What has dynamometer-tested 240 horsepower at the wheels, a large spoiler, comfortable and stylish seats, a 5-speed manual gearbox, limited slip, launch control and a no-lift shift feature?
Launch Evolution? Nope.
An Impreza STI? Nope.
It’s a Chevrolet Cobalt SS/TC. This pocket rocket from Chevy is going to be one hell of a fast car. I’m already seeing reports of 240 horsepower at the wheels and 13.xx seconds in quarter-mile runs at 100+ mph. What makes this car so special? Both the Evo and STI can pull off stats like this, but the SS Turbo does it for just $22,000! Launch control and no-rise shifting will really help this car out on the race track. By breaking the front-wheel drive record at the Nürburgring, he showed that he can hold his own in the corners. The SS stops fast with 4-piston brembo front brakes for those emergency stops, but it also has side airbags in case you don’t brake in time.
Looks like Chevrolet did everything right with this car. They almost do, the price is right, the power is plentiful, the styling is nice, and the interior is up to par. The biggest problem for me is that it has a very large turning radius. It will be difficult to squeeze into tight parking spaces, so you will most likely see all the SS Cobalts parked in the back of the lot. The wing is a bit flashy and flimsy, but you can get the SS with a small wing, which I recommend. Launch control allows you to over throttle, and this allows the tires to spin excessively. This should be limited to around 2500-3000rpm to really help new drivers.
Overall, I’d say the SS is a definite buy if you’re looking for a sporty 2-door compact. Some other options that are in the same class are the Mazdaspeed 3 and the Dodge Caliber SRT-4. Both cars are wagons, and I think they will target a different market than the SS.