At this year’s season opening Detroit show, Chevrolet unveiled its B-segment contender, the next gen Aveo called Sonic. The upcoming NAIAS 2012 will see the GM brand wheel out the hot version of the Sonic, tagged RS. To go on sale in late 2012, the Sonic RS will be offered exclusively in five-door hatchback form – no sedan RS.

Go faster kit includes front sport seats, a thicker steering wheel with flat bottom, a new shift knob, aluminum sport pedals, specific instrument panel graphics and RS-specific interior trim colour. Outside, the RS is set apart by a deep air dam design and vertical intakes at the edges of the fascia that house the fog lamps.

Under the hood, the RS will come with the same 1.4L Ecotec turbo that powers top spec Sonics. This 138 hp/200 Nm unit is matched with a six-speed manual or six-speed auto gearbox. Unique gear ratios for the stick shift and a different final drive ratio for the auto gives the Sonic RS a “sportier feel” than non-RS models.

The suspension combines front MacPherson struts and an axle-mount compound link-type torsion beam, with gas-charged shocks. Front and rear tracks are identical at 1,509 mm for well-planted stability and balance, Chevy says. The RS is the only Sonic variant with four-wheel disc brakes.