• Mar 20th 2008 at 2:59PM
  • 56
Click above for more new images of the 2008 Chevy Cobalt SS Coupe

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.

2008 Chevy Cobalt SS
  • 2008 Chevy Cobalt SS
  • 2008 Chevy Cobalt SS

[Source: GM]

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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Like it or not you have to John Heinricy and his team respect as every vehicle they have set up has been either very close or spot on in the handling department.

      Keep in mind cars such as the Cobalt were tuned long after they were designed. Just wait till the new platfom arrives in a couple years and is tuned from the start by this tallented team.

      The 8:22 was set from what I was told by John. He is a Champion winning SCCA driver as also being an engineer.

      John also set the class leading time in a much heavier HHR SS at 8:43.52 on the same track with the same engine drivetrain.

      This car is old looking but in about 2-3 years the new car will appear on a new plaform so think of this car as only a refresh. Just think what a clean sheet of paper will bring.

      I myself am waiting for ZR1 times to be reported. They should be very impressive for a $100,000 dollar car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ugly. looks worse than the Brilliance BC3? You Americans do not get the Astra OPC Nürburgring Edition? Blame it on Bernanke!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Looks fairly impressive, but for the same price the MS3 comes with a limited slip diff standard... plus I'd prefer a Mazda to a Chevy anyway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I want one...But it's so, so ugly.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree.. put this engine in the Astra
      • 7 Years Ago
      The perfect tuner toy... turbo engine to boot! Car and Driver really liked driving it as well. The interior is still cheap, but the seats are grippy. I sat in it in Detroit at the show and can say that this car would be FUN.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That ring time sounds a bit bogus to me, where did it come from, what tyres etc. Not that I'm a fan but I cant see it matching an STI or a 996 around the ring!
        • 7 Years Ago
        • 7 Years Ago
        I've been intrigued at GMs more recent offerings (G8, etc.) but my concern is still the reliability, 2-5 years down the road.

        I, along with the majority of 'normal' car owners, those who stick to imports just because of past experiences, will be waiting and seeing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      8:22 is the same Ring time as the R32 GT-R, for those who are looking for a comparison.
        • 7 Years Ago

        "don't post crap without looking up the facts" ... right back at ya... :)
        • 7 Years Ago
        @ liqor

        lol. So much hostility and all you did was make yourself look foolish. Maybe you are thinking of the R35 GTR. He said the R32. John Johnson is correct. Check for yourself.

        • 7 Years Ago

        8:22 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32

        How bout you go cancel your internet now.
        • 7 Years Ago
        look it up again, i think you just added about a minute to the GT-R's time

        don't post crap without looking up the facts

        and no i'm not telling you the rel time, you'll have to do your own research or else don't post
        • 7 Years Ago
        lol @ Liqor. I dunno why some of these dorks have to get so defensive. I love the GT-R as much as the next guy, but that was just silly.
        • 7 Years Ago

        I love this about blogs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice performance but the design isn't anything that gets the blood pumping. I'd rather pick up something used for 23-26K that will actually turn some heads
      • 7 Years Ago
      The performance sounds nice, but I can't say I would pay $23 grand for that tin can. lol
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's on youtube. I'm not sure if it is *the* record setting lap, but there are several videos of it going 'round the ring with John Heinricy (sp?) at the wheel. It is very, very good.
      8:22 isn't so unbelievable. Like others have said, this car is fairly lightweight, has a lot of horsepower, and a well sorted chassis. The old SS handled quite well, the new one addresses all the niggles of the old one, plus turns it all up a notch.
      8:22 beats the old record for this class by 13 seconds - held by the 240 hp Astra OPC - also on the Delta chassis. So with 20 more hp, no lift shift, and no weight gain, yeah, 8:22 is believable. Watch the youtube video.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just wish it was better looking...maybe a Saturn body with this powertrain...:D
      • 7 Years Ago

      you bundles the lsd with the luxury package???

      can you say, RETARDED
        • 7 Years Ago
        Can you say, MISINFORMED ??? ;)

        Its not part of a luxury package. Its just one of the options you can get. Autoblog just worded it wierd. Read the article. Its a $495 option. Last year it used to come in a performance package but you could get it seperately.
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