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Chevrolet cars aren’t exactly a hit over in Japan, and based on the brand’s Tokyo Auto Salon presence, it’s not hard to see why.
Despite recently released distracted driving guidelines targeting in-car navigation systems, Chevrolet announced its new GogoLink smartphone app that delivers full-function navigation to the Spark and Sonic’s MyLink infotainment system.
Imagine what the NTSB thinks about this, an application on a smartphone that provides plenty of distracting pictures on the vehicle’s infotainment system. Nonetheless, the aim of the GogoLink smartphone app is to provide a cost efficient in-car navigation option for those buying the more affordable Spark and Sonic models from Chevy. The app even has live traffic updates.
Those visiting the upcoming New York Auto Show can take it for a test drive at the Chevrolet booth. According to Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director for small cars, about 90 percent of Spark and Sonic owners have a smartphone.
“This technology is typically found on cars costing far more, but next-gen customers are accustomed to being connected. By using a smartphone app, Chevrolet found a smart and safe way to provide navigation,” she said.
GogoLink will be available after the Spark goes on sale, so early adopters of the Spark will have to swing by the dealer to get a software update. Pricing for GogoLink hasn’t been announced yet.
Watch GM’s webisode on the GogoLink Navigation app after the break.
Discuss this story on SparkTalk.com.
GALLERY: GogoLink Navigation App
The band OK Go is known for its funky music videos. This time around, OK Go has teamed up with Chevrolet for its newest viral video. But instead of using choreographed moves on a treadmill, the band is using a Chevy Sonic to play instruments.
In order for the Chevy Sonic to play instruments on the bands latest single, “Needing/Getting,” a few modifications had to be added. This included installing retractable pneumatic arms that would hit instruments as the Sonic drove by them. To make this video happen, it took four months of prep work, four days of filming, stunt driving lessons, two miles of track and 1000 instruments set up along the course.
It already looks like this video is a hit – over four million hits on YouTube and counting. Watch the video after the jump and let us know what you think.
For this year’s Super Bowl ad, Chevrolet looks to share all of the Sonic stunts it pulled off the past year which ranges from skydiving to bungee jumping to kick flipping and performing with OK GO in creating a music a video. While clearly these stunts aren’t made to inspire you to do wild and crazy things with your Sonic, it does a great job in generating buzz surrounding the new GM compact as an exciting and exhilarating vehicle to own and drive.
Chevrolet will be one of 11 automakers running ads during the Super Bowl this year and is expected to have a total of seven commercials on Sunday. Three will be during the big game, two before and two after. Watch the ad after the break.
GM continued flexing their marketing prowess with a new promotion for the Chevy Sonic, creating the world’s largest claw game on Hollywood Boulevard out in Los Angeles.
The five-story 3D projection of a claw game was created on the side of The Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California and even won itself a spot in the Guiness World Book of Records for being the world’s largest claw game. Passer-bys were able to line up for a chance to use a human-sized joystick to direct the claw – which was essentially a huge projection on the side of the building – and had a chance to win prizes. The top prize of course was a brand new 2012 Chevy Sonic, but other prizes included a $4,000 vacation and a Burton snowboard.
Check out a video after the break showcasing the concept behind the World’s Largest Claw Game and how it all worked.
5. 2012 Mazda3 Skyactiv
What’s the best car of 2012? Who knows. Is a Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 better than a Ferrari 458 Italia? What about the Scion FR-S? Or a Prius Plug-in Hybrid? The past year has seen the launch of numerous excellent vehicles, including some we really didn’t expect to be any good. That said, we’ve put together our list of the top five surprisingly good cars of 2012, starting with the updated Mazda3.
We thoroughly enjoyed the new 3 (read our 2012 Mazda3 review here), something that’s not at all surprising at first. What is more of a shock is that it was Mazda’s new Skyactiv model, designed primarily for fuel economy, and that it managed to deliver in that department while sticking true to the brand’s Zoom-Zoom slogan.
Adding to our reasons for placing this car on our list of surprisingly good cars is the technology behind it. At both a preview event and the actual drive, Mazda gave us a deep-dive into the engineering solutions behind its new SkyActiv technologies, rethinking every aspect of the engine and transmission for this updated model. When Ford sold off its shares in Mazda recently many skeptics proclaimed that in this new era a smaller company like Mazda couldn’t possibly hope to be competitive without a large partner like, say, Toyota. But Mazda has proved them wrong, not only competing, but perhaps delivering the the only 40 mpg car that’s actually fun to drive.
Rob Dyrdek, MTV-reality and action sports-star, decided to do something no man has successfully done in a car. Out at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, Dyrdek strapped himself into an all-new 2012 Chevy Sonic and performed a kickflip in it – that’s a 360-degree rotation in mid-air.
