Chevrolet’s presence at this year’s SEMA Show is just further proof that small cars can be fun, especially when outfitted with a range of accessories from Z-Spec - the company’s line of performance, styling, and personalization accessories.
The first concept - the Sonic Z-Spec #1 - is based on a turbocharged five-door Sonic. The concept is finished in a special Torch Red exterior finish with a set of 18-inch wheels to top it off. The exterior package also includes a Z-Spec spoiler, a unique grille, and a graphics package.
The interior of the Sonic Z-Spec brings in more dynamic red with a Cobalt Red cabin with custom trim, and perforated black suede seat inserts to compliment it. Other features include a Z-Spec sport pedal kit, sport shift knob, and a racing-style flat-bottom steering wheel. Additional upgrades include performance brakes with four-piston calipers, a new high-flow exhaust system, and performance suspension parts.
"The heritage of Chevrolet cars like the Corvette and Camaro is being expressed in smaller packages for the next generation," said Chris Perry, vice president, global marketing and strategy for Chevrolet. ’The Sonic and Cruze concepts demonstrate that performance comes in all shapes, sizes and displacements at Chevrolet."
Any car, with the right team behind it, can be turned into a full-fledged racer. Yes, even if the car is Chevrolet’s little Sonic hatchback.
The Chevy team behind this piece of work - it’s called the Sonic Super 4 Concept - wanted to prove that even the Sonic’s sporty driving character could be translated and transferred into one that can pound asphalt on the tracks.
Mission accomplished, to say the least.
The reinforced body structure of the Sonic contributes to a dynamic driving experience. The suspension system features a Macpherson strut front suspension with coil springs, a stabilizer bar, and side-load-compensated front strut modules. The whole set-up was modified for racing while also receiving a lower restriction intake and exhaust system, enhancing the hatchback’s on-track performance.
Aerodynamic enhancements were also in the offing for the Super 4 Concept. Among the items added include a lower splitter, rocker panel extensions, and rear diffuser, all of which were made from carbon fiber. The car was also dressed in Chevrolet racing graphics and also carries tinted headlamps and taillights, a Concept Z-Spec high wing rear spoiler, and a new set of 18" satin black wheels wrapped in racing tires.
Inside, Chevrolet did away with most of the standard features of the road-going Sonic and modified it to a full-on race set-up featuring a full chrome molly roll cage, window nets, racing instrumentation, a fire suppression and rearview camera system, an easily-detachable racing wheel, a racing seat with a five-point harness, and a Z-Spec pedal kit.
The Sonic Super 4 Concept is powered by a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission with an adjustable coil-over struts and spring kit, a low-restriction air intake and filter, and a two-inch cat-back straight-pipe exhaust.
UPDATE 11/08/2011: We have added new images of the Chevrolet Sonic Super 4 Concept from its official debut at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show. Check them out in the picture gallery.
Anybody that has ever had an appreciation of classic cars knows that the annual Woodward Dream Cruise is one of the can’t-miss events of the calendar year.
Held annually at Michigan’s legendary Woodward Avenue, the world’s largest classic car cruise is shaping up to have another memorable 2011 staging, complete with over 30,000 classic vehicles and an attendance that’s expected to reach well over 1.5 million people.
This year, the Chevrolet-sponsored event will be held on August 20th when you’ll see some of your favorite cars in history. An event like this brings out all types of cars from different generations. You name it, it’s there: from hot rods, classic cars, muscle cars, rat rods, art cars, TV cars, and everything else in between. In fact, at least one of every type of Mustang model made since the car debuted in April 1964 will be in attendance, as well as the Shelby GT500, both street and racing versions of the Boss 302, and the Mustang GT and V6 Coupe with performance package. Getting back to the main sponsor, Chevrolet, the Detroit-based company is bringing many cars from their past, present, and future, including the Cruze, Camaro, Corvette, Volt, Sonic, and ZL1 Camaro.
If you happen to be in the area this weekend, you’ll get a first-hand look at some of those classic rides that you’ll have the chance to check off of your bucket list. But if you’re not within the vicinity, you can still keep up-to-date with the latest happenings courtesy of the event’s official radio station, 104.3 WOMC. Head over to the WOMC website and find out everything you need to know about the Woodward Dream Cruise 2011.
GM has started building the subcompact Chevy Sonic at their Orion Hills, MI plant. The upcoming Chevrolet Sonic may be small in size, but the automaker has huge plans for the subcompact car, which replaces the forgettable Korean-built Chevy Aveo in its lineup. Chevy has gone to great lengths to promote the Sonic, despite the fact that it won’t hit dealer showrooms until sometime this fall.
