Official: 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS

2012 Detroit Auto Show

GM has unveiled the racier version of their best-ever small car will debut at Detroit.

Chevrolet has confirmed the Sonic RS will debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show before hitting the showrooms in late 2012. Based on the five-door hatch with the same 138hp 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo engine under the hood, although there's no more power the interior and exterior have been given a lift while handling has also been improved. Exterior styling comes directly from the Aveo RS Concept that appeared in Detroit back in 2010, with a new front fascia & fog lamp design, and RS-specific grille.

At the rear there's a new fascia & spoiler, a retuned exhaust with chrome outlet, while the RS sits on unique 17-inch five-spoke alloys and boasts RS badging. Chevy has given the RS an athletic interior too, with front sport seats, a new flat-bottomed sport steering wheel and shifter knob, aluminum sport pedals, unique instrument-cluster design and RS-specific trim color. The MyLink infotainment system featuring a seven-inch touch screen comes as standard. The turbocharged 1.4-liter in the Sonic is strictly mated to a manual transmission, whereas the RS offers both a six-speed manual and automatic.

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Compared to the Sonic, the RS gets a manual with closer ratios and the automatic has been given a shorter final-drive, which should make it a bit quicker. Exclusive to the new RS are four-wheel disc brakes partnered with a four-sensor system incorporating electronic brake force distribution, and a lowered and stiffened suspension by MacPherson with performance-tuned dampers. Sprint times, top speed and price figures have yet to be announced, so expect more on the Sonic RS once Detroit 2012 kicks off next month.