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Sportier Chevy Sonic Coming, But No SS

Posted in Chevrolet, News by Kurt Ernst | October 11th, 2011 | 4 Responses |

The 2012 Chevy Sonic. Image: John F. Martin, © GM Corp.

We haven’t driven the Chevy Sonic yet, so we can’t say how it accelerates, brakes or handles. GM made a big deal about referencing its “Corvette DNS” when the car was under development, but we have a hard time believing that a price-point built FWD hatchback can handle like a transaxle-equipped RWD sports car. Still, by all accounts the new Sonic is “sporty,” which is good news for budget conscious car shoppers who still love to drive.

Wards Auto recently asked John Buttermore, the Sonic’s lead development engineer, about the possibility of a Sonic SS. In Buttermore’s words, “It would take a lot more air going through the engine for an SS, and there is no SS in the works. For 2013, we do have some sportier versions coming, just not an SS.

That leaves buyers with the choice of a 1.8-liter, normally aspirated four-banger, good for 135 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque, or a 1.4-liter turbocharged four, good for 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. The Sonic may be able to hold its own on a twisty road, but neither engine is going to win it much glory from stoplight to stoplight.

That’s really not the purpose behind the Sonic, but we still can’t help wonder how long it will be before someone shoehorns in an LS3 V-8.

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4 Responses

  1. Butterless- says:

    Is this really a legitimate inquiry? How will it accelerate, brake and handle ?…Let me answer that for you, bad, horrible, and awful.

  2. Chris says:

    Is it just me or does it look a little bit like the Kia Cee apostrophe D?

  3. Set says:

    3 more horsepower. 3. They better not charge me more than 30 dollars for the upgrade, because that’s some serious crap. I know someone will respond with the fact that it gets 25 more lb-ft, but I’m still betting it won’t be near enough to make the difference in price I’m betting will exist.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      @Set, I can guarantee the “upgrade” will be priced in the hundreds of dollars, and I agree that you won’t feel a whole lot of difference. It’ll be a tenth of a second quicker to 60 mph, but that will be about it.