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2012 Chevy Sonic features "hill-hold" technology

The 2012 Chevy Sonic will offer hill-hold assistance on manual-transmission models. The system triggers high-tech brake hardware and keeps the wheels clamped for up to two seconds after drivers release the brakes--giving them time to manipulate the clutch and gas pedal and make it up the hill.

The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic hatchback will be built at the Orion Assembly Center in Michigan beginning this Fall. GM

That reverse-roll some drivers of manual transmission vehicles experience when stopping, and then accelerating, up a hill won't happen for drivers of the 2012 Chevy Sonic.

Chevy's new subcompact car offers a feature usually reserved for SUVs and luxury sedans; hill-hold technology will be available on all manual-transmission models.

Drivers of the 2012 Sonic will have no problem when stopping at the crest of a hill, such as the one on San Francisco's Filbert Street. No more rolling backward before accelerating forward.

"Hill-hold assist uses a pitch sensor that detects the tilt of the body when the car is stopped on a slope and sends a signal to the stability control system. This triggers the electronically controlled brake hardware to keep the wheels clamped for up to two seconds after the driver releases the brake pedal," GM said in a press release.

"It will retain the braking force that the driver applied with the chassis control system and hold the vehicle in place," said John Buttermore, lead development engineer for the Sonic, in a press release. "That's long enough for the driver to safely apply the accelerator and let out the clutch for a smooth start, always heading in the right direction."


The car starts at $14,495, including a $760 destination charge.