Chevrolet is hopping headlong into the dealer-as-aftermarketer business with its new Z-Spec upgrade line of parts and accessories. The new performance and visual trickery will begin with the much-anticipated 2012 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact shown here. Slated to debut at next week's New York Auto Show, the range of custom bits will be available by the end of 2011, and will primarily consist of visual accessories – at least for now. The Z-Spec line is a build-out of the Z Spec Sonic Concept that debuted alongside the production car at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.
At launch, Chevrolet is promising a ground effects package with unique front and rear fascias and side skirts, along with an exhaust tip finisher, spoiler and 16- and 17-inch painted alloys. Inside, Chevy dealers will also be able to fit your Sonic with look-faster bits like drilled sport pedals and aluminum sill plates. The biggest visual change will likely come from the "Color Out" contrasting trim packages that include accent-color painted grille 'lipstick', side mirror caps and rear spoiler. Buyers will also be able to have their vehicle outfitted with a number of wraps like the dot matrix pattern you see here.
Critically, Z-Spec parts will be able to be purchased either as a full-on package or piecemeal, and customers will be able to add the cost of the accessories into their monthly payments at purchase time.
Pricing has not yet been announced. Check out our high-res gallery below and click past the jump for the official press release.
Chevrolet Sonic Gets Sporty With Z-Spec Accessories
• Exterior accessories include ground effects, exhaust tip, spoiler, mirror caps, grille surrounds, graphics and 16- or 17-inch painted alloy wheels
• Interior accessories include aluminum sport pedals and sill plates
• On sale by the end of 2011
DETROIT – Chevrolet today introduced the first production Z-Spec accessories for the 2012 Sonic, an all-new small car hitting the streets this fall. The Sonic Z-Spec portfolio – which will be showcased at the New York International Auto Show – includes "Color Out" accent packages with contrasting-color exterior parts and graphics that express the car's performance characteristics.
The Sonic combines a youthful, aggressive design with turbocharged performance and agile ride and handling. When equipped with an available, efficient 1.4L turbo, it is expected to achieve an estimated 40 mpg highway.
"The new Z-Spec accessories reinforce Sonic's fun, youthful spirit," said Rick Scheidt, vice president, Chevrolet marketing. "Customization is particularly important with the customers we believe will gravitate toward the Sonic, and we want to help them make their vehicle look exactly the way they want as easily as possible."
The Z-Spec accessories will initially include body-color ground effects (with a silver exhaust tip), contrasting mirror caps and roof spoiler, contrasting upper and lower grille surrounds and a body graphics package, along with 16- and 17-inch painted alloy wheels. The ground effects kit features a front fascia extension, rocker panel extensions, rear fascia extension and silver exhaust tip.
Interior upgrades include aluminum sport pedals and sill plates.
Z-Spec also includes color accent packages in "Black Out" or "White Out." These "Color Out" packages, displayed on vehicles at the New York Auto Show, feature black accents on a Summit White Sonic and Summit White accents on an Inferno Orange Sonic.
"Sonic is a great canvas for customization, and Z-Spec offers a cohesive design with a family of factory-engineered accessories and graphics," said Scheidt.
Z-Spec parts can be purchased individually, to suit customer tastes and budgets, or can be purchased as a complete package. When the parts are purchased with the Sonic and installed by the dealer, customers can roll the cost into their monthly payments.
Additional accessories will be available for the Sonic, ranging from the fashionable to the functional, such as chrome mirror caps and door handles to cargo nets and trunk trays. Additional graphics packages also will be available in the future.
The accessorized Sonics on display in New York share traits with the Z-Spec concept versions of the Cruze, Spark and Volt shown at the 2010 SEMA show. For example, each wore ground effects kits, rear spoilers and Z-Spec-specific grilles, as well as Z-Spec graphics.
Sonic at a glance
The Sonic is offered in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a sporty five-door. Each delivers class-leading rear-seat roominess and cargo space. A variety of connectivity features enhance the driving experience.
Sonic is offered with an efficient Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine rated at an estimated 138 horsepower (103 kW) – 18 horsepower (14 kW) more than Ford Fiesta – and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm), between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. It is expected to deliver 40 mpg on the highway (EPA estimates pending).
A standard Ecotec 1.8L engine is paired with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, delivering an estimated at 135 horsepower (101 kW) and 123 lb.-ft. of torque (167 Nm) at 3,800 rpm.
The Sonic will be built at the Orion Assembly Center in Orion Township, Mich., making it the only subcompact to be built in the United States.
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 120 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
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