GM has officially unveiled the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic offering details and photos of both the sedan and hatchback versions, which will be on display at the automaker’s stand at the 2011 Detroit Motor Show starting from today.
Featuring an aggressive design both at the exterior and interior, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic sedan and hatchback will come fitted as standard with a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine paired to five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.
A second engine option for the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic sedan and hatchback will include the Ecotec 1.4-litre turbo estimated to develop 138 HP (103 kW) and 200 Nm of torque, (18 HP more than the Fiesta). The only transmission choice for this engine is a six-speed manual.
With its youthful design, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic features mean looking headlights, a motorcycle inspired instrument panel at the interior, which also uses higher quality materials.
Pricing for the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic sedan and hatchback was not announced yet.   
GM press release :
* Small car with aggressive, youthful design in five-door and sedan models
* Available Ecotec 1.4L turbo with an estimated 138 hp (103 kW)
* Engineered for agile, athletic ride and handling
* Smart connectivity features including MyChevrolet smart phone app
* Only small car built in America
DETROIT – 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
"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
* 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, electronic
brake force distribution, brake assist and OnStar with Automatic Crash
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.
Aggressive cues, including fender flares and motorcycle-inspired round
headlamps, are blended with global design cues – a dual-element grille
and round taillamps – for a design instantly recognizable as Chevrolet.
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.
The sedan and five-door models are distinctively different. The
five-door carries a tight, two-box shape with aggressive, diving feature
lines, while the sedan’s "notchback" profile has a more upscale and
mature presence. At first glance, the five-door model looks like a
three-door hatch because the rear door handles are discreetly located in
the "C"-pillar area. The rear of the five-door continues with
unconventional details, including exposed, motorcycle-inspired rear
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.
Inspired interior
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
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.
Cruze-based powertrains
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
* Chain-driven cams
* 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
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; a
four-channel ABS system is available. 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.

Source: Chevrolet