Currently reading: Detroit motor show 2012: Chevrolet Aveo RS
The new Chevrolet Sonic RS has a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine producing 136bhp

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."

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Car review

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

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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Overdrive 19 December 2011

Re: Chevrolet Aveo hot hatch unveiled

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.

PRODIGY 19 December 2011

Re: Chevrolet Aveo hot hatch unveiled

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.

rodenal 19 December 2011

Re: Chevrolet Aveo hot hatch unveiled

"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