This past January at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, General Motor unveiled the new Chevrolet Sonic in final production form. Available in both five-door hatchback and four-door sedan body styles, the Sonic will reach U.S. showrooms this fall. In Europe, however, GM will continue to use the Aveo nameplate when its supermini goes on sale later this summer.
According to Chevrolet’s European division, the Aveo is designed to appeal at the “young and young-at-heart”, with the sedan model being a more suitable offering for young families, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of Europe where a four-door saloon is more often than not the only car in the household. The four-door has a boot volume of 502 liters, while the hatch reaches 653 liters when the rear seats are folded down.
Chevrolet says the new Aveo has one of the most rigid chassis in the segment, with the upper body and the frame engineered as a single unit, thus ensuring a stiffer and lighter structure.
We're already familiar with the Aveo’s styling from the U.S.-spec Sonic, so let's skip to the engines. In Europe, the new Aveo will be available with a choice of four petrol units and, for the first time in a small Chevrolet, a diesel powerplant.
The gasoline engine range includes two 1.2-liter versions rated at 70 horsepower and 86 horsepower, a 1.4-liter unit good for 100-horses and a 1.6-liter engine developing 115 horsepower.
The most fuel-efficient version is the 86HP 1.2-liter engine, rated at 5.1 liters/100 km (US 46.1 mpg) and 119 g of CO2 per kilometer, while the 1.6-liter unit averages 6.6 liters/100 km (US 35.6 mpg).
Starting this autumn, Chevrolet will also offer a 1.3-liter turbo diesel engine featuring common-rail fuel injection, start/stop technology and a variable-geometry turbocharger. Another first for a Chevrolet small car will be a six-speed automatic gearbox, but the carmaker has not yet revealed which engine will make use of it. Country-specific prices will be announced closer to the launch date.
Scroll down to see new photos of the Aveo range in both sedan hatchback styles.