Original: Chevy’s Cobalt SS Supercharged was a hot little front-wheel drive coupe, no doubt. Unfortunately, it wasn’t hot enough to keep up with competitors either on the track or in sales, and its already been cut from future production. All is not lost for the little couple that could, however, as the four-cylinder turbo mill that powers the Saturn Sky Red Line, the Pontiac Solstice GXP, and the forthcoming Chevrolet HHR SS will be making an appearance in the Cobalt as well.
The turbo four would increase power over the supercharged motor in the outgoing Cobalt SS by 55hp, from 205hp to 260hp, according to documents posted at CobaltSS forums (http://www.cobaltss.net/forums/showthread.php?t=81636) by way of GMInsideNews forums (http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56491). The engine, labeled in the tech specs linked above as the L850 LNF, brings the performance of the Cobalt in line with (although still a bit below) that of the Mazdaspeed3 and the Dodge Caliber SRT-4. Hopefully for GM, the increased performance will also equate to better sales.
The outgoing Cobalt SS Supercharged lacked serious power, but that was not the only potential hitch in the car’s performance claims. Weighing in at almost 3,000lbs (1360kg), the rather portly Cobalt will still tip the scales at almost 200lbs (90kg) more than either the Saturn Sky Red Line or the Pontiac Solstice - which have themselves been criticized as heavy, especially for roadsters. Chassis dynamics are rather numb, as is the steering feel provided by the electric power steering unit. Although it’s possible that Chevrolet may update these weaknesses as well, the move to put the turbocharged four-cylinder into the Cobalt’s engine bay seems more like one of convenience than real planning, so we expect more of the same, although with a bit more of a kick in the pants.