CHEVROLET SONIC FAMILY ADDS NEW RS MODEL AND CONNECTIVITY
Since its introduction in late 2011, the Chevrolet Sonic – the only subcompact built in America – has been making a name for itself as a small car with big attitude. For 2013, an all-new, performance-inspired, Sonic RS five-door hatchback model joins the Sonic family.
Sonic RS goes into production in the fourth quarter of 2012. (Please see separate release for details.)
Sonic also adds an available version of Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system, which uses owners’ smartphones to personalize delivery of music, video, photo galleries, phone books and other information into the vehicle – including full-function navigation via an available smartphone app.
Standard on RS and available on LTZ models, MyLink for Sonic includes a seven-inch diagonal colour screen, AM/FM stereo with seek-and-scan and digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music and selected phones, voice recognition for compatible smartphones, and Stitcher compatibility. Easy-to-use and intuitive, MyLink for Sonic was influenced by Chevrolet consumer data that shows 90 percent of target Sonic buyers own and are heavy users of smartphones.
Other additions to the 2013 Sonic lineup include the addition of a rear decklid spoiler on the LTZ sedan.
Sonic was designated as one of the Best Family Cars of 2012 by Edmunds and Parents magazine, and its interior was named one of Ward’s 10 Best Interiors for 2012.
Sonic family at a glance
The Chevrolet Sonic is offered in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback in LS, LT, LTZ and RS models (five-door hatchback only). Each body style delivers class-leading rear-seat roominess and cargo space. Standard and available features 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 more trunk capacity than most compact cars; the 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 Directions and Connections service, including Turn-by-Turn navigation. Available infotainment features include XM Satellite Radio (with three trial months of service), USB and Bluetooth functionality and MyChevrolet mobile application through OnStar
- Remote start, heated front seats and sunroof – all rarities in the segment
- Six standard air bags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, and OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.
Aggressive, youthful design
From every angle, the Sonic sedan and five-door hatchback convey strength, stability and refinement. A wide, planted stance, with wheels-at-the-corners proportions, hints at performance.
Other aggressive design cues, including fender flares and motorcycle-inspired round headlamps, are blended with Chevrolet global design cues such as a dual-element grille and round taillamps. The leading edge of the hood forms a character line above the headlamps, which flows in a sleek side profile characterized by uninterrupted body side lines, a high beltline and low roofline. The side mirrors carry the same shape as the car and seemingly disappear into the profile. For 2013, they include integral blind spot mirrors for enhanced visibility.
LTZ sedans also add a new rear decklid spoiler as standard equipment.
Other details that reinforce Sonic’s quality and attention to detail include chrome grille surrounds and matte black honeycomb grille inserts on all models. A range of wheel sizes, including 17-inch alloy wheels, reinforces its sporty demeanour.
Sonic colours include Silver Ice Metallic, Summit White, Cyber Grey Metallic, Victory Red and Blue Topaz Metallic. Crystal Red Tintcoat, Inferno Orange Metallic and a new, premium exterior colour, Black Granite Metallic, are available for an additional charge.
A power, tilt-sliding sunroof with express-open and wind deflector feature is available.
Award-winning Sonic interior
Sonic’s cabin complements the motorcycle-inspired exterior with a detailed instrument cluster featuring a large, round analogue tachometer set within an asymmetrical LCD readout, with a large digital speedometer display.
Depending on the trim level ordered, Sonic offers two varieties each of cloth and leather seating surfaces. Interior colours and combinations include Jet Black/Dark Titanium; Jet Black/Brick; Dark Pewter / Dark Titanium and Jet Black (RS).
The mid-instrument panel surface flows seamlessly into the upper doors, with premium, low-gloss finishes. The automatic shift knob has a “cobra head” design, while the manual shifter has a chrome-finished knob.
The interior is functional, too, with storage compartments in the centre stack and doors. The rear seats fold virtually flat for carrying larger items such as sports gear.
