AutoGuide News Blog
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.
After first showcasing a line of Z-Spec accessories at the SEMA Show last year, Chevrolet has now announced it will move the new in-house aftermarkets parts lineup from concept to reality, debuting the first items on the new Sonic sub-compact.
Available parts include a new ground effects kit, exhaust tip, roof spoiler, mirror caps, grille surrounds and available 16- and 17-inch wheels. And of course there’s a tacky graphics package as well. Interior items are limited to aluminum sport pedals and sill plates, although GM has said more parts will be available in the near future.
Items will be available individually or as a complete package through dealers.
The Z-Spec line is intended to draw in younger buyers to the brand’s new Sonic sub-compact (a replacement for the Aveo), while also capitalizing on a market where individuality is something customers will pay for. The plan is similar to what Scion has done to attract younger buyers.
Revealed at the Detroit Auto Show this year, the Sonic is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and is expected to get 40-mpg on the highway.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Sonic Z-Spec
Debuting alongside the Sonic Hatchback and Sedan at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday was what Chevy is calling the Sonic Z-Spec Concept. It’s not a concept for a new car, however, but for a line of in-house tuner parts that Chevy is considering.
Chevrolet first rolled out a lineup of Z-Spec cars at this year’s SEMA Show, although at the time the Sonic Z wasn’t there. At the time, the Z-Spec cars raised the possibility that GM was looking at a special in-house aftermarket parts program for its small cars – much in the way Scion does. This latest concept car certainly indicates that the idea is still very much alive at Chevy and Margaret Brooks, the director of marketing for Chevy’s small car division, told AutoGuide that, “we would love to offer more personalization,” adding that, if successful, it could be extremely lucrative.
Sadly, any in-house program wouldn’t feature the sorts of high dollar goodies shown on the concept, which includes items like BBS wheels, Brembo brakes and some caramel leather recaro racing seats (yummy). A suspension lowering kit, aerodynamics parts an a rear spoiler are, however, possibilities.
Rolling out the Sonic Z-Spec at the Detroit show is a strong indication that Chevy isn’t just stagnantly considering the Z Spec line but moving (slowly) closer to introducing it. Showcasing aftermarket parts at the industry-only SEMA show is hardly a strong vote in favor of any action, but testing the waters at a mainstream and high profile auto show, that also happens to be open to the general public, speaks volumes about Chevy’s plans.
GALLERY: Chevy Sonic Z-Spec
At last week’s SEMA Show, General Motors rolled out a selection of modified vehicles hinting at more than one direction the automaker may go when it comes to performance vehicles. In an article by Automotive News the suggestion was raised that GM may look to bring back performance brands – which it cut from its lineup during the recession in an effort to both reduce development costs and to brand itself as a greener automaker (not to mention one that doesn’t use taxpayer’s dollar to build 500-hp machines).
This rumor does have legs, especially with GM recently announcing a new performance vehicles and motorsports division.
However, in an interview, Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing, seemed to hint at another direction for GM, commenting that it, “might be initiatives around parts and accessories.” In other words, GM would look to leave the real performance parts business to the aftermarket (for now) while focusing on the highly profitable customization segment. At SEMA GM did introduce modified “Z-Spec” versions of its Cruze, Volt and Spark, all with bolt on parts. This would seem to hint at a more Scion-like method of offering extensive in-house customization options to buyers, especially those interested in models more attractive to the younger demographic.
[Source: Automotive News]
Chevrolet debuted three new compact cars, as part of its new Z-Spec factory upgrades lineup, with the new Cruze and Volt, as well as the upcoming Spark subcompact rounding out the lineup.
While the concepts modifications are cosmetic in nature, the upgrades really elevate the conservative lines of the Cruze, with an orange paint job, Recaro seats and big wheels featuring prominently. The Spark could be considered a throwback to the days of “The Fast and the Furious”, with its creamsicle orange paintjob, white BBS wheels and Altezza taillights. Of the three, our favorite was the Volt, whose sharp angles, white paintwork and big wheels complimented the car in a way that the stock styling just doesn’t do.
Hit the jump to see all three galleries of the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze and Spark Z-Spec