GM has promised us that it would no longer abuse the SS name, and one of the first examples of that pledge is the Cobalt SS. The turbocharged coupe carries a wallop with 260 hp, and all that power can be used to propel the Cobalt SS to 60 in 5.7 seconds or get you around the 'Ring in a very respectable 8:22. Those are very solid performance numbers, and with a starting price of $22,995, the Cobalt SS delivers a pretty strong value statement, as well.
Besides a toned-down rear spoiler and an improved 2.0L turbocharged powerplant, standard features include air conditioning, stability control, OnStar and XM Satellite Radio. If you're into Cobalt luxury, you can add a sunroof, high-wing rear spoiler, audio system, and limited-slip differential and still keep the price under $26k. We're looking forward to seeing for ourselves if the Cobalt SS is worthy of the Super Sport name, but at $22,995 we can already say the price of entry is competitive.
DETROIT: Powered by a 260-horsepower (194 kW) turbocharged and intercooled 2.0L Ecotec engine, the Cobalt SS delivers a balance of track-proven performance capability, driving refinement and premium features. Offered exclusively with a five-speed manual transmission, it is also an efficient performer, delivering an estimated 30 mpg in highway driving – the best among top competitors.
That combination of performance, features and efficiency comes with a MSRP of $22,995, including a $660 destination charge. The Cobalt SS is well equipped at that price, including standard air conditioning, premium sound system, remote keyless entry, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, OnStar and XM Satellite Radio.
Major options include an uplevel audio system ($295), sunroof ($750), high-wing rear spoiler ($195) and a limited-slip differential ($495).
The Cobalt SS coupe is expected to arrive in dealerships in late April.
Maximum performance on the street or track
The Cobalt SS delivers a quick 0-60 time of approximately 5.7 seconds – thanks to the engine's "no-lift shift" calibration – and an impressive maximum lateral grip of 0.9 g. This combination enabled the Cobalt SS to set a new class record when running the famed Nürburgring racing circuit, posting a time of 8:22.85 minutes.
Ride and handing are supported by an all-new FE5 Sport suspension, with specific stabilizer bars, spring rates and damper tuning – all designed to complement the high-output turbocharged powertrain and mitigate afflictions such as torque steer. Driver-selectable modes help maximize performance whether on the street or track.
Four-wheel disc brakes with standard ABS help ensure the car stops as confidently as it accelerates and corners. The front brakes are from Brembo and have a performance-oriented, fixed-caliper design, which resists fade better than floating caliper designs; the rear discs are vented for better heat dissipation. Large, twin-five-spoke 18-inch forged aluminum wheels and performance tires are standard. They're mounted on 225/40-series Continental summer tires.
The Cobalt SS is also equipped with a host of standard safety features, including the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system and side-impact air bags.
Cobalt SS style
The Cobalt SS is distinguished on the exterior with several unique features, including a distinctive, air dam-style front fascia with integrated projector-beam fog lamps. New front upper and lower grilles sport an SS-specific diamond-mesh appearance; and SS-specific rockers and badging adorn the body sides.
A standard deck lid spoiler can be replaced with an optional high-wing aero enhancement. Also at the rear is a prominent, bright-tip exhaust outlet.
Inside the Cobalt SS are SS-embroidered sport seats with suede-like UltraLux inserts, a specific gauge cluster, an A-pillar-mounted turbo boost gauge and a specific shifter arrangement.