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.
Exterior and Interior
The new Chevrolet Sonic will come in either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. Whatever style you choose, the Sonic will still come with a number of new style features, including a a new aggressive-looking front with motorcycle-inspired twin-headlamps and a dual-element grille, compact taut body panels with a rising shoulder line and short rear overhangs, bulging fender flares, round tail lamps, and an upward sweeping character line.
Despite boasting of similar styling features, the sedan and hatchback versions of the Sonic are also distinctively different. The former has a "notchback" profile that gives it a more upscale and mature look. Meanwhile, the latter takes the shape of a tight, two-box that comes with aggressive lines and the look of a three-door hatch, thanks in large part to the rear door handles being discreetly located in the "C" pillar area of the car.
As for the interior, the Sonic’s cabin will feature a Spark -inspired cockpit that comes with a two-tone design and class-leading spacious rear seat. There will also be a remote start, heated front seats, and a sunroof, along with comprehensive safety features that include 10 standard air bags, antilock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, and OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.
The new Sonic’s interior will also boast of a mid-instrument panel surface that’s available in two colors - dark titanium and brick - an automatic shift knob with a "cobra head" design," a tubular outboard climate outlets protrude from the instrument panel surface, rear seats that fold flat for carrying larger items, and a number of other options, including USB/Bluetooth connectivity.
The Sonic will be powered by an Ecotec 1.4-liter turbo engine that produces an estimated 138 horsepower and 148 lb/ft of torque between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm mated to a six-speed manual transmission system. The new Sonic’s engine is pretty much the same as the one found under the hood of the Chevrolet Cruze, albeit in a smaller and lighter vehicle
The other engine variant of the Sonic is an Ecotec 1.8-liter engine where it can be paired with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission system. It shares many of the same features as its 1.4-liter brother with an estimated 135 horsepower to go with 123 lb/ft of torque at 3,800 rpm.
No word yet on the pricing for the Sonic, but we’d be surprised if it didn’t fall in the range of the 2011 Aveo, which comes with a base price of $12,115.
Key competitors for the new Aveo/Sonic will include the Toyota Yaris 5-door, the Honda Fit , and the Nissan Versa 5-door. With all three vehicles, the new Aveo/Sonic is expected to carry more cargo room than the Yaris while offering better fuel consumption compared to the Fit and Versa.
- We’re digging the Sonic name
- New features on the interior give plenty to play around with
- 135 horsepower!
- Exterior styling still leaves a lot to be desired
- Those headlamps look like they were copied from Volvo
- The front end looks a little pudgy
Chevrolet displayed the all-new 2012 Sonic at the North American International Auto Show. Its youthful, aggressive design is backed by turbocharged performance and agile ride and handling, combining to deliver an efficient, fun-to-drive small car.
The Sonic is offered in two body styles: a stylish four-door sedan and a sporty five-door. Each delivers class-leading rear-seat roominess and cargo space. A variety of connectivity features enhance the driving experience.
"The all-new Chevrolet Sonic blends the practicality of a small car with the passion for driving that Chevrolet vehicles like the Corvette are known for," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. "Its combination of great design, fun driving experience and the latest connectivity features create a serious competitor with a fun spirit."
Production of the Sonic begins later in 2011 at the General Motors Orion Assembly Center in Michigan, which received a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling, and will help restore approximately 1,000 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area.
"Chevrolet is the only company building a small car in the United States," said Perry. "We believe the Sonic will bring substance to the segment, with progressive styling, performance and value that will change perceptions of what a small car can be in America."
Sonic’s highlights include:
Available efficient Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine rated at an estimated 138 horsepower (103 kW) - 18 horsepower (14 kW) more than Ford Fiesta - that delivers competitive fuel economy. It’s the same engine used in the Chevrolet Cruze in a smaller, lighter package for a greater feeling of performance
Standard Ecotec 1.8L engine paired with five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions
Ecotec 1.4L turbo available with a six-speed manual transmission
Ride and handling tuned by Chevy Corvette engineers; standard electronic power steering and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing
Sedan model offers segment-best 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 with OnStar MyLink vehicle connectivity
Remote start, heated front seats and sunroof, all rarities in the segment
Comprehensive safety features include 10 standard air bags, antilock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.
Progressive exterior design
From every angle, Sonic sedan and five-door models convey strength, stability and refinement. A wide, planted stance, with wheels-at-the-corners proportions, conveys performance. Progressive, raked body lines suggest movement even when the car is stationary.
Details that reinforce Sonic’s quality and attention to detail include chrome grille surrounds and matte black honeycomb grille inserts on all models, while a range of large wheel sizes, including 17-inch alloy wheels, reinforces its sporty demeanor.
Sonic’s cabin complements the motorcycle-inspired exterior with a detailed instrument cluster featuring a large, round analog tachometer set within an asymmetrical LCD readout, with a large digital speedometer display.
Additional interior highlights include:
The mid-instrument panel surface is available in two colors (dark titanium and brick) and flows seamlessly into the upper doors, with premium low-glass finishes
The automatic shift knob has a "cobra head" design, while the manual shifter has a chrome-finished knob
Tubular outboard climate outlets protrude from the instrument panel surface.
The interior includes storage compartments in the center stack and doors.
The rear seats fold flat for carrying larger items. Front bucket seats are standard and heated front seats are available.
Chevrolet Sonic models are powered by efficient, power-dense, small-displacement engines, including the Ecotec 1.4L turbo and the Ecotec 1.8L - the same engines used in the new Chevrolet Cruze . Three transmissions are available: a five-speed manual and six-speed automatic with the 1.8L and a six-speed manual with the 1.4L turbo.
The Ecotec 1.4L turbo’s power ratings are estimated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque - a specific trait of turbocharged engines - helps the engine deliver a better driving experience and performance. Premium design elements give the engine world-class smoothness and durability. Features include:
Low-mass hollow-frame cast iron block
Dual overhead camshafts with variable valve timing
Roller-finger camshaft followers
Piston-cooling oil jets and integrated oil cooler
Variable-flow oil pump
Electronically controlled thermostat.
The 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for
reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility in small vehicles. A reinforced crankshaft and stronger connecting rods deliver additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band.
The naturally aspirated Ecotec 1.8L engine has many of the same features of the Ecotec 1.4L turbo. It is a compact and durable four-cylinder engine designed for low maintenance, low emissions and fuel efficiency. Its two-stage variable intake manifold allows approximately 90 percent of peak torque to be available from 2,400 rpm to 6,500 rpm. It is estimated at 135 horsepower (101 kW), along with 123 lb.-ft. of torque (167 Nm) at 3,800 rpm.
Engineered for agile, athletic ride and handling
The Sonic brings agility and a fun-to-drive feel that is rare in the segment. Engineers who also work on the Corvette tuned the Sonic’s confident ride and handling, giving it a more direct and athletic feel, while balancing the vehicle for the broad range of driving conditions in North America.
All models feature a 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 excellent balance.
Electronic 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’s body structure is designed to be one of the stiffest in the segment. Its rigidity enabled engineers to tune the ride and handling more precisely. Sonic’s unique "flat top frame" cradle, for example, assures optimal stiffness in the front chassis portion of the vehicle. The rear axle is essentially a straight axle without contour for packaging restraints and reduced noise, vibration and harshness.
A range of wheel sizes is available, including 17-inch wheels and sport tires. Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes are standard, along with a four-channel antilock 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.