DETROIT (Reuters) -- General Motors will unveil a sporty version of its Chevrolet Sonic subcompact car for the 2013 model year in a bid to make the 100-year-old brand more appealing to younger buyers.
Among the features on the 2013 Chevy Sonic RS, which will be showcased at the Detroit auto show next month, are a seven-inch color touch screen radio, heated front seats and 17-inch wheels.
The car, which has a base price of $14,495, also allows drivers to use navigation applications on their smart phones and project those directions on the screen.
The automaker hopes such features will entice buyers under 35 years of age, or the so-called "millenial" generation.
The Sonic is also a key piece of GM's plan to shift from big SUVs and pickup trucks toward small cars on the cusp of a projected boom in the market for subcompact cars.
IHS Automotive expects the subcompact segment will more than double by 2016 to 925,000 cars a year. Other cars in the segment include the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris.
The same 1.4-liter turbo four cylinder that generates 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque will be offered in the RS as in other Sonics. The RS will be available in late 2012.
The Sonic takes the place of the Aveo subcompact in Chevy's lineup. It is the only subcompact built in the United States, in part because of a more flexible labor agreement forged between GM and the United Auto Workers union.
The deal allows GM to hire more workers that earn wages on the entry-level scale at its Lake Orion plant near Detroit. The plant also differs from most GM factories because suppliers are located on site, which lowers costs.