Chevy Sonic X-Country Adventure of Firsts: Beeline for the Four Corners

After leaving the sprawling city limits of Las Vegas, we made a mad dash for the Four Corners Monument, the quadripoint at which the states of Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico meet. En route, we hit such colorful towns as Mesquite, NV, Colorado City, AZ, Fredonia, AZ, and too many others to count. We spent about eight hours racing the sun in order to get to the Four Corners so we could be the first Chevy Sonic to be in four states at once. And, you know what, we did it! Well, sort of... We arrived at the Four Corners Monument just after dark, but we're still keepin' that one as a first!

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2012 Chevy Sonic LTZ Test Drive
2012 Chevy Sonic LTZ Test Drive at 2011 SEMA.

Chevrolet 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. "This car is an extension of Ricky's distinctive personality, but it's also a car rooted in reality," said Dave Ross, GM design director. "The elements and components used to create it are largely based on accessories available for the Sonic, as well as other aftermarket parts. While this is a car created with and for Ricky Carmichael, new Sonic customers could easily create their own special all-activities vehicle." 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.

Sonic Insider Chats With MagnaFlow's Richard Waitas
While making the rounds at SEMA, we had a cool opportunity to stop by the Magnaflow Performance Exhaust booth and chat with Engineering Director, Richard Waitas. Richard worked with Neil Tjin, on his Tjin Edition Sonic, to create a completely custom, super sweet sounding set of pipes.

Sonic X-Country Adventure: Conquering Colorado
The Sonic X-Country Adventure returns! Today we have a quick video of day three of the journey, which finds the crew in their Sonic conquering the vast terrain of the Centennial State. Check out the video, and make sure to stay tuned for a killer photo installment from this leg of the trip!