2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe

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In those days when cars were big and gas was cheap, Chevrolet created a new package to move the metal - the SS (short for “Super Sport”) and it was in the good old days a label reserved for the brand’s most wicked performance cars. However, recently, Chevrolet has set SS badges on some real pretenders like the latest Impala SS and Monte Carlo SS. Now Chevy wants us to believe the new 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged is the actual thing, a hot-wheeled competitive performance coupe with enough muscle to take on the Acura RSX Type-S and Dodge SRT-4. Funny is that they might just be right.

 Cobalt is the newest compact Chevy and it is not just a re-skinned Cavalier. It’s a totally new car, built on GM’s worldwide “Delta Delta ’’ platform. 6 models make the Cobalt lineup, base and LS versions are of both body styles, LT is a premium-appointed sedan, and the SS is coupe only.

But none of those Cobalt varieties illustrate this better than the SS Supercharged coupe (or the SSSC), a fitting addition to Chevy’s “SS’’ high-performance line. The Cobalt SS is not a pretender with tuned-like exterior styling hiding mundane mechanical bits and offering low levels of performance. It is the actual thing, with 205 supercharged bhp under the hood, a fine-tuned suspension, and a degree of handling refinement not expected from an American entry in this class.

The Cobalt SS SC was creates to appeal to the tuning enthusiast and engineered from the very beginning to be an exciting driver’s high performance sport coupe – straight from the factory.

The Supercharged SS comes in standard with an unique, aggressive rear wing and will is offered in five exterior body colors including Rally Yellow, Black, Orange Metallic, Victory Red and Arrival Blue Metallic.

Competition
 

When you think about front-wheel drive performance subcompact you generally look to Japan for inspiration. In the SS SC price range there are to be considered the Subaru Impreza Subaru Impreza WRX, Nissan Nissan Sentra SE-R, Scion Scion tC, Honda Honda Civic Si and the Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. Also European Mini Mini Cooper S is also in the Cobalt’s gang. US manufacturers offer the Dodge Neon SRT-4 and the Ford Focus ZX3 SES .

But where does the Cobalt SS slot in with all this competition!? It can be considered a matter of taste and suitability. If you are charmed by the restrained styling, spirited performance and sporty ride of the Cobalt SS SC you may be able to overlook the tight rear seats, odd trunk and harsh suspension. Things to like in the SS SC are the supercharger and the cool boost gauge.

 

Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe

Body & chassis

Chevrolet is trying to unify the look of its cars and the Cobalt SS comes under this trend. The main design consists of rounded corners and edges with angular accents, and is well-illustrated in the Cobalt range. The SS has a sporty fastback shape, but is not a hatchback. It is much sleeker than the sedan, and has a raised rear for a sporty wedge profile. The front with the contemporary Chevrolet Chevrolet grille is completed with bowtie logo sits between large, bright faired headlights and underneath a sculpted hood. A strong shoulder line and moderate fender flares define the sides and the rear features Corvette-inspired taillights. The SS SC ads some nerve & muscle with a flat air-dam front bumper including projector-beam fog-lamps and an auxiliary intake for the intercooler, side sill extensions, a faux diffuser and oversized exhaust tip at the rear. On top of that is the obligatory oversized rear wing, which, as usual, blocks most of the rear view.

The Cobalt’s rigid lower-dominant body structure was engineered as a single unit for mass efficiency and stiffness. Its underbody is made of high-strength steel as welded members in strategic locations for maximum strength, structural integrity, mass optimization and crashworthiness.

 
Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe
Vehicle Dimensions
 

Overall length 180.5 in

Width 67.9 in

Overall height 55.5 in

Wheelbase 103.3 in

Front track width 58.7 in

Rear track width 58.1 in

Curb weight 2,991 lbs

 

Engine & transmission

The Chevy Cobalt SS SC equips a race-inspired ECOTEC 121.9 cui supercharged four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. The SS SC is benefiting from Chevy’s racing successful ECOTEC -powered cars competing in the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Racing Series.

 

The Ecotec 121.9 cui SC four-cylinder engine delivers 205 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 200 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. Compared to the Ecotec 134 cui I-4, the cam timing was altered sin order to raise the mid-range torque and to match it with the top-end power.

 

The engine was fitted with an Eaton M-62 helical roots-type supercharger and an air-to-water intercooler to reduce the temperature of air entering the engine. The supercharger can produce a maximum boost pressure of 12 pounds per square inch (psi).

The all–aluminum DOHC, four–cylinder engine was built off the strengths of the original, naturally aspirated 134 cui ECOTEC engine.

