The aerodynamic lines, racy stance and the exposed headlamp fixture - a nudge to high-performance superbikes – are all testament to Chevrolet’s commitment in putting the ‘fun’ back into driving.
The way the Sonic is designed makes it a spacious sub-compact without being overly large in dimensions, practical without looking boring, and relevant without looking conventional by introducing glossy black bezels and dual tubes to give the Sonic’s front end a bejeweled appearance.
The Sonic’s sleek lines are the result of improved aerodynamics, which contribute to the sub-compact’s sporty look, European-style handling, and increased fuel efficiency. The Sonic expresses a sense of refinement without compromising the youthful exuberance that makes the car fun to drive and a delight to own. Wheel arches have been accentuated for a bold look that expresses the Sonic’s ability to hug the road and a racy stance.
Chevrolet designers used angles, indentations and precise lines to add aesthetic value, instead of relying on polyurethane moldings and plastic overlays, a common technique used by many automakers competing in the B-segment.
The windshield has been slightly inset into the A-pillar, an added refinement that ensures enhanced aerodynamics and optimal wiper performance due to decreased airflow. Windshield installation is achieved without surface moldings on the upper edges, reducing potential for wind noise.
Now, the new Sonic E1.6 comes new Orange Rock and White Metallic paintjobs. Another addition, along with wing-mirror mounted LED turn signals.
Chevrolet’s trademark dual-cockpit interior has been modified to give the Sonic an even more sporty sophistication. The car’s light-hearted yet refined character is expressed perfectly by the instrument cluster.
Instead of integrating the instrument cluster into the dashboard, the designers have designed the cluster to look like a separate unit ‘attached’ to the dashboard, further accentuating the chic-modern and sporty look of the interior.
Seats have been finely sculpted for unrivalled comfort. They are designed to hold the driver and passengers’ firmly in place and yet provide a comfortable level of cushioning. Comfortable woven fabric (Fabric Flash) is used on base variants, while knit mesh fabric (Fabric Breva) is used on mid and upper-range models. The stitches-per-inch ratio on the upholstery has been increased, resulting in a more durable, high-quality finish.
Passengers will also appreciate the Sonic’s quiet ride, which sets it apart from most other cars in its class, thanks to a stiffened chassis. As a result, road and wind noise is isolated, for an acoustically pleasing and pleasant cabin environment.
E85 capable 1.6-litre Engine
The Sonic 1.6 E85 is the first FFV (Flex-Fuel Vehicle) in its segment. It is capable of running on pure benzene (E0) up to gasoline with 85 percent ethanol (E85). In addition to components with improved and hardened materials to handle the characteristics of ethanol, the Sonic 1.6 also comes with an engine management system with the flexibility to alter operational settings such as fuel-flow rate, ignition timing and spark advance, depending on whether pure gasoline, E10, E20 or E85 is used.
The four-cylinder 1.6-liter engine - features DOHC (Double Overhead Camshafts) and 16 valves, producing 115 hp at 6,000 rpm and 155 Nm at 4,000 rpm. With DCVC(Double Continuous Variable Camphasing), higher outputs and torque characteristics can be achieved over a wider engine revolution band, while enhancing fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
The 1.6-litre E85 capable engine in the Sonic, caters to the needs of customers who need a more powerful, but yet eco-friendly car. The 1.6-litre unit features DCVC, a highly-efficient oil-water heat exchanger, a MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) controlled thermostat and deep-drawn exhaust manifold with an integrated catalytic converter.
Customers can choose between a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission for the Sonic. The inclusion of a six-speed torque converter-based automatic transmission in the lineup makes the Sonic the first car in its segment to offer such an option. The concept behind the new six-speed transmission is to deliver power more efficiently.
The wide overall ratio spread translates into a ‘low’ first gear for better acceleration and a ‘tall’ overdrive top gear for low-rpm highway cruising. The sixth gear is an overdrive ratio, which keeps engine revolutions low at cruising speeds for improved fuel economy and lower engine noise. Precision-fit gears are used – these are less prone to characteristic whining or humming, allowing the six-speed transmission to operate as quietly as possible.
The five-speed manual transmission features a single-piece aluminum housing with separate bearing plate. All forward gears and final drive are hard-machined for enhanced durability and dependability.
Chassis / Ride and Handling
Distinctive European driving dynamics contribute to the Sonic’s strong appeal. GM engineers sought to deliver exceptional ride comfort with responsive handling to compete with the best small cars in its segment. The vehicle has been designed to be fun to drive, with a feeling behind the wheel that would be expected from a car that costs significantly more.
At the heart of Sonic’s handling capabilities is a very tight and stiff body-frame-integral (BFI) structure, among the stiffest in the global sub compact segment. The BFI structure is based on GM’s global front-wheel-drive small vehicle architecture and provides drivers with a heightened sense of solidity, stability and confidence on the road.
The front “flat top frame” axle design assures optimal stiffness in the front end of the vehicle, and further reduces NVH. McPherson strut front suspension with a side-load-compensated offset shock tower, hollow-type stability bar and long engine cradle adds to the stiffness of the front portion of the vehicle, for greater responsiveness and a wider ‘bandwidth’ for chassis tuning.
The long, six-mount engine cradle provides increased stability for improved handling and reduced NVH. A specially tuned hydraulic mount is installed as part of this configuration to dampen vibrations and noise. The Sonic’s stability is augmented by its wheelbase of 2,525 millimeters, and a wide stance with equal front and rear tracks at 1,509 millimeters, providing an inherently balanced ride.
The driving experience is enhanced by an advanced steering system, which has been tuned to respond sensitively in congested city traffic, without sacrificing steering confidence at high speeds.
The front disc brakes are ventilated and, along with low-compressibility brake pads, provide the Sonic with superior braking performance. The mid-range LT sedan variant will be equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels with 195/65 tires while the top-of-the-range LTZ sedan will have larger, 16-inch wheels with 205/55 tires. All hatchback variants will come equipped with 16-inch wheels and 205/55 tires.
As with all Chevrolet products, safety has also been given a high priority. High-strength steels have been strategically positioned throughout the vehicle for improved handling and passenger safety, in addition to providing better ride quality. More than 65% of the lower structure and 50% of the upper structure is constructed of high-strength or advanced high-strength steels.
ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) and driver airbag is standard on the LT and LTZ; the LTZ will have an additional airbag for the front passenger. Front-to-rear proportioning of braking effort is controlled by Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), which uses independent rear control for improved stability and braking during cornering, as well as more effective use of the rear brakes if the vehicle is carrying a heavy load.
Chevrolet’s side impact protection beams are made from high-strength steel and Child Restraints (ISOFIX) are standard on all variants, so are height-adjustable Energy-Load Retractor (ELR) seatbelts at the front. The LT variant will come equipped with an additional Load Limiter function for the driver’s seatbelt, while the LTZ features Load Limiter for both the driver and front passenger.