Chevrolet Preps 2014 Impala, Sonic, Cruze For 2013 SEMA Show

Wild hatchbacks and mild sedans.

In total, Chevrolet is bringing some 39 vehicles to the 2013 Specialty Aftermarket Manufacturers Show (SEMA) in Las Vegas, but for now, the automaker is only willing to show off a few of the tricked-out passenger vehicles – i.e. cars that aren’t named Camaro or Corvette – that will grace its display in early November.

Personalization Sonic Concept: If you happen to be lucky enough to attend the 2013 SEMA show, take a look at this red Sonic hatchback each day you’re there – the car won’t look the same as the show drags on, since Chevrolet plans on adding cosmetic and performance parts each day. Although this car uses a stock 1.8-liter four-cylinder, it does receive a new lowered suspension kit, upgraded brake package with Wilwood front calipers, and a 18-inch wheel/tire package – all of which will soon be offered through Chevrolet’s own performance accessories catalog.

Chevrolet Performance Sonic RS Concept: Chevrolet says it wanted this Sonic RS show car to be both bright and playful – that might help to explain the retina-scorching exterior which combines bright yellow paint with blue graphics and blue highlights, including grille accents, lamp assembly surrounds, and mirror caps. In addition to the new performance accessories affixed to the red Personalization Sonic concept, the Sonic RS show car also gains a new “stage” kit for the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which adds a cold-air induction and a high-flow exhaust.

Ricky Carmichael All-Activity Sonic:
Technically, this Sonic, customized with the help of AMA supercross star Ricky Carmichael, debuted at last year’s SEMA show, but the hopped-up Sonic returns with a few new tricks for 2013. Like some of the other Sonics on display, Carmichael’s personalized hatchback receives the new stage performance kit for the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, along with the new performance suspension and brake upgrade packages. We personally dig the hefty billet shift knob for the six-speed manual transmission, which sadly doesn’t appear to be part of Chevrolet’s accessories portfolio.

Spark EV Tech Performance Concept: We’re used to seeing electric vehicles tuned to provide maximum range and efficiency, but the Spark EV show car headed to SEMA eschews that in favor of tapping into its torque reserve – a meaty 400 lb-ft available right at launch. Flip the military-like switch cover up on the shift knob, press the red button (decorated with a menacing smiley face for good measure), and you’ll access a revised powertrain algorithm, which allows the little Spark to blast from 0-60 mph in roughly 7.5 seconds.

Other revisions include tinted head- and tail-lamp assemblies, new aluminum-alloy wheels, a wild white-on-green two-tone paint job, and a front bow-tie emblem that glows green. Seeing as GM has no immediate plans to even offer the normal Spark EV outside of California, Oregon, and South Korea, don’t count on this reaching production anytime soon.

Cruze Diesel Personalization Concept: On the other hand, the Cruze Diesel Personalization Concept is closer to production. This show car is Chevy’s way of showing off some of the revisions it has in store for a mid-cycle enhancement next year. Although some pundits suspected the U.S.-market Cruze would adopt the new front fascia worn by European-market Cruze models, that’s not the case. Instead, the lightly-updated Cruze boasts a new grille design that’s more in line with what we saw applied to the updated 2014 Malibu range. The Cruze Diesel Personalization Concept retains the stock 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, but receives a custom front splitter, lower front fascia, and rocker sills built by 3dCarbon, along with larger wheels, and an upgraded Kicker Audio sound system.

2014 Malibu LTZ Concept: Speaking of the updated 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, it’s also making its way to Vegas for the SEMA show. Unlike some of Chevy’s Sonic concepts, the tarted-up Malibu focuses on subtle styling tweaks. The metallic wine paint color is unique to this concept, which also rides on 18-inch aluminum wheels cribbed from the 2014 Impala parts bin. The stock 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is paired with a customized Borla exhaust system, but power remains unchanged at 259 hp.

2014 Impala Urban Cool Concept: Chevrolet’s all-new full-size sedan also receives a few mild tweaks for its SEMA show debut. The concept looks lean and mean, thanks to a lowered ride height, a conceptual ground effects package, and new 20-inch wheels that may soon be part of Chevrolet’s accessories catalog, Interior amendments include gloss and anodized piano black accents, along with grey leather seating highlighted with orange stitching. We’re told if public reaction is favorable, this entire package may be applied to a future production vehicle.

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