Dusk edition to stir up Sonic sedan sales in U.S.

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Chevrolet went from being one of the least intriguing players in the subcompact segment to one of the most enticing when it replaced its South Korean GMDAT-built Aveo with the new U.S.-produced Sonic a year ago, but the four-door sedan model has always played second fiddle to the hatchback with respect to street cred. The Dusk edition should add spice to the more conservative of the two when it arrives in the U.S. next year for the 2014 model year, a classy addition to small car culture.

"Just like we've done with Corvettes and Camaros, we're taking another one of our core products and adapting it to our customers' lifestyles," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing in the U.S. "The reaction to the Sonic Dusk concept last year was overwhelmingly positive and proved customers are interested in a more-refined subcompact. We're moving quickly to bring Sonic Dusk to Chevrolet showrooms."

General Motors chose the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas to debut the "production-intent package" for the car, the concept arriving at last year's Specialty Equipment Market Association trade event. An obvious differentiator from lesser Sonic sedans, the Dusk will only be available in Ashen Grey, while the upper and lower grilles, door handle inserts, and rear license plate trim will feature a matte finish. The rear deck lid will also get a unique spoiler to complement ground effects surrounding the Dusk's lower extremities. Truly giving the Sonic Dusk premium appeal, Chevy has gone to the expense of stainless steel trim on the lower window mouldings. Finishing off the look will be a nice set of 18-inch pearl nickel finished alloy rims that follow the same theme as shown on 2009's Camaro Dusk concept, a car that went into production this past summer.

Inside, the Sonic Dusk continues with an upscale ambience, featuring Jet Black leather and suede seats with Mojave tan inserts, complemented by Mojave tan accent stitching and tan-coloured instrument panel and door panel trim. The car will get Chevy's latest MyLink infotainment system standard. MyLink differs from other infotainment systems in that it displays GPS navigation functionality as well as other smartphone features on its seven-inch colour touchscreen via Bluetooth wireless, while also providing the usual Bluetooth-connected smartphone features such as music, contacts and hands-free calling. On the safety front, the Sonic comes with 10 standard airbags, the segment's highest airbag count.

"With a year under our belt, we've learned our Sonic sedan buyers are looking at exterior styling as a key purchase driver," said Cristi Landy, marketing director of Chevrolet small cars in the U.S. "While the RS hatchback is our sporty interpretation of Sonic, Dusk is a sophisticated, well contented option – both unique to this segment. It's all about choices and personalization."

Lastly, the Sonic Dusk will utilize Chevy's powerful and efficient 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 138-horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque while only consuming a claimed 7.3 L/100km city and 5.1 highway, thanks in part to the use of 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

General Motors is proud of the Sonic's "Built in America" status, proving that small cars can be well made and profitable if built in North America. The Orion Township, Michigan-built Sonic is the only subcompact built in the U.S., Ford instead choosing to build its Fiesta in Mexico, where Nissan produces its Versa. Honda, Mazda, and Toyota, including Toyota's Scion division, build their subcompact models in Japan, while Hyundai and Kia build their competitors in South Korea.

While the Sonic Dusk would no doubt find eager buyers in our small car crazed country, General Motors' Canadian Product Communications Manager George Saratlic states there is "no plan to bring the Sonic Dusk to Canada." Pity.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Chevrolet, Sonic, 2014, Subcompact, Sedan,

Geographic location: U.S.

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