Chevrolet designers John Mack and Allen Kim discuss some of the design elements of the 2012 Chevy Sonic, which we revealed last week during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. – Will Stewart, blog editor
By Rebecca Harris
GM Social Media Team
The latest weather squalls have me checking the forecast online regularly, as well as thanking my lucky stars I’m driving a Chevy 4×4 extended cab pickup to try to combat Michigan’s snowy and icy winter! But as we all know, sometimes even being prepared and cautious is not enough to ensure your safety!
Take Marc Keinath from Millington, Michigan. Marc was driving his 2004 Chevrolet Malibu along I-75 in Genesee County, Michigan, earlier this week when he encountered a patch of black ice and spun out. When he regained control of the car, a tractor trailer hauling 20 tons of sugar smashed into the rear of his Malibu before falling on top of it!
Luckily, Marc kept his cool – and even as parts of the roof of the Malibu began to yield under the tremendous weight of the trailer, he opted to recline his seat to give him more room inside, reach for his cell phone and dial 911. Wow – that’s calm, I’d say!
Firefighters and first responders quickly arrived and helped extract him from the dangerous situation. And, fortunately although bruised and shaken, Marc walked away with no serious injuries. Marc credits God for giving him a second chance at life, the firefighters and first responders who helped him – and Chevy for making a car that held a semi!
When we at Chevy heard Marc’s story, we were grateful to hear that he was okay. But we also wanted to help out – so today we are replacing his 2004 Malibu with a new 2011 Malibu. He’s receiving the car at the Flint Engine Operations plant this afternoon – and as an added bonus, Marc will even get to meet some of the Detroit Tigers, who just happened to be scheduled to visit the plant today!
Not every crash ends this miraculously, and we suggest that you not try putting a semi on your Malibu at home! But we do take a great deal of pride in the fact that Marc’s Malibu held up that semi, and we’re really glad he’s okay. (His new Malibu is a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2010 and 2011, and comes with two years OnStar technology standard, so we think it will meet his safety expectations!) While stories like this are scary, they make us feel good about the products we build and the people we build them for. Thanks, Marc – and enjoy your new car!
The Chevrolet Volt added to its growing list of accolades this morning, when it was named the 2011 North American Car of the Year during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Volt beat out two other finalists, the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai Sonata, to bring home the top award at NAIAS.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized as the North American Car of the Year,” said GM CEO Dan Akerson. “Since development began, we believed the Volt had the potential to transform the automotive industry. Today, the Volt is the first electric vehicle to win the prestigious North American Car of the Year award, and the first vehicle ever to receive the industry’s highest automotive, technology, and environmental recognitions.”
The Car of the Year award is based upon votes from 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada. Just last month, the Volt won Motor Trend magazine’s 2011 Car of the Year award, as well as several other top awards, including Green Car Journal’s 2011 Green Car of the Year and Automobile magazine’s 2011 Automobile of the Year. - Will Stewart, blog editor
By Margaret Brooks
Product Director, Chevrolet Small Cars and Crossovers
As Chevrolet enters our 100th year, we realize that the world is changing. Chevy is in a good position to start the next 100 years by bringing out great new vehicles that our customers can be passionate about and by leading through innovation. It goes beyond the Chevrolet Volt, just named 2011 North American Car of the Year, and extends to a growing family of small and compact cars.
Today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit we debuted our newest small car, the Chevrolet Sonic. The Sonic is offered in two body styles: a stylish four-door sedan and a sporty five-door. Both share the same powertrain options found on the Chevy Cruze: a standard 1.8L Ecotec and an available Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine rated at an estimated 138 horsepower (103 kW). The 1.4L turbo has 18 horsepower (14 kW) more than Ford Fiesta while delivering an estimated 40 miles per gallon. We think Sonic will be the most fun to drive way to get 40 MPG.
This car is engineered to be fun to drive from the ground up. Since I’m one of the few people in the world who has driven this car, I can tell you from experience that driving this car will definitely put a smile on your face. It’s a little rocket that is unexpectedly quiet and refined with confident and agile handling. I guess that’s what you get when you let the same engineers who work on Corvette tune the suspension for our newest small car.
The styling of the exterior and interior also convey that Sonic is a small car that wants to be driven. Some of the design details were inspired by motorcycles, from the instrument panel to the round headlights. The interior is fresh, clean, and intuitive with plenty of storage, class-leading rear seat roominess and amazing cargo capacity.
But we all know that safety is important, even in the small car segment, and we didn’t scrimp here either. The Sonic’s safety features include 10 standard air bags, antilock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.
And to keep the fun going on while you are driving, connectivity features include standard OnStar with six months of Turn-by-Turn navigation and the MyChevrolet mobile app with OnStar MyLink. This mobile app lets you access your car from your smart phone anywhere you are to set a parking reminder, remotely start your vehicle, unlock or lock the doors, or check how much fuel you have left. Available features include XM Satellite Radio, USB and Bluetooth functionality.
If you are in the Detroit area come check out the Sonic at the show and check out our website for other auto show appearances. We hope you will be pleasantly surprised at how much this small car provides in fun, style and functionality.