2011 SEMA Show: Chevrolet Sonic All Activity Vehicle Concept

Article by Christian A., on November 1, 2011

Chevrolet unveiled today at the 2011 SEMA Show the Sonic All Activity Vehicle Concept, a vehicle equipped for adventures, with storage capacity for biking and wakeboard equipment. According to the manufacturer, the vehicle as designed with Ricky Carmichael – the 15-time American Motorcycle Association (AMA) champion, three-time X-Games gold medalist and NASCAR racer.

As a result, the Sonic received storage capacity for his biking and wakeboard equipment. Regarding its design, the All Activity Sonic comes with a matte black finish, satin chrome pieces and a new Z-Spec 2-high-wing spoiler. The interior of the car was designed by Fox Racing, one of Ricky Carmichael’s sponsors, and features a material intended to replicate board shorts.

Although it is just a concept, the American manufacturer is planning to offer the Z-Spec package for all customers in 2013, and this will include upgrades to the car’s grille, paneling, ground effects, spoiler and wheels.

The new generation Chevrolet Sonic 2012 featuring a fresher and more assertive look was first shown at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. This small car features turbocharged capabilities to provide a dynamic and enjoyable driving experience, while also ensuring great efficiency.

2012 Sonic comes in two body designs: a classy four-door sedan and a jazzier five-door hatchback. Both offer more rear-seat space and cargo capacity than most rivals. Drivability is also supplemented by a range of systems for connectivity.

Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing said that the 2012 Sonic offers all the useful advantages provided by small cars while also fulfilling the passion for driving Chevrolet vehicles are known to deliver, just like with the Corvette. He adds that the car’s style, enjoyable drivability and innovative connectivity systems make it a strong and exciting contender.

The new Chevrolet Sonic will be manufactured at the General Motors Orion Assembly Centre in Detroit, Michigan, starting later in 2011. $545 million was invested to refurbish and reequip the facility, and bring back roughly 1,000 jobs to the area.

According to Perry, as the only company to locally manufacture a small car, Chevrolet is betting that the Sonic’s design, capabilities and affordability will give new meaning to small car ownership in America, thus elevating the status of the segment.

Wherever the 2012 Sonic is viewed from, both its sedan and hatchback versions project a solidly stable yet cultured image. The wheel placement at the corners creates a broad stance, expressing its capabilities. The sleekly modern lines and silhouette give an impression of motion even when parked.

A combination of bold details, such as the flared fenders and circular motorcycle-like headlights, with its classic cues, like the two-deck front grille and round rear lights, has resulted in a distinctly fresh look that retains the Chevrolet identity. The hood’s front end forms a border above the headlights and connects to the sculpted sides that feature continuous lines to the rear, along with a high waistline and low roofline. The wing mirrors are shaped to blend consistently with the Sonic’s silhouette.

Press Release

Chevrolet at SEMA 2011: Sonic All Activity Vehicle – Ricky Carmichael Concept

When the Chevrolet Sonic’s designers sought inspiration for an all-activity-style concept for the 2011 SEMA Show, they found the perfect partner in Ricky Carmichael – the 15-time American Motorcycle Association (AMA) champion, three-time X-Games gold medalist and NASCAR racer.

When Carmichael is not racing for points, he’s pursuing his other passions, including bikes, boards and more. The fully customized Sonic All Activity Vehicle – Ricky Carmichael Concept is equipped for those adventures, with the storage capacity for his biking and wakeboard equipment.

“The car looks so cool, colorful and fun to drive,” said Carmichael. “I live my life on the go and this Sonic really represents that active lifestyle and my desire to have fun when I'm off the race track. The Sonic would be a perfect vehicle for someone who wants to get the most out of their time – and I also really appreciate how they we were able to incorporate my loyal sponsors into the design of the car.”

Carmichael was an AMA motocross national champion before he turned 20 and collected 15 championship trophies before heading into four-wheel competition in 2007. He’s been a strong competitor in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ever since, where he was voted its most popular driver in 2009. He collected six top 10 finishes in the 2011 season.

The Sonic All Activity Vehicle – Ricky Carmichael Concept reflects the driver’s high-performance personality, with custom interior and exterior design cues, performance enhancements and an upgraded sound system. Carmichael was very active in developing the car, working with Chevrolet designers to convey his style and attitude.

Elements of the activity-focused attitude are expressed with exterior highlights that include a THULE Roof Rack with an S-Works mountain bike and Hyperlite wakeboard, splash guards, custom wheels, special exterior graphics, as well as concept Z-Spec ground effects, Z-Spec grille and Z-Spec spoiler. The personality carries over to the inside, with aluminum shifter knob, racing-style flat-bottom steering wheel, all-weather floor mats, rear cargo organizer, unique seat trim and a Z-Spec pedal kit.

FOX Racing boardshorts material is used as trim on the door and seat inserts, along with green stitching accents, for a totally unique look and feel.

From a performance standpoint, this Sonic breathes through a Borla exhaust system and stops more authoritatively with Brembo brakes. Under the hood is the production 1.4L turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission.

Ricky wouldn’t have it any other way.

Vehicle highlights:


  • Blue Pearlized Satin Black exterior
  • Number 4 hood decal
  • Electric Green Ricky Carmichael signature on lower rear doors
  • THULE roof rack with specialized S-Works mountain bike and Hyperlite wakeboard with custom graphics
  • Splash guards
  • Custom 18x8-inch wheels – gloss black with green lip
  • Concept Z-Spec high wing spoiler
  • Smoked lamp housings
  • Concept Z-Spec ground effects
  • Concept Z-Spec grille


  • FOX Racing boardshorts material for the seat inserts
  • Dark Green/Jet Black leather-trimmed instrument panel and door trim with Lime Green piping/stitching
  • Satin chrome trim accents
  • Ricky Carmichael signature with Number 4 on driver and front passenger seats
  • Concept billet aluminum shifter knob
  • Dark Green/Jet Black leather-trimmed flat-bottom steering wheel with Lime Green stitching
  • All-weather floor mats
  • Rear cargo organizer
  • Concept sound system
  • Chevrolet Accessories pedal kit


  • Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine with six-speed manual transmission
  • Performance lowering suspension kit
  • Performance brakes – four-piston front calipers with two-piece drilled rotors and two-piston rear calipers with one-piece drilled rotors
  • High-flow exhaust system

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