris SE, which IIRC is strictly cosmetic enhancements (verify?)

    As always, I am mystified as to why a 3-door is not offered. A 3-door Sonic RS would change my perception of it, honestly, it makes that much of a difference to me.

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    ^ Appliance makers know that the 4dr/5dr appliances sell the best and that most consumers aren't interested in 2dr or 3dr ones....

    Most personal transportation appliances today are 4dr, 4cyl, FWD, and automatic....thus Chevy's lineup circa 2013 will be primarily 4dr/5dr FWD/AT 4cyl appliances in XXS, XS, S, M, and L sizes, with the Corvette and Camaro as novelties. Strange times we live in. Thing is, the public by and large doesn't care..they just want their appliance to be reliable and cheap to run.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    Even Buick will also have 3 sedans with FWD and 4-cylinder. And you figure the CTS and Camaro will get a 4 cylinder standard on the next generation, GM will be very heavy on 4-cylinders in a couple years. It is sad to see the V8 and now even the V6 getting pushed aside.

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    Even Buick will also have 3 sedans with FWD and 4-cylinder. And you figure the CTS and Camaro will get a 4 cylinder standard on the next generation, GM will be very heavy on 4-cylinders in a couple years. It is sad to see the V8 and now even the V6 getting pushed aside.

    Oh, just enjoy the power in any of these cars while you can...

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    I see that now Ocn the first time I posted I had missed it but the hatch is only available with the 1.8l na I4 wile the sedan you can opt for the turbo in higher trims

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    I see that now Ocn the first time I posted I had missed it but the hatch is only available with the 1.8l na I4 wile the sedan you can opt for the turbo in higher trims

    Nope, both styles are available with 1.4T for an extra $700 for LT and LTZ trims.

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    Even Buick will also have 3 sedans with FWD and 4-cylinder. And you figure the CTS and Camaro will get a 4 cylinder standard on the next generation, GM will be very heavy on 4-cylinders in a couple years. It is sad to see the V8 and now even the V6 getting pushed aside.

    Oh, just enjoy the power in any of these cars while you can...

    It seems like 2015 will be a repeat of the 1970s when power just gets zapped from every car.

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    It seems like 2015 will be a repeat of the 1970s when power just gets zapped from every car.

    True...at least then most cars were RWD and big...too many small FWD appliances today. But at least they are well equipped as far as interior content. It's amazing that 4 cyls today have more HP than V8s from the mid '80s.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    Even Buick will also have 3 sedans with FWD and 4-cylinder. And you figure the CTS and Camaro will get a 4 cylinder standard on the next generation, GM will be very heavy on 4-cylinders in a couple years. It is sad to see the V8 and now even the V6 getting pushed aside.

    Oh, just enjoy the power in any of these cars while you can...

    It seems like 2015 will be a repeat of the 1970s when power just gets zapped from every car.

    Support your argument.

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    There is no drop in power for mainstream buyers.

    True but if you go back 10-15 years, a Lumina/Impala, or Buick, Pontaic, or Olds probably had a 3800 with 200 hp, 225 lb-ft. The 2.5 liter four may hit the 200 hp mark, but probably more like 180-190 lb-ft or torque. I see the 2.5 liter being the new 3800 in a sense, where it is used on all mid-size sedans and crossovers like the Equinox. So there hasn't been a drop in power, just cylinder count, but cars of 2015 seem like they will have the same power as those in the late 90s. Compared to say 1985 to 2000 when power really went up.

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