It seems a month can't go by without another automaker announcing a new pocket rocket. Currently we have the Ford Fiesta and Focus ST; Honda Civic Si, Subaru WRX and WRX STI; Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Volkswagen GTI. So that leaves us and a number of enthusiasts wondering - where is GM's contender?
General Motors' vice president of product development tells Automotive News that at the moment, there isn't a business case for one.
"Capital is not a black hole. On those cars, the price point begins to approach the segment of the next car up. We would spend a lot of money and resources, and what are we really doing?" said Reuss.
AutoPacific Inc. analyst Dave Sullivan agrees with Reuss' reason, stating that the added cost and complexity of fitting a bigger engine and manual transmission into either the Sonic or Cruze is prohibitively expensive. But Sullivan does point out that they can pull items and help from their European division. Case in point is the Opel/Vauxhall Astra OPC/VXR with a turbocharged 2.0L four with 276 horsepower.
For the time being, Reuss says that the company is offering a wide selection of accessories to boost performance for not that much cash. Case in point is the $995 performance stage kit and exhaust package for the Sonic. But if you press Reuss, he says a production pocket rocket could be in the timeline.
"The real question is: Is that a big priority? For now, no. Forever? I wouldn't say that."
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)