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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Rob Dyrdek has successfully set a Guinness World Record for the Farthest Reverse Ramp Jump by a Car, going a total of 89 feet, 3.25 inches.
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.
Chevrolet has announced that its turbocharged Ecotec 1.4 liter engine equipped Sonic subcompact will now be available with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The quickest of its class, the 6-speed manual turbocharged Ecotec 1.4 liter engine propels the Sonic from 0-to-60 mph in 7.8 seconds, faster than the comparable 2012 Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, or Hyundai Accent. Although initial offerings only came with a 6-speed manual, the addition of an automatic transmission makes the Sonic more accessible to more consumers.
According to vehicle line director and chief engineer for North American small cars Jim Danahy, “Providing the option of a turbocharged engine to our non-stick driving Chevy customers allows us to offer everyone the thrill and power of a fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L powerplant. Both in the Sonic and Cruze, the engine enables better fuel economy without sacrificing power or performance. It’s really a winning combination.”
The added convenience of an automatic transmission comes at a cost, as 0-to-60 mph acceleration clocks at a slower 8 seconds and will earn an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city and 37 highway, while the manual transmission is capable of 29 in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. What’s more, adding the automatic transmission will take on an additional $440 to the price of a Sonic LT sedan or hatchback, or an additional $630 to the price of a Sonic LTZ sedan or hatchback.
GALLERY: Chevy Sonic
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.
Before the Aveo’s name was changed to Sonic, Chevrolet had shown off an Aveo RS Concept variant at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. Now Chevrolet is ready to give the world a production Sonic RS model, set to debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
It’s unsure if the Sonic RS will make an appearance in both sedan and hatchback form, but we are pretty confident that at least one of them will hit the market as a 2013 model next year. Regardless, we have reason to believe that the Sonic RS production model will be similar to the Aveo RS Concept that was shown off last year. Chances are, it’ll be powered by a 1.4L inline-four Ecotec powerplant with 138-hp with some extra go-fast goodies. We expect GM to also add some suspension upgrades to the vehicle, in addition to offering 18- or 19-inch wheels and upgraded brakes and styling accessories.
It is expected that the Sonic RS will feature a six-speed manual transmission with a six-speed automatic available as an option.
GALLERY: Aveo (Sonic) RS Concept
[Source: Left Lane News]
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.
After a series of lukewarm SS models in the past undermined the public’s impression of the moniker (Malibu Maxx SS, anyone?), Chevrolet now vows to reserve the SS badge for high performance models only. It will not be stamped onto the performance trim Chevrolet Sonic.
“It would take a lot more air going through that engine for an SS, and there is no SS in the works,” says Lead Development Engineer for the 2012 Sonic, John Buttermore. Nonetheless, Buttermore promised a number of performance packages that will be available in 2013 that will enhance the driving experience of the 1.4-liter turbo, six-speed manual Sonic.
Currently Chevy offers a selection of Z-Spec accessories for the Sonic so owners can customize their rides.
GALLERY: Chevy Sonic Z-Spec
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.
Today, General Motors confirmed that the Chevrolet Spark subcompact will be sold in the U.S. The Spark goes into production this month as the smallest car sold by Chevrolet. The General Motors executive director of North American production communications, Jason Laird, confirmed that the vehicle will launch between January to June 2012 as a 2013 model.
The Spark is currently selling in Asian countries and has been a very important model for Chevrolet in the global mini car segment. Laird explained that the ”Spark minicar will give Chevrolet A-B-C-D-E segment coverage for first time in [the] U.S.” The Spark fits in the A segment, the Sonic fits in the B segment, the Cruze fits in the C segment, the Malibu fits in the D segment and the Impala fits in the E segment.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Spark
[Source: Green Car Reports]
General Motors has announced a second quarter net income of $2.5 billion or $1.54 per fully diluted share. By comparison, GM’s Q2 2010 performance showed a net income of $1.3 billion or 85 cents per diluted share. Revenue has increased from $6.2 billion to 39.4 billion compared to the second quarter of 2010.
Earnings before interest and tax adjusted was $3.0 billion compared to $2.0 billion in the second quarter of 2010. GM also ended the quarter with very strong total automotive liquidity of $39.7 billion. The automakers cash and marketable securities, including Canadian Health Care Trust restricted cash, was $33.8 billion compared with $30.6 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2011.
“GM’s investments in fuel economy, design and quality are paying off around the world as our global market share growth and financial results bear out,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO of GM. “Our progress has been steady and we’re preparing to launch more new products this year, including the Chevrolet Sonic in North America, the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira in Europe and the Baojun 630 in China to keep the momentum going.”
Nothing has been officially released but General Motors is not denying that the American automaker may introduce a two-door version of the Chevrolet Cruze. One source has suggested that the compact coupe maybe built in the Detroit suburb of Orion Township. The plant is getting ready to build the Chevrolet Sonic, a smaller car in the third quarter.
General Motors currently produces the four-door Cruze exclusively at the assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio but the car’s success has the plant operating at full capacity, even with overtime. The Cruse was America’s best-selling compact nameplate in May.
The Orion plant would fit well to manufacture the coupe as it is equipped to build multiple models and its innovative labour contract makes it more appealing to build a lower-volume niche model.
The Cruze model has been built in Europe as a race car giving the car a sportier image in North America. Whether or not the image campaign ultimately pays off is anyone’s guess but adding a sporty coupe to the lineup probably wouldn’t hurt.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]