What is it?
The gently amped up version of the Sonic (America’s take on the Aveo) a car which customers apparently told Chevrolet they would build themselves if the manufacturer opted not to develop it. Such is the potential power of aftermarket personalisation in the States that the threat was taken seriously, and the RS is the result.
Why do we care? Well, aside from the warmth and fuzziness we derive from any warmed up hatchback, the model is currently under review for launch in Europe. If the new Aveo proves popular enough, and Chevrolet thinks there’s room at the top for an athletic halo model (there is) then we could potentially see the RS in the UK next year.
Were that to happen we wouldn’t expect it to change much, which would see the range gain the same 138bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine already set to appear in the Trax. It is transplanted unchanged, accept for a more aggressive spread of gear ratios through its six-speed manual ‘box.
Outside, the RS gets a feistier look thanks to a fairly conventional re-imagining of the standard Sonic blueprint. The new grille, deeper air dam, rear spoiler and chubby five-spoke 17-inch wheels all collude to keep aesthetic expectations about where they should be. Inside, sports seats, aluminum pedals and a fattened steering wheel compete the visual overhaul.
Beneath all the confetti Chevrolet has lowered the stiffened suspension setup (still a MacPherson strut up front and a torsion beam out back) by 10mm, and retuned the dampers. Unlike the rest of the Sonic lineup, it also gets disc brakes all round, but still has to make do with all-season tyres.