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The Chevy Cobalt
By Erod

What is this - a new Cavalier redesign? The Chevrolet Cobalt is a new Delta platform vehicle from General Motors, the Delta platform is GM's new "world platform" with the new Chevy HHR, Saturn Ion and several GM Europe models using the same underlying design. Tests by most major auto magazines such as Car and Driver and Motortrend bear out the fact this is a completely different vehicle in build quality & fitment from the dated J-Body platform.

My experience with my Cobalt SS/SC has been generally positive. The only issue I've had has been some paint problems, which after not being fixed correctly by a dealership paint department, GM customer service agreed to have covered under warranty at my personal body shop. Mechanically, I've only experienced one or two very minor issues. Though I haven't been able to test it on the track yet, the dyno numbers found on the internet of 210-220hp at the wheels indicate that much like Dodge with the SRT-4, the General certainly has underrated the cars power output. Fit- and finish- wise on the interior, the car seems light years ahead of the J-Body. The optional OEM Pioneer stereo system sounds great for stock and the rest of the interior doesn't give you the feel that it was assembled in some ones backyard.

Built at General Motors Lordstown Assembly in NE Ohio, the Cobalt offers a wide range of price and performance options from the base 2.2L 140hp Ecotec to the 2.4L 170hp SS sedan and coupe to the top of the line 2.0L supercharged 205hp SS coupe. The SS/SC should be of primary interest to you, gentle reader, as it finally gives GM a compact tuner to challenge the likes of Honda, Acura, Ford and more recently, Dodge. A performance package is also offered on the SS/SC consisting of a LSD and Recaro front seats, with a price of $1500 for this option, ticking it off on your order form is a no-brainer. Unlike the early years of the J-Body platform where parts were few and far between, aftermarket companies have embraced the Cobalt since its release with current offerings including intakes, S/C pullys, water-injection kits, etc. Of most use to the tuner is the GM Ecotec build book. This publication has been assembled from GM's extremely successful drag racing program that utilizes the Ecotec. The build book shows from minor performance upgrades to a fire breathing 1200hp one that replicates GM's full race motors. This year at SEMA GM is also slated to release information and pricing for its staged performance upgrades for the SS/SC which will also be covered under the factory warranty. Although coming late to offer support to the burgeoning sport compact market, GM seems to have cooked up a recipe for success with the new Cobalt.

Special Thanks to the beautiful Natalie Beall for posing on the chevy cobalt.

Gauge Columnist



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