The supercharger is designed to spins at a low rpm for improved durability and low noise while allowing for a lot of top–end power. Power delivery of the supercharged engine is instantaneous.

Additional features of the engine are:
  • Direct–mount oil cooler
  • Oil-jet piston cooling
  • Large oil sump
  • Enhanced heavy–duty pistons
  • Strong connecting rods
  • Forged–steel crankshaft
  • Sodium–filled exhaust valves for improved durability
  • High–strength aluminum cylinder head

The 2.0L SC ECOTEC was mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The 10” clutch assembly is also larger than the one from the naturally aspirated Ecotecs. The five-speed gearbox has close-ratio gearing specially tailored for the power band of the supercharged engine. For improved acceleration the final drive ratio was also shortened at 4.05:1. A short-throw shifter was fit to quicken the shifts and provide a more positive feel. The shifter’s travels approximately one inch less than the one found in standard Cobalt models.

 
Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe
Specs
 

Engine Aluminum Ecotec Inline-4

Position Front
Valvetrain OHC, 4 Valves per Cyl

Fuel feed Sequential Multi-Port Injection

Displacement 121.9 cu in
Bore 3.39 in
Stroke 3.39 in
Compression 9.5:1
Power 205.0 bhp @ 5600 rpm
Hp per litre  102.6 bhp per litre
Bhp/weight 161.04 bhp per weight
Torque  200 ft lbs @ 4400 rpm
Redline 6500
Drive wheels FWD
Body / frame Unit Steel
Front brakes Vented Discs, ABS, 11.6 in
Rear brakes Solid Discs, ABS, 10.6 in
Front tire size P215/45R-18
Rear tire size P215/45R-18
Steering Tuned Rack & Pinion, Power Asssist
Front suspension MacPherson Struts, Stabilizer Bar
Rear suspension Torsion Beam
Transmission FGP 5-speed manual
Gear ratios 3.38:1, 1.76:1, 1.18:1, 0.89:1, 0.71:1
Final drive 4.05:1
0 - 60 mph 6.2 seconds
Top speed 145 mph
Epa city/hwy  25 mpg
 

Drivetrain

 
Suspension

Cobalt’s SS SC suspension was tuned on Germany’s famous Nürburgring, one of the world’s most challenging road courses with more than 170 turns in nearly 13 miles.

It features a strut-type Mac Pherson front suspension and semi-independent torsion beam at the rear and increased diameter front and rear stabilizer bars with tuned bushings. Further the chassis and springs were also stiffened and the spring rates and damping bound/rebound were specially tuned along with the shock strut valving setting for a responsive, sport suspension feel. The mono-tube rear shocks with 1.3 in. pistons were also enlarged in diameter. The coupe’s ride height also has been reduced by 0.4 in. The rack and pinion electric power steering also got tuned for increased driver feedback.

Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe
Brakes

The SS Supercharged is equipped with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The front rotors are 11.6 inches in diameter (approximately 1 inch larger than the rotors on standard Cobalt models). The rear drum brakes (standard in other Cobalt models) were replaced with 10.6-inch rotors disc brakes. Rear brakes are mounted on an all-new rear axle assembly that incorporates revised suspension geometry.

The SS Supercharged also features larger, five-bolt wheel hubs, larger brake calipers and larger brake pads. The late allow for greater braking capacity and are proven performance parts found in other high-performance GM vehicles.

 
Tires

The SS Supercharged Cobalt boasts the segment’s leading wheel size with 18-inch forged-steel alloy wheels and Pirelli P215/45R18 Z-rated performance tires.

Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe

Interior

The cockpit was also modified in comparison to standard models and in order to complement the performance characteristics of the Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe. The accelerator pedal got redesigned in order to enable heel-and-toe driving and to improve driver feedback and response. The dash features titanium-faced speedometer, tachometer and gauges in the instrument cluster, and an boost gauge to monitor supercharger performance mounted in the A pillar.

The interior main colors are ebony with satin nickel accents on the instrument panel, shifter base and doors. The front seats are covered in leather and include color-keyed perforated inserts, manual lumbar adjuster on the driver-side, adjustable head restraint, and also passenger-side seatback map pocket. A 60/40 split-bench rear seat with color-keyed inserts and a trunk pass-through comes to improve functionality.

