There’s a little bit of Corvette in every Chevrolet product made, including the small-size Sonic.
That’s the word from John Buttermore, the lead development engineer for the Sonic, who also happens to be the defending SCCA Touring 1 Class champion in his No. 52 T1 Corvette.
“The Sonic has, and every street car that we want to make throughout our showroom carries a lot of the same DNA from top to bottom, from the Chevrolet Corvette all the way down to the Sonic, and the upcoming Spark,” Buttermore says in a Faces of GM video on YouTube.
Buttermore has been racing in a Corvette for the last five years and says it’s exciting to work on such a project, “seeing how it pays off. There’s a lot of engineering that goes into this, much like there is on all the street cars that we have here.”
He says the Corvette is a great package to start with, “great car on the street, very dependable on track, very fast, and you know what’s exciting about it is just taking what you can do physically, what you can do mentally, as far as doing all the preparation for it, and testing it, testing it against other people who are trying to do the same thing as well, trying to do it as well as you are.”
You can drive a car on the street for a very long time and have no problems with it, Buttermore says, “take it out here and within 10 minutes, you find something that’s a weak link on a car.”
The national championship is always the goal of Buttermore’s team. “The last four years, we’ve had a medal, either second or third,” he said. “This year, we did win the national championship – started from the pole, led every lap and won. We’re fast, we win, we have nowhere to go but down. How do we keep from going down? Well, the people are continuing to get better and better with their skills. We’ve got to keep going up – it’s not being complacent to be the guy who’s on top.”
He’s taking that same attitude and putting it to work on the engineering of the Chevrolet Sonic: