If you're looking for a symbol of the "new", leaner, meaner General Motors -- the company that emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 -- you could find one in the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact. It's well-made, it's affordable, it's fuel-efficient, it's packed with high-tech and safety features, and the Sonic sedan and hatchback both have striking visual appeal.
At next week's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, Chevy will up the ante by unveiling a new, production-ready version of the Sonic sedan, dubbed the Chevrolet Sonic Dusk.
The Dusk appeared as a concept model in 2011. According to Chevy's vice president of marketing, Chris Perry, "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."
As you might expect, the production model of the Dusk comes with a lot of cosmetic enhancements. For starters, there's the Ashen Grey paint job, the rear spoiler, and 18-inch aluminum wheels, finished in Pearl Nickel. Bits of matte on the grilles, door handle inserts, and trim around the license plate make the paint pop.
Open the door, and you'll find leather-trimmed seats in Jet Black, with contrasting tan inserts. That tan -- called Mojave -- is also found on the stitching, the door panel, and the instrument panel. Chevy's MyLink infotainment system comes standard, so you can enjoy tunes from the radio or your smartphone while on the go.
But the Dusk isn't just a pretty face. Like the LT and LTZ Sonic models, the Dusk makes use of an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine, boasting 138 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. Unlike the LT and LTZ, however, which come with a five-speed transmission, the Dusk comes as a six-speed. It will be available as either a manual or automatic.
Chevy hasn't announced a release date or pricing for the Dusk, but we expect it to debut as part of the 2013 model-year lineup. Pricing should be just above the LTZ, which begins at $18,040.
For more on the Sonic Dusk, check out MotorAuthority.com.