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The Cobalt SS may be the most underrated car in the world. We're about to set it free of that title.

It's no secret GM engineers spent a lot of time tearing around racetracks in the Cobalt SS, fine-tuning the car's FE5 suspension. They did one heckuva job, as how else can you explain a car with a torsion-beam rear axle handling as well as this one does?

And handle it did -- everything we could throw at it, from the racetrack-worthy back roads of California's Central Valley, to a challenging autocross course, to our traditional performance testing. In the last, the Cobalt SS posted test-best numbers in the skidpad and slalom -- a superb 0.92g and 70.0 mph, respectively. And it didn't just win, it dominated the others.

But what surprised us even more than the raw data was how composed and quick the Cobalt SS was on back roads. Its slightly heavy steering has near-perfect weighting, and the car goes exactly where you tell it. "I'm impressed!" said Kott. "It's the rental car that went to hot-rod school. It feels light, turns in like crazy, has lots of grip and only moderate body roll." He admitted the Cobalt SS occasionally displayed an "odd, disjointed feel while cornering -- probably attributable to the torsion-beam rear axle -- but it's sure hard to upset this car."



More Photos: Four Hot Turbo CarsAnother strong point for the Cobalt SS is its 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected 4-cylinder, which makes 260 bhp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. Not only is this sweet engine virtually lag-free, it's also vice-free, as it's smooth and quiet, and has "right now" power at all times. Torque peaks at just 