Chevrolet hopes the new 2012 Sonic infuses some turbocharged excitement into the subcompact segment, but is there room for an even sportier model? Perhaps. Will it be badged an SS? No way, says those who work at Chevrolet.
According to Ward’s Auto, John Buttermore, the Sonic’s lead development engineer, confirmed that there are no plans to create a Sonic SS model — but there are “sportier versions coming.”Buttermore suggests these models could debut sometime in 2013.
“It would take a lot more air going through [the 1.4-liter turbo in-line four] for an SS, and there is no SS in the works.”
Right now, the turbocharged engine in the Sonic makes 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed manual. The base engine also produces 138 hp, but only makes 125 lb-ft and can be had either with a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Buttermore also says that the turbo engine will receive the automatic transmission as an option in early 2012, slightly earlier than originally anticipated.
We’re happy to hear a hotter version is in the works, but we’re not too surprised it won’t wear the SS label. Although the brand was eager to slap an SS badge on almost anything over the past decade (Anyone remember the Malibu Maxx SS?), Chevrolet management ultimately realized doing so only tarnished the image and reputation of the vaunted “Super Sports” nameplate.
Might we suggest the RS (or “Rally Sport”) name instead, in the spirit of the show car that originally reviewed the Sonic?
Source: Ward’s Auto