This was of course part of MTV’s Fantasy Factory and they were onsite filming for season five’s premiere, but of course other people were also on hand to capture the quickly executed stunt to share with us before the show’s premiere. This is also a good marketing move for Chevrolet and their new Sonic, since Dyrdek is a self-proclaimed Chevy guy.
Check out the video of Dyrdek becoming the first man to successfully kickflip a car after the break.
[Source: DUB Magazine]
Chevrolet will make their small cars the focus of the brand’s presence at the upcoming SEMA Show, bringing a huge collection of customized Sonics and Cruzes to the show floor. The majority of the Sonics and Cruzes coming from Chevrolet will feature products from the Z-Spec lineup, including performance, styling and personalization accessories.
Chevy isn’t revealing the custom Sonics and Cruzes built by some of the country’s top builders yet, but they did release teaser details (and a few pics), commenting that they’ll be bringing their Z-Spec #1, Z-Spec #2, Z-Spec 4D Concept and Dusk for their Sonic line. The pair of Cruzes Chevy will be showing off are the Cruze Z-Spec and Cruze Dusk.
Z-Spec #1 will be a turbocharged Sonic five-door sporting a collection of concept Z-Spec accessories. A ground effects kit, spoiler, unique grille and graphics package are applied to a Torch Red exterior further accented by a set of 18-inch Z-Spec concept wheels. On the inside, perforated black suede seat inserts, a Z-Spec sport pedal kit, sport shift knob and racing-style flat-bottom steering wheel accent the interior. Performance comes from four-piston brake calipers, new suspension and a high-flow exhaust system.
Z-Spec #2 is similar to the Z-Spec #1, but features a more aggressive exterior styling package and will be shown off in a Flat White with Torch Red accents. The 4D Concept will show off the sedan accessories in an Ashen Gray Metallic finish while the Dusk is a subtle Berlin Blue exterior with 18-inch wheels in a dark Galvano Silver finish.
For the Cruzes, the Z-Spec will feature a ground effects package, 18-inch wheels, an accessory spoiler and a high-flow grille. A new stripe package is also added to the exterior while the interior accessories are similar to the Sonic’s offerings. The Cruze Dusk will also be similar to the Sonic Dusk, offering a look at a more subtle package of accessories and upgrades.
GALLERY: Chevrolet SEMA Sonics
See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 SEMA Show preview here and look for coverage starting November 1st.
10. Toyota Yaris 3-Door: $14,115
You can sound polite and say “inexpensive” but if you’re strapped for cash, the most important question when shopping for a new car is: what’s the cheapest car on the market? AutoGuide has got the answer, along with the nine runners up.
Toyota‘s warmed-over Yaris makes the 10th spot on our list with a base price of $14,115 for the 3-door model. The pricier 5-door will run you $15,150.
Using a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder like many of its counterparts the Yaris makes 106-hp and is rated at 38-mpg on the highway making it one of the most efficient models in its class, but not the most efficient. Growing three inches overall, Toyota claims the new car has 68 percent more cargo room than the outgoing model, which it shares a near-identical resemblance with. Standard on all models is air conditioning, nine airbags and power windows.
According to the EPA, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic will receive a lower rating than GM’s optimistic 40-mpg figure. The standard model with a five-speed manual transmission, powered by a 1.8L four-cylinder with 135-hp is getting an EPA-estimated 26/35/29-mpg rating for city/highway/combined. The six-speed automatic transmission is just slightly less at 25/35/28-mpg. The 1.4L turbocharged four-cylider with 138-hp does achieve the 40-mpg rating however.
This news makes the Sonic a little more disappointing, despite its price point. Those seeking the best mpg might not even look its way, as its larger Cruze counterpart gets 25/36/29-mpg with the same 1.8L and six-speed manual transmission while the Cruze Eco with an automatic transmission gets 26/39/31-mpg. For now, the Aveo successor will have to compete on price with the base LS model starting at $13,735 while the LTZ can top out at $17,235 in hatchback form – or $17,935 for the turbocharged 1.4L.
The long-anticipated replacement for the Aveo, the Chevrolet Sonic, is set to drop in August. But a strike at the Sonic’s plant could delay this—thanks to a pay discrepancy among assembly workers.
The Sonic is being built by workers at the Orion assembly plant in Michigan, under the supervision of supplier LINC Logistics Co. Workers here make $10 per hour as opposed to the $14 to $28 they would make if they were UAW members at a GM plant. And today, workers at the Orion plant voted in overwhelming favor to authorize a strike, with 98% of workers voting yes.
Negotiations for a pay increase are set to increase soon, and with this authorization, union leaders could call for a work stoppage anytime. Despite this, GM spokespeople believe that the Sonic will still be released on time, as scheduled. Good luck, folks.