Chevrolet Sonic Concepts at SEMA 2011

Chevrolet has rolled a dozen customized Sonic models into SEMA, and while it hasn't released details on every single variant of its entertaining subcompact, one of the modified hatches caught our eye.

Chevrolet Sonic Super 4 Concept If Chevy decided to launch a one-make race series for the Sonic, the Super 4 Concept (inset right) would be the blueprint. Sporting an SCCA-approved roll cage, racing seat, five-point harness, fire suppression kit and a detachable steering wheel, the Super 4 is as close to race-ready as the Sonic can get. The 1.4-liter turbocharged four-pot hasn't been modified aside from a new intake and exhaust, but adjustable coilovers are fitted at all four corners and the braking hardware has been upgraded to four-piston front calipers with two-piece drilled rotors and two-piston piston rears with one-piece rotors, replacing the stock drums. Sticky rubber is wrapped around 18x7.5-inch wheels while a carbon fiber lower splitter, rocker panels and rear diffuser, along with a Concept Z-Spec spoiler round out the package.

Being SEMA, a brace of Sonics wouldn't be complete without a hi-fi-infused version, and the Boom concept from Kicker answers the call. Get all the details on the concepts in the press blast below the fold.
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Sonic Z-Spec #1 – Designers took a turbocharged Sonic five-door and dressed it with concept Z-Spec accessories. They added Z-Spec ground effects, a spoiler, unique grille and graphics package – then finished it off with a Torch Red exterior and Z-Spec concept 18-inch wheels. Inside, the Cobalt Red cabin features custom trim, including perforated black suede seat inserts, a Z-Spec sport pedal kit, sport shift knob and a racing-style flat-bottom steering wheel. Additional upgrades include performance brakes with four-piston calipers, a new high-flow exhaust system and performance suspension parts.

Sonic Z-Spec #2 – The next Sonic concept – in Flat White with Torch Red accents – builds on concept Z-Spec accessories with a more aggressive ground effects package, unique grille, rear spoiler and graphics package. It rides on Z-Spec concept 18-inch wheels and also includes a re-trimmed interior with Z-Spec sport pedal kit, Z-Spec sport shift knob and a flat-bottom steering wheel. It also features custom racing seats with the Z-Spec logo. The factory powertrain features the 1.4L turbo engine and six-speed manual transmission. Performance upgrades include brakes with four-piston calipers, a high-flow exhaust system and suspension parts.

Sonic Z-Spec 4D Concept – The more formal look of the Sonic sedan lends itself to a touring car-style motif, which this Ashen Grey Metallic concept picks up with concept Z-Spec ground effects, rear spoiler, grille, "Chevrolet" graphics and larger Z-Spec concept 18-inch wheels. As with its five-door counterparts, this Sonic features a re-trimmed interior – in Dark Titanium with Cobalt Red accents – Z-Spec sport pedal kit, aluminum sport shift knob and a flat-bottom steering wheel (trimmed with Cobalt Red suede). The factory turbo 1.4L engine and six-speed manual transmission are complemented by performance upgrades that include four-piston caliper brakes, a high-flow exhaust system and suspension parts.

Sonic Dusk – The most subtle of the Sonic concepts is the Dusk. It features a Berlin Blue exterior, with a mild concept ground effects package, unique grille treatment and 18-inch concept wheels in dark Galvano Silver. Even the lights are tinted blue for a sophisticated statement. The Mojave leather interior has custom seat inserts, Z-Spec shift knob with satin chrome trim, Z-Spec sport pedals and accessory interior trim kit. The Sonic Dusk also features a suede-trimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel, custom audio system and brake and suspension upgrades.

Chevrolet Sonic Super 4 Concept – A Sonic for The Race Track

LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet unveiled the Sonic Super 4 at the 2011 SEMA Show, a race car concept that demonstrates Chevrolet's new small car performance potential. It was conceived as an example of how the Sonic's sporty driving character could transfer to the race track.

The Sonic Super 4 joins other Chevy performance cars this week in the Chevrolet display at the SEMA Show.

"This is an exciting example of Chevrolet's small-car performance capability," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "Sonic has the soul and specifications to be a winner."

From the factory, the Sonic is designed for a dynamic driving experience, be it on the street or road course. A 99.4-inch (2,525 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 59.4-inch (1,509 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a more confident feel, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision. Its body-frame-integral structure ranks among the stiffest in the global small-car segment, with some of the steel in it delivering tensile strength of 145,000 psi (1,000 MPa) or higher.

Complementing the strong body structure are suspension systems tuned for responsive ride and handling qualities. All models feature a MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs, stabilizer bar and side-load-compensated front strut modules. These are designed to reduce the sliding friction by the bending load on the strut that is inherent to most suspension geometries. Side load compensation, in turn, allows the front wheels to be moved further outward, which helps improve stability. The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged shock absorbers.

The Sonic Super 4 concept features a suspension modified for racing and a lower restriction intake and exhaust system to provide enhanced on-track performance. The interior features a chrome moly roll cage built to SCCA specifications, as well as other safety equipment. It looks the part, too, with a lowered stance and 18-inch racing wheels and tires. It also wears Chevrolet Z-Spec concept accessories, including ground effects and a high-wing spoiler.

Chevrolet turned to long-time racing partner Pratt & Miller to construct the Sonic Super 4 concept.

"We are interested in how the Sonic Super 4 concept will be received by the racing community," said Campbell.

Vehicle highlights:

Exterior

Chevrolet racing graphics
Carbon fiber lower splitter
Carbon fiber rocker panel extensions
Carbon fiber rear diffuser
Tinted headlamps and taillights
Concept Z-Spec high wing rear spoiler
Tow hooks
18x7.5-inch satin black wheels with street-legal racing tires
Interior

SCCA-approved 1¾ -inch chrome moly roll cage
SCCA-approved inner and outer window nets
Z-Spec pedal kit
Racing instrumentation
Racing seat with five-point harness
Fire suppression system
Rearview camera system
Racing steering wheel with quick disconnect
Performance

Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine and six-speed manual transmission
Adjustable coil-over struts and spring kit
Performance brakes: four-piston front calipers with two-piece drilled rotors, front; and two-piston rear calipers with one-piece drilled rotors, rear
Low-restriction air intake and filter
Two-inch cat-back straight-pipe exhaust

Chevrolet Sonic Boom Concept Highlights a Different Take on High Performance

LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet cranked up the tunes for the 2011 SEMA Show with the Sonic Boom – a sound system-based concept that delivers high performance of an auditory type. It features an interior reconfigured to support a custom Kicker audio system.

The Sonic Boom joins 30 other Sonic and Cruze concepts at SEMA during this week's convention of automotive performance, styling and personalization.

"This concept reflects the interests of a new generation of car enthusiasts who judge a car as much by the output of the sound system as the output of the engine," said Chris Perry, vice president, global marketing and strategy for Chevrolet. "The Sonic is the perfect platform on which to build an audio showcase – it is stylish, affordable and, with its turbocharged engine, delivers a great level of street performance on its own."

The all-new 2012 Sonic is a small car with a large array of features and amenities – with a starting price of only $14,495 (including destination charge). Its youthful, aggressive design is backed by available turbocharged performance and agile ride and handling, combining to deliver an efficient and fun small car. It is offered in two body styles: a stylish four-door sedan and a sporty five-door. Each delivers class-leading rear-seat roominess and cargo space – along with unique design elements that include a motorcycle-inspired instrument panel gauge cluster. A variety of connectivity features enhance the driving experience.

Chevrolet worked with Kicker on the concept audio system, influenced by the design of jet engines. It emulates their style in the shape and positioning of the components. A high-tech head unit controls the system, which features a pair of 15-inch subwoofers and 10 six-inch mid-range speakers. The concept Kicker system delivers 4,000 total Watts of power.

Along with the high-performance sound system, the rest of the interior of the Sonic Boom is fully customized, with performance seats, a racing-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel, the Chevrolet Accessories Z-Spec sport pedal kit and unique trim.

The exterior received a makeover, too, with an Anodized Sonic Boom Red paint scheme and concept Z-Spec parts, including the ground effects, grille and rear spoiler, along with 19-inch wheels.

"Sonic is leading Chevy into its second century and to new markets around the world," said Perry. "Chevrolet has the opportunity to reach a new group of customers with Sonic, and this concept speaks to their interests."

Vehicle highlights:

Exterior

Anodized Sonic Boom Red exterior color
Custom body graphics and window tint graphics
Tinted front headlamps with Boom logo
Red-accented headlamps and taillamp bezels
19x9-inch wheels
Push-button, fully automated side doors and rear hatch
Concept Z-Spec ground effects package
Concept Z-Spec grille
Concept Z-Spec spoiler
Interior

Concept Kicker audio system with: two 15-inch Comp VX subwoofers, 12 six-inch QS Component speakers and tweeters, six QS Component speakers and tweeters, two IX1000.1 Mono subwoofer amps, four IX500.4 four-channel mid and high amps, and a ZXSUM8 – Summing interface signal processor

Custom-fabricated rear speaker enclosures and custom load floor
Perforated black suede seat inserts
Liquid metal trim pieces
Jet Black leather-wrapped instrument panel with distressed leather inserts and red piping
Performance racing seats
Jet Black leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel with distressed leather and red stitching
Chevrolet Accessories pedal kit
Performance

Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine with six-speed automatic transmission
Performance coil-over lowering suspension kit
Performance brakes: four-piston front calipers with two-piece drilled rotors, front; and two-piston rear calipers with one-piece drilled rotors, rear
High-flow exhaust system