The new Cobalt sports a 2.0 liter turbo charged 4 cylinder engine, direct injection, 2 scroll Borg Warner turbo charger, forged crankshaft, and rods. It also has stainless steel intake valves with sodium filled exhaust valves. The LFN engine is a constant torque engine by varying the boost pressure of the turbo for a maximum 21 psi. The 5 speed transmission has an optional limited slip differential. And with 260 hp and weighing in at only 2900 lbs it’s sure to be a fun drive.
The new Cobalt sports two cool features in a car that stickers around $23K.
Launch Control: Hold down the throttle in sport mode and release the clutch. The car will make an ordinary driver look like a pro. I have not seen this in any car in the $20K price range.
No Lift Shift: Hold down the throttle between gear changes and release clutch. This allows the turbo to stay spooled between gears to reduce turbo lag. The car actually launches between gears. I believe the no lift shift may have cut at least .5 sec off the lap times.
GM’s new turbo charged Cobalt is a blast to drive. It is the best bang for the buck in the low 20K range. You get a turbo charged front wheel drive car with launch control, stability control and no lift shift. I would opt for the limited slip differential. The stability control in the sport mode was fabulous. The car should easily hold 1 g. on the skid pad. The car was very nimble and with a good power range and minimal turbo lag on the track. Most front wheel drive cars would have a tendency to under steer when pushed past the limit of adhesion. The Cobalt was actually very neutral. There was a hint of under steer then the stability control would kick in and drag the rear brake and the rear end would begin to rotate around and give the driver a neutral feel. The engineers from GM told me that they designed the new turbo Cobalt “one step away from going for the kill.”
For street driving leave the stability control in normal mode and enjoy the comfortable race inspired seats which works great for daily driving and for the weekend warriors track events.
4 piston Brembo front brakes with 315mm front rotors
2 piston rear brakes with 292mm rear vented rear rotors
Upgrade brake lines and pads
Rims have been increased .5” with 225/40/18 tires
New steering knuckle with larger bearings that is race ready to hold the load for track events
Raised the roll center
Decreased the steering arm length to reduce the steering ratio to 14.8:1 ( supercharged cobalt is 16.5:1 )
Changed the front sway bar end links to reduce torque steer
Front strut has stiffer spring rates with revised valving with increased low speed rebound and increase compression
Stiffer rear stabilizer bar, and increase the rear spring rate
Stiffer rear axle bushing from 55 to 65 durameter rubber