Cobalt SS Turbo
Chevrolet introduced their new Cobalt SS to the press at Buttonwillow racetrack in California.
The car has some really neat features, including a stability control system that induces a slight amount of oversteer. No matter how hard some journalists tried to get the car to understeer, the computer, in conjunction with the brakes would not allow it, the car just rotated and pointed towrds the direction you wanted to go and went.
The brakes are Brembo's at all 4 corners with vented and slotted rotors on the front. Brake feel was excellent and the car stopped without fade after multiple hard stops.
The interior features Recaro seats with a suede like cloth in the center. They were extremely grippy on the road course and all day comfortable.
The car has traction control coupled with a throttle by wire system. The car also has a no lift on the gas pedal shifting system. You step on the clutch while leaving the throttle wide open and shift. The computer holds the car at 4500 rpms for a perfectly smooth up-shift to the next gear. They even discuss this in the owners manual, so it's ok to shift like this and then take the car in for warranty work.
The power comes from a 2.0 Liter VVT turbocharged Ecotec that makes 260 hp, a 55hp improvement over the supercharged SS.
Chevy didn't release official times, but hinted that they would be in the low 5's to 60 and in the upper 13's in the 1/4 mile. What they did do was bring some cars to compare the Cobalt to. They brought the Civic SI, Mazdaspeed 3 and Rabbit GTI which the Cobalt easily out ran on the track. What was real impressive was the rear drive competition that GM brought to the track, a 350Z and a Mustang GT. Yep you guessed, it most most drivers were faster in the Cobalt than the Mustang GT and even the serious track car, the 350Z.
The cars base price is in the 23,000 range and the car has everything mentioned here, plus On-Star, head and side curtain airbags, Stabilitrac, a Driver Information Center, a tire pressure monitoring system, a 228 watt sound system, power windows, locks and trunk release, XM, steering wheel controls for the radio and cruise control, and 18 inch aluminum wheels.
All this and the car gets over 30 mpg highway.
Sport and Compact Car said it's good to see that GM is finally getting serious about the compact car segment.
Looks like we have a serious contender here with this thing. With it being turbocharged the mods will come easy. This just might be a good replacement for my Cavalier. I've gone from 37,000 miles when I bought it in October to 60,000 miles now. Come fall I might do an SS driver and a Z06 fun times car.