The new Chevrolet Sonic RS has a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine producing 136bhp
9 January 2012

General Motors will enter the hot hatch ranks in 2012 with the launch of this new Chevrolet Sonic RS. The model has made its debut at the Detroit motor show, but GM has yet to officially confirm whether the model will make it the UK as a Chevrolet Aveo RS.

A company source said if a decision was taken to launch the car in the UK, its likely on sale date would be 2013. Such a car could find its niche in the UK, given the popularity of hot hatches. It would line-up alongside cooking versions of the Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta.

Powering the five-door Sonic RS is a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine producing 132bhp and 138lb ft. Transmission options include a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, although GM has revealed no performance figures for either set-up.

Distinguishing the Sonic RS over its more humble siblings is a series of muscular styling upgrades. These include a front-end with a unique grille, fog lights and extra air intakes. At the rear, there’s a new spoiler and bumper and twin chrome tips for the sports exhaust system. The car rides on 17in alloys.

GM has also given the chassis an overhaul, lowering and stiffening the suspension and fitting performance-tuned dampers. Four wheel disc brakes are standard.

An overhaul for the interior brings new front sports seats, a new flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, a new gear knob, aluminium pedals, a new instrument panel and special RS trim. MyLink infotainment system is fitted as standard and can play music streamed through a smartphone.

The standard Sonic has proved popular with young buyers; around 16,000 units have sold in three months and the company is struggling to meet demand. Mark Reuss, GM Vice President said the Sonic RS "pushes Chevrolet in a new direction for young buyers. I'm very excited about it."

See all the latest Chevrolet reviews, news and video


Our Verdict

Chevrolet Aveo
A five-year warranty, good equipment levels and handsome looks compensate for a lack of driver involvement

The Chevrolet Aveo is a well-executed, competitively priced supermini which majors on refinement rather than driver involvement

Join the debate


19 December 2011

Might have the power but can't see it handling very well.

19 December 2011

With about 140hp, wouldn't this be more of a warm hatch rather than a hot one? Everybody else in the segment is now above 180hp.


Please insert paragraps where needed.

19 December 2011

"Renaultsport Clio and Ford Fiesta ST" - With 140bhp I think not, maybe the 1.6 clio and limited edition fiesta s1600 or whatever it's called, poor report

19 December 2011

Call me a cynic, but it seems a bit odd that GM choose to anounce this hardly ground breaking 'news' on the same day that Saab files for bankrupcy! It seems that GM are desperate to get some positive news out today.

19 December 2011

This car does not necessarily need 180 bhp plus to be fun to drive. As long as GM can inject some of Astra/Corsa VXRs' fizz into it, 140 bhp should be plenty, given the size of the Aveo.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka