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.