Like the Aveo, the Sonic was developed in South Korea; unlike the Aveo, the Sonic will be built in the United States. GM is quick to point out that the Sonic is the only subcompact from a domestic manufacturer built in this country. If you count the Fiat 500 as being from Chrysler, it’s built at their plant in Toluca, Mexico. Ford’s Fiesta also comes from south of the border, and is assembled at the Ford plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.
The Sonic began production at Chevy’s Orion Township, MI plant today, justifying some $500 million in upgrades that GM has spent on the facility, which also builds the Buick Verano. At launch, Chevy will offer the Sonic at a base price of $14,495, which makes it slightly more expensive than a base Ford Fiesta. Opt for the 1.4-liter turbo engine, and the price goes up by $700. If you want the range-topping LTZ version in hatchback form, that price starts at $17,235.
Chevy has alluded to the Sonic’s handling, referencing its direct DNA link to the Chevrolet Corvette. We’re struggling to make the connection between a front-engine, front-drive subcompact and one of America’s premier sports cars, but we’ll give Chevy some latitude, at least until we have a chance to drive the Sonic.
After seeing the Sonic Z-Spec Concept at the Detroit Auto Show, we didn’t think it would take too long before Chevrolet revealed the first details on the production version of the car. Now we have them as the production Sonic Z-Spec will be revealed at the 2011 New York Auto Show next week.
The production version will include body-color ground effects (with a silver exhaust tip), contrasting mirror caps and roof spoiler, contrasting upper and lower grille surrounds, and a body graphics package. Additionally, the customer will get a more unique look for their special edition hatchback with a front fascia extension, rocker panel extensions, rear fascia extension, and silver exhaust tip. The interior is left widely untouched with only new aluminum sport pedals and sill plates. The vehicle will be completed with a new set of painted wheels offered in size 16" or 17".
Customers will have to choose from two different color accent packages - "Black Out" or "White Out" - that feature black accents on the Summit White Sonic exterior paint and Summit White accents on the Inferno Orange Sonic.
The 2012 Sonic will carry a 1.8L DOHC inline 4-cylinder unit delivering 135 HP and 125 lb-ft of torque, but customers can also upgrade to an optional 138 HP 1.4L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder. We imagine the Z-Spec package will come with these same engine options.
"The new Z-Spec accessories reinforce Sonic’s fun, youthful spirit," said Rick Scheidt, vice president, Chevrolet marketing. "Customization is particularly important with the customers we believe will gravitate toward the Sonic, and we want to help them make their vehicle look exactly the way they want as easily as possible."
The Sonic Z-Spec package will be available in parts form or as a full package. Prices will be revealed closer to the launch date, but don’t stress too much about the additional up front costs; GM is allowing customers to roll the parts prices into their monthly payment.
Chevrolet is officially removing the Aveo nameplate on their B-segment car and will be re-christening it the ‘Sonic’. If you recall, the 2011 Aveo first made its appearance at the Paris Motor Show a few months ago bearing the ‘Aveo’ name. But according to Chevrolet, models that are going to be sold in North America and Mexico will now be called Sonic whereas the Aveo name will be retained in other parts of the world.
In a press release, Chris Perry, Chevrolet’s vice president of US marketing, said, “The Sonic represents a new beginning for Chevrolet in the small car segment and so we felt it was time to give it a new name."
"The new car is roomy, stylish and fun to drive, and Sonic is a youthful, energetic name that helps convey what this vehicle is about."
Hit the jump to read more on the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. Full story
Chevrolet first used the Z-Spec name at the 2010 SEMA Show where they revealed the Volt Z-Spec, the Spark Z-Spec, and the Cruze Z-Spec. Continuing their use of the name at the Detroit Auto Show comes the new Sonic Z-Spec Concept. Not many details have been revealed on the concept as of yet, but Chevrolet has confirmed that it showcases a family of factory-engineered accessories and the best of the aftermarket under a single design theme.
The concept’s exterior is distinguished by a massive rear-deck spoiler, an orange paint scheme, and eighteen-inch multi-spoke BBS wheels. The interior is also defined by the same orange color scheme, as well as new Recaro seats covered in tan leather. Other minor adjustments for the inside include a billet shift knob and flat-bottom steering wheel cap.
The powertrain for the concept is still being kept under wraps, but we expect it to carry the same 1.4L turbo engine with maybe some tweaks here and there. We do know that Chevrolet has added a new K&N filter and Borla exhaust to help bump up whatever output the concept is delivering.