Holden will consider introducing a Barina hot hatch to its local line-up following the international unveiling of the Chevrolet Sonic RS at next month’s 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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Holden’s Shayna Welsh said the brand would look at the Chevrolet Sonic RS “with interest”, but admitted there were currently no plans to launch a sporty Barina in our market.

The Sonic RS will go on sale in North America late in 2012, suggesting an Australian launch of a rebadged ‘Holden Barina SRi-V’ would be unlikely until sometime in 2013.

Under the bonnet of the Sonic RS is the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine from the Holden Cruze. It produces 103kW of power and 200Nm of torque, and should propel the RS from 0-100km/h in around 7.5 seconds. The engine is teamed with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, both of which have revised gear ratios for a sportier driving feel.

The RS gets a sporty front bumper, grille, fog lights, rear bumper and spoiler, a retuned exhaust with chrome outlets, 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, lowered and stiffened suspension with performance-tuned dampers, and RS badging.

Inside, the Sonic RS scores front sports seats, thick-rimmed and flat-bottomed steering wheel, sports gear knob and aluminium pedals, sports-inspired instrument panel graphics and RS interior trim colours and inserts.

The all-new Chevrolet-sourced Holden Barina enjoyed a strong debut sales month in November. Its 1283 sales marked the nameplate’s best monthly result in Australia since February 2008, and made it the third-highest-selling light car in the country behind the Toyota Yaris and Mazda2.

The four-door Barina sedan will join the five-door hatch in February. Like the hatch, the sedan will be offered in just one specification level. Prices should mirror the hatch at $15,990 for the five-speed manual and $17,990 for the six-speed auto.