The RS sets itself apart from the rest of the Sonic lineup with a model-specific grille, revised front fascia and rear spoiler. Other kit includes unique RS badging, 17-inch five spoke wheels, a bit of exhaust tip brightwork.
Mechanically, the RS features GM's 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant. Just as it does in lesser Sonic models, the Ecotec sends 138 horsepower and 148 pound feet of torque to the front wheels. The ratios on the six-speed manual are RS-specific however, which Chevy says gives the model sportier acceleration. The RS is the only model in the Sonic lineup to feature four-wheel disc brakes and the suspension is lowered 10 millimeters and fitted with firmer dampers.
Inside, the RS receives leather bucket seats with RS inserts, a leather wrapped sport steering wheel with red stitching, and unique instrument panel graphics. The RS also comes standard with Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system.
Production of the Orion, Michigan-built Sonic RS begins in October, and the model will hit dealerships later this fall. Click below to check out the press release and receive a video tour of the Sonic RS inside and out from lead development engineer John Buttermore.
The performance-inspired RS amplifies the Sonic's youthful style and driving experience, with unique exterior and interior features. It is offered exclusively as a five-door hatchback that delivers generous rear-seat roominess and cargo space – up to 47.7 cubic feet (1,351 liters) with the rear seat folded.
Sonic RS is powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. (200 Nm) of torque. Unique transmission gearing in the six-speed manual, or a 3.53 final drive ratio for automatic-equipped models, enhances the car's sporty feel.
Production begins in October at General Motors' Orion (Mich.) Assembly Center, which received a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling, helping create or retain approximately 1,800 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area. Sonic is the only subcompact built in the United States.
Sonic RS exterior features
The front fascia of the Sonic RS has a deep air dam design that enhances the car's road-hugging stance. Vertical intakes at the edges of the fascia reinforce the wide, low proportion and house the fog lamps. Other features include:
New RS-specific grille
New rear fascia
New rear spoiler
New rocker moldings
Bright exhaust outlet
Unique 17-inch five-spoke wheel design
Lowered and stiffened suspension with performance-tuned dampers
A power, tilt-sliding sunroof with express-open and wind deflector feature is available.
Exterior colors include Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic and Black Granite Metallic – a new, premium exterior color for 2013.
Sonic RS interior features
The performance theme continues into the cabin with a Jet Black interior exclusive to RS. Features include:
Leather-appointed front bucket seats with sueded microfiber inserts and red RS accents
New sport three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrasting stitching and racing-inspired flat-bottom design
New, leather-wrapped shifter knob with red stitching (manual transmission)
New aluminum sport pedals
Specific instrument panel cluster graphics
Standard Chevrolet MyLink.
MyLink is standard on Sonic RS and an AM/FM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of service) stereo with seek-and-scan, digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones, voice recognition for compatible phones and six-speakers.
On Sonic, MyLink operates by integrating the owner's compatible smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. This lets owners enjoy simple, safe and personalized connectivity while their smartphone is safely stowed.
MyLink is simple to use. The owner selects from options projected onto the touch screen: Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each menu selection takes the user though a list of easy-to-select functions.
MyLink-equipped Sonic models will launch with compatibility for Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio. When owners with these services connect their compatible smartphones, they can access these and other functions:
Personal playlists of stored music
Hands-free calling with Bluetooth-enabled voice activation from the customer's smartphone when the steering wheel button is depressed. (Visit gm.com/Bluetooth for a list of compatible smartphones)
Ability to project video via USB while the vehicle is parked
Ability to project a photo album in "slideshow" mode via USB while the vehicle is parked, with the last music selection playing in the background. Once the vehicle is moving, a single photo is viewable.
Later, BringGo, an embedded smartphone application for MyLink that delivers full-function navigation – including live traffic updates – will be available for an extra charge. It includes:
Emergency information such as police, fire and the nearest hospital
Thousands of points of interest
Local Search via Google
Where am I? locator
Live traffic functionality with crash reports, lane closures, and alternative routes;
Ability to store native maps to the customer's smartphone, giving them access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when phone signal quality is poor - many GPS-enabled apps do not do this.
Sonic RS performance
Sonic RS peak torque occurs at low rpm, providing an immediate feeling of power that is sustained across the rpm band. The engine is matched with a standard six-speed manual transmission or available six-speed automatic.
Unique gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission and unique final drive ratio for the automatic give the Sonic RS a sportier feel than non-RS models.
Complementing the segment-exclusive turbocharged powertrain is MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and a semi-independent, torsion beam axle-mount compound link-type rear suspension – featuring a tubular V-shape beam – with gas-charged shocks. The front and rear tracks are identical at 59.4 inches (1,509 mm), designed for well-planted stability and balance, and the suspension is lowered by 10 mm (.39 inches) from the standard non-RS model.
RS is the only Sonic model offered with four-wheel disc brakes, which are partnered with a four-channel anti-lock braking system. The four-sensor system – one at each wheel – incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo.
Electric power steering is standard and features a wear compensator that continually adjusts the system interaction with the steering gear to ensure precise steering action over the life of the system.
Standard hill start assist makes it easier to pull away from a stopped position when the vehicle is on a steep uphill or downhill slope.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.