The Chevy Cobalt will replace the 22 year-old Cavalier this November as GM's so-called "universal small car", which will available as a coupe and sedan and designed to be non-offensive to just about everybody. The question is, what does it have that will actively appeal to anybody? The Cobalt uses GM's Delta platform, which didn't fare will in its initial application, the cheap-feeling and -sounding and -driving Saturn Ion. The Cobalt makes amends with more comprehsnsive seals, more sound deadening around the engine, and tires that are both quieter and grippier. The suspension gets a welcome overhaul as well, with GM engineers borrowing the trailing-arm bushing technology that makes VW Jettas handle bumps so well. The standard powerplant is a 140-hp Ecotec, and the same engine gets a displacement increase for the 170-hp Cobalt SS. An SS Supercharged coupe is also in the works, with 205-hp on tap. Pricing should start under $20,000.


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