2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS
By Jim McCraw
On Sale: Fall 2012
Expected Pricing: $19,000
It didn't take Chevrolet long to add a hot model to the new subcompact Chevy Sonic sedan and hatchback line: just a few months after the market launch of the original car. First came the Sonic, then came the exterior customizing kits. And now there is the Sonic RS hatchback, the high-performance version that was first shown as a concept at the Detroit auto show in 2010.
The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS was revealed January 2012 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 2013 Sonic RS expected to go on sale this fall 2012.
Sonic RS gets all the upgrades, starting with the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that will be rated at 138 horsepower and 148 foot-pounds of torque. Sonic RS will be available with both a 6-speed manual and an automatic, with gear ratios and final-drive ratios juggled for better acceleration performance with the same optional turbo engine as the regular Sonic.
The appearance package that differentiates the Sonic RS from the base car is comprehensive, and includes a new RS grille, RS rear fascia, rear spoiler, rocker moldings, a unique rearview mirror cap finish, a louder exhaust system with a chromed outlet, special 17-inch RS alloy wheels, RS badges on the body, and a lowered and stiffened suspension with high-performance shock absorbers.
Inside, the RS package will include sport bucket seats up front, a sports steering wheel with a thicker rim than the standard wheel and a flat-bottom design for more leg clearance, a new shifter knob for the manual transmission, aluminum alloy floor pedals, special graphics on the instrumentation, and special RS interior trim colors that complement the exterior color.
The Sonic RS interior comes with the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment seven-inch color touch-screen radio. The system allows customers to bring custom music libraries into the vehicle and use smart phones and Bluetooth connectivity to access Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio and navigation. Navigation directions downloaded through a smart phone can be displayed on the screen and, when the vehicle is stopped, users can project video or personal photo albums onto the screen from their phones.
Underneath the car, there's MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and a semi-independent, torsion beam axle compound link-type rear suspension using a tubular V-shaped beam and gas-charged shocks. The front and rear tracks are identical at 59.4 inches, pretty wide for such a small car.
The RS is the only Sonic model offered with four-wheel disc brakes and a four-channel anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution. Electric power steering is standard and features a wear compensator that adjusts the steering gear to ensure precise steering action over the life of the car. ABS, StabiliTrak stability control, and traction control will be standard, along with OnStar and turn-by-turn directions.