The list of standard features is quite extensive and includes air conditioning, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, tilt steering wheel with mounted audio and cruise controls, electric rear defogger, CD player with MP3 playback, seven-speaker Pioneer premium sound system and driver information center. Optional features include side head curtain air bags, power sunroof and XM Satellite Radio

Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe

Manufacturer’s Warranty

GM vehicles registered in the U.S.A. are covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles. This is covers the complete vehicle, including tires, towing to the nearest Chevrolet dealership, and cosmetic corrosion resulting from defects. Chevy is due to make repairs to correct any vehicle defect, and most warranty repairs will be made at no charge. In addition, rust-through corrosion is covered for 6 years or 100,000 miles.

Chevrolet vehicles and their components are assembled or produced by different operating units of General Motors, its subsidiaries, or suppliers to GM worldwide. Sometimes it is necessary to produce Chevrolet vehicles with different or differently sourced components than originally scheduled. Since some options may be unavailable when your vehicle is assembled it is recommended that you verify that your vehicle includes the equipment you ordered and that, if there were changes, they are acceptable to you.

Chevrolet products are equipped with engines produced by GM Powertrain or other suppliers to GM worldwide. The engines in Chevrolet products may also be used in other GM makes and models.

Closing comments
 

If turned heads on the freeway are a guide, the Cobalt SS may be one of the best lures yet to offered to young drivers by Chevrolet. Unfortunately, the Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe does not measure up very well against its competitors. When compared with cars like the Acura RSX Type S and the Subaru WRX Subaru WRX , the “SS” badge seems to lose some of its luster. Today’s extended offer of sporty compacts offer more power and better build quality and in that arena the Cobalt SS SC comes as fun-to-drive but otherwise disappointing. But beyond comparison, there’s no arguing that the Cobalt SS SC is the best Chevy compact to come along in decades. Thanks to the temperamental supercharged engine and the sleek and youth appealing new look, the new Cobalt can wear its “SS” badges with pride.

Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe

10 comments:

i have a GM stage 3 cobalt and i have yet to find any challenge in racing hondas, wrx’s, scions or whatever this article compares the cobalt to, its simply a waste of gas. (along with GT mustangs or Z28s) Look up "Cobalt sc Stage 3 vs T78 turbo ss camaro" on you tube and it will give you a better idea of what these cars are capable of

Did the reviewer actually drive this car? This isn’t a review at all - just a boring list of the car’s features. Also, it would have been nice if they had put a little effort into proofreading the story. The video is cool, however, and some of the photos are good too, but I’m puzzled why a photo of a Mercedes links to an enlarged version of the car’s interior. Strange...

I’ve had my 06 ss for six months now and i love it more and more every day. So far i have added a few mods, all of which provide a noticeable increase in performance (and are actually affordable). First i dumped that restrictive stock air box in exchange for a K&N CAI. This should have come equipped from the factory in my opinion. Then I snagged myself an Ingalls "Stiffy" torque dampener, which is basically a shock absorber for the passenger side engine mount. Now when i dump the clutch, wheel hop is no longer an issue. And it is fully adjustable... A MUST HAVE!! Lastly, i bought the Stage 2 supercharger upgrade kit from GM Performance. This bad boy adds serious horses and torque to the ss and does not void factory warranty. On the wish list is an Edelbrock nitrous system, a six-puck ceramic race clutch, and this sick-ass front bumper fascia i saw on ebay. This car may not be the fastest around, it can put a hurtin on fools all day. Peace out everyone...

This car is the best bang for the buck!!...i have had an 06 ss for a little over a month and i smoked a focus, a nissan se-r spec v(standard for those not in the know) and it is completly stock..i plan on upgrading soon but it rocks...if you haven’t driven one please do...you’d be doing yourself a favor.

ALSO. SS are only about 16,00-22,000, so cheap for what you get. VROOM VROOM BABY!!

this car FRICKEN RULES! Better in silver than yellow though smiley. Cause i got me a silver one... lotsa’ pickup in such a little car... Chevy did a great job

No where in this artcle did I read WRX STI, only WRX. Re-read please.

Lots of posts on WRX vs SS here. I can honestly say that a friend of mine has the WRX STI and he has lost on a few occasions to my SS. The chip of the turbo one the WRX is obviousely much cooler to hear when you shift but in the end I heard it from behind me.... and my SS is stock.

I have had my cobalt for 2 weeks and love it.The only thing that this site has wrong is it doesnt take any wear close to 2k in mods to beat the wrx. It takes gms stage 1 witch is only 500 dollars. Iknow i did it to mine.

This article is comparing a 20k cobalt SS to a 32 Thousand dollar WRX STI.
Just take that in for a bit.
Does it underpreform the WRX STI. Yes.. but with 2k in mods... no.

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