When Chevrolet launched its subcompact Sonic, it made a splash with a bright paint dubbed Inferno Orange. The metallic citrus shade was a genuine retina searer, featuring prominently in the car's early marketing efforts as its so-called 'launch color.' But Inferno Orange is now gone from the Sonic's order sheets, and the rest of the car's color palate is more traditional and – dare we say it – a bit sober.
But that's about to change – Chevy has just announced that it will begin releasing a range of limited-edition short-term paint colors beginning with the "chromatic plum" shade seen above, Deep Magenta Metallic. The striking hue came about after witnessing the successful launch of the Chevy Spark in Techno Pink. The special paint will only be available from August through October, but Chevy hasn't revealed if it is capping the number of vehicles it will produce in this shade.
Chevy says that Deep Magenta Metallic will be followed up by Cool Blue, a shade the company describes as "a grayish, dirty blue." The latter will be available from November until March, and another new shade, Dragon Green, will join the Sonic's permanent color choices sometime in the first quarter of 2014. Interestingly, the company says that a typical Chevy vehicle receives "10 to 12 color options throughout its lifecycle." The Sonic already received a similar number of paints before Deep Magenta Metallic and it's still relatively early in the car's lifecycle, so clearly Chevy sees small car buyers as being receptive to a broader range of color choices.
Magenta First of 2014 Chevrolet Sonic Limited Edition Colors
Cool Blue to follow as palate gains importance with small car buyers
The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic will be available in two limited-edition colors as the brand continues to scour design products seeking the "individualist" consumer. A chromatic plum called Deep Magenta Metallic is the first in the series and will be available August through October.
"We know that about one-third of our Sonic buyers note exterior color as an 'extremely important' factor in their purchase process – a higher percentage than other small car buyers," said Michelle Killen, lead creative designer in General Motors' color and trim studio and exterior paint expert for Chevrolet.
When it came time to replace Inferno Orange, the design team realized pink was a lasting trend, and after the success of Chevrolet Spark's Techno Pink, wanted to bring a more chromatic tone to showroom floors. It accents Sonic's shape to perfection.
"Color is simply energy: it is a universal language that everyone instinctively understands, and yet it can also mean different things to each individual," said Isham Sardouk, chief creative officer of Stylesight, a fashion trends forecasting company.
Chevrolet developed Deep Magenta Metallic after extensive research into fashion runways, consumer products and high-end furniture galleries. The color shifts in this magenta tone will show Sonic's form vocabulary, essentially the shape of the car, as it drives down the road.
"A car in a distinctive color is really the ultimate statement piece, especially to my generation who is now embracing metallic across their wardrobes, furniture and accessories," said Justin Livingston, color trend expert and founder of fashion blog Scout Sixteen. "The Chevrolet Sonic in Deep Metallic Magenta expresses an individual's personality and tells people that they embrace style. Plus this richer magenta tone works against a lot of skin tones and is practical for anyone who's willing to take a risk – both male and female."
On average, a Chevrolet vehicle has 10 to 12 color options throughout its lifecycle.
The limited edition colors will be applied with the "three-wet" paint process at GM's Orion Assembly Plant. The technique ensures high quality while reducing environmental impact. And it reduces the plant's paint shop footprint by 10 percent. GM was the first automaker to use the process, in which three layers of paint are applied one after another without drying, thus requiring only a single trip through the oven.
Following the Deep Magenta Metallic, Cool Blue – a greyish, dirty blue – will be available on Sonic from November until March. Dragon Green will come to the lineup as a permanent addition to the Sonic palate the first quarter of 2014.
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 4.5 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.
# # #