Front bucket seats are standard and heated front seats are available.
Chevrolet MyLink details
MyLink is standard on Sonic RS, and available on Sonic LT and LTZ models. It consists of an AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio (with three months of service) stereo with seek-and-scan, digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones, voice recognition for compatible smartphones and six speakers.
On Sonic, MyLink operates by integrating the owner’s compatible smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. This lets owners enjoy simple, safe and personalized connectivity while their smartphone is stowed.
MyLink is simple to use: The owner selects from options projected onto the touch screen: Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each menu selection takes the user though a list of easy-to-select functions.
MyLink-equipped Sonic models will launch with compatibility for one app: Stitcher Smart Radio. When owners with this service connect their compatible smartphones, they can access these and other functions:
- Personal playlists of stored music
- Hands-free calling with Bluetooth-enabled voice activation from the customer’s smartphone when the steering wheel button is depressed. (Visit gm.com/Bluetooth for a list of compatible smartphones)
- Ability to project video via USB while the vehicle is parked
- Ability to project a photo album in “slideshow” mode via USB while the vehicle is parked, with the last music selection playing in the background. Once the vehicle is moving, a single photo is viewable.
Later, full-function navigation will be available – for an additional charge – for MyLink via an embedded smartphone application that also delivers live traffic updates.
The navigation app includes:
- Emergency information such as police, fire and the nearest hospital
- Thousands of points of interest
- Local Search via Google
- Where am I? locator
- Live traffic functionality provides crash reports and lane closures, and with alternative routes
- 3-D maps
- Ability to store native maps to the customer’s smartphone, giving them access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when phone signal quality is poor. Many GPS-enabled apps do not do this.
Chevrolet Sonic models are powered by efficient, power-dense, small-displacement engines, including the standard Ecotec 1.8L and the available Ecotec 1.4L turbo (standard on LTZ and RS).
Several transmissions are available: a five-speed manual and six-speed automatic with the 1.8L and a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic with the 1.4L turbo.
The naturally aspirated Ecotec 1.8L engine has many of the same features of the Ecotec 1.4L turbo, including:
- 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 rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) along with 125 lb.-ft. of torque (170 Nm) at 3,800 rpm.
The Ecotec 1.4L turbo’s power ratings are 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, including a low-mass, hollow-frame cast iron block, dual overhead camshafts with variable valve timing, chain-driven cams and roller-finger camshaft followers, piston-cooling oil jets and integrated oil cooler, a variable-flow oil pump and an electronically controlled thermostat.
The 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A reinforced crankshaft and stronger connecting rods deliver additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band.
Engineers who also work on the Corvette tuned the Sonic’s ride and handling, giving it a more direct feel, while balancing the vehicle for the broad range of driving conditions in North America. Sonic’s standard hill start assist feature makes it easier to pull away from a stopped position when the vehicle is on an uphill or downhill slope.
Sonic RS offers stiffer, performance-oriented tuning, as well as a lowered (10 mm) suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.
Sonic safety and crash-avoidance features
The Sonic is the only car in its segment to achieve an overall five-star safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it also earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when equipped with the Peace of Mind package that includes 10 airbags. Sonic is designed to help drivers avoid crashes, while protecting the occupants in the event a crash occurs. Safety begins with a strong body structure designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants. More than 60 percent of the body structure is composed of advanced steels.
Other safety and security features include:
- Six standard air bags include side curtain air bags, which provide head protection for outboard passengers in the event of a side-impact or rollover crash
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both
- Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes are standard; front and rear disc brakes are standard on RS.
- Four-channel antilock braking is standard and incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo
- Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision, and are standard on the front safety belts on LTZ and RS models and optional with the Peace of Mind package. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly
- LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system, which is included in all second-row seating positions
- Tire pressure monitoring system on LTZ and RS models (optional with Peace of Mind and Appearance package)
- Standard OnStar.
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Sonic. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle.
Sonic also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.ca.
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