Car Spotlight>> Chevy Sonic Super 4 Concept

High horse power cars are loads fun to drive and to get rides in. But sometimes, a little bit of horse power in an equally small car can be even more fun. This is the case with many cult classics over the years. Think about the Honda Civic, the Mazda Miata, the Toyota Corolla and the Volkswagen Golf. All those cars are practical cars with just enough power to some fun. The biggest characteristic of all was the fact that they were an absolute hoot to drive around a corner.

Chevy is looking to get a piece of that pie with their latest hot-hatch offering, the Sonic. And in this particular this case, they took the idea of small fun even further. They took one Chevy Sonic, gave it a diet and a new home: the race track. This is what Chevy calls the Sonic Super 4 concept.

Straight off the showroom, a Sonic has the choice of an Ecotec 1.4L, 138 hp, turbocharged 4 banger. From there, the boys from Pratt & Miller made the engine breathe a little better with a low-restriction air intake and a two-inch cat-back straight-pipe exhaust.

No electronic flappy-paddle gear boxes here, just a good old fashion six-speed manual transmission.

As with any race car, the suspension saw an upgrade. Coil-overs were the choice here.

A set of Forgeline GWC3R 18×7.5″ satin black wheels, wrapped in a set of BF Goodrich racing slicks, adorns all four corners.

Like the motor, the exterior of the car didn’t see any drastic changes. Only subtle bits here and there to assist with the overall Sonic race car experience.

The front saw an addition of a Chevrolet Z-Spec concept carbon fiber splitter, the sides a pair of carbon fiber rocker panel extensions…

…a carbon fiber rear diffuser was added to the rear bumper, a Concept Z-Spec rear wing spoiler and tow hooks for both the front and the back.

The head lights and taillights were also tinted.

The brakes saw an upgrade as well. The front calipers were switched out for a set of four-piston Brembo calipers with two-piece drilled rotors, and the rear was upgraded with a set of two-piston calipers with one-piece drilled rotors.

As with any race car, the interior was completely stripped out of anything that was not necessary. The original steering wheel was replaced by a suede Grant wheel, passenger and driver windows were removed and in their place is a pair of SCCA-approved inner and outer window nets.

An SCCA-approved 1 3/4″ chrome moly roll cage sits where the rear seats used to be. No need for passengers in a race car!

Even the original battery was found to be too heavy so a much lighter Braille battery was replaced. The battery also sits in the back to help even out the weight distribution!

The 90s was a hard and dark road for Chevy as a company. Not much came out of the factories that oozed out “cool” and “fun.” But in recent years, they’ve started to listen to their costumer and are now working hard on coming out with cars with a much cooler appeal. The new Camaro is a great start and the Sonic could be another.

I’m all for affordable racing and this Super 4 Concept is a step in the right direction. I mean who wouldn’t love to see a full grid of these things bounce off each other in a close one-make racing series?


More 2011 SEMA Coverage on Speedhunters

More Car Spotlights on Speedhunters

Sonic Insider



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Why they didn't just call it the Chevy SuperSonic is beyond me.


i love cars like this. all for the joy of driving.


Stripped of everything not necessary?! There is still a dash in that thing. And the battery relocation for better weight distribution would have been better just leaving the Braile battery under the hood. The weight they saved using the smaller battery they just put back in running all the wiring for it, plus some.


I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't drive to drive it. Looks like fun. Maybe it could do without the silly Chevy graphics..


they didn't move the battery, all new chevy's have the battery in the rear


I'm having a very hard time controlling the laughter that this car inspires.

Stock ride height is 60 inches! Lowered, it would be 57 inches! That's still three inches too tall to be considered a small car.

Stock curb weight is 2850 pounds, which is a bs number that excludes fluids. Actual stock weight would be about 3000 pounds. Strip the interior and it gets back to a real weight of 2850 pounds. That's not light weight. That's 500 pounds more than the other examples cited.

7 1/2 inch wide wheels on a 138 HP car? And if those are BFG R1 tires, for 17 inch diameter, they come in 225, 235, and 245 tread widths. That's way too much tire for such an underpowered car. Just because it fits into the wheel wells, doesn't mean it's the right size for the best performance.

The engine is Korean. It is not of GM origin, and the Ecotec name across the valve cover is badge engineering. And applying the Ecotec name to the engine reduces the prestige by about two thirds.

The car has a beam axle rear suspension, and it is not possible to put a coilover on the rear axle, because it is a regular shock with a separate spring riding on the axle. It can be tuned, it is exceedingly difficult, but the rear suspension is not coilover.

The Aveo (which is what the Sonic really is) can be a fun little car. But the recent generations got porky and bloated, and Chevy's show car attempt is red-necked-up.


I'm waiting for a version painted blue with some spikes...


I like the idea. I'd take that over an overweight ugly camaro any day.


A waste of a feature. I may aswell buy a Holden Barina, put some slicks, bigger brakes and a cage in it and call it a race car.


piece of crap. wouldn't drive a gm POS if you paid me.


The Chevy Sonic 1.4L turbo is my next second car purchase -------> Current Honda Civic EK owner


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Chevy is really pushing this car. It is a non starter. All that money and your still end up with a Chevy Sonic.


"The engine is Korean"

Lol, the ecotec is developed in collab between Opel, GM Powertrain, and Saab and much of the development work was done by Lotus Engineering.

So the engine is European.


If it didn't have those stupid stickers on it it would look nice


It's a friggin' daewoo, not a Chevy. Get over it. It was originally intended for the european market, and as for the ford fiesta, the US seems to accept the fact that they couldn't have made it themselves...


@Jace, bro that IS just a new holden barina with the new cruze turbo 4cyl motor in it and stripped out with bigger brakes/wheels.


We're did you get that intake. .?