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 |  Jan 10 2011, 1:02 AM

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Originally launched at the Paris Auto Show as the new Chevrolet Aveo, General Motors is rebranding the car as the Sonic. With the Aveo name hardly revered in the industry it’s more than just a smart marketing move, giving an all-new name to an all-new car.

Debuting at the Detroit Auto Show today in both hatchback and (for the first time) sedan forms, the Sonic will compete against established rivals in the sub-compact segment like the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris, not to mention newcomers like the Ford Fiesta. Aiming to attract younger buyers with sporty styling, the Sonic also has power on tap with a standard 135-hp 1.8L 4-cylinder, as well as an optional 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder – both of which are borrowed from the Chevy Cruze.

No fuel economy numbers have been released but expect close to 40-mpg highway from the 1.4T engine, which in a special Cruze Eco model actually manages 42-mpg. Helping get what will no doubt be excellent fuel economy is a 6-speed automatic transmission, with the option of a 6-speed stick shift on 1.4T models.

The interior looks to be a massive leap forward from the Aveo, taking inspiration from the Cruze and using higher-grade materials. And like the Aveo RS concept from last year’s Detroit show, it retains the motorcycle-inspired instrumentation with a large, circular analog tachometer and a digital speedometer.

Designed for functionality the Sonic hatchback gets 19 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, which expands to 37 cu-ft with the seats folded flat. Chevy claims that’s better than the Fiesta, although in terms of roominess, the Fiesta is hardly a benchmark in the segment. The Sonic sedan does, however, get 15 cubic feet of space, which is roughly the same size as you might expect in a mid-size sedan.

As for features, all models will come equipped with stability control and 10 airbags, while optional goodies include remote start and heated front seats.

Pricing for the Sonic sedan and hatch will be released closer to the car’s on sale date later this year.

GALLERY: Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

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GALLERY: Chevrolet Sonic Sedan

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Official release after the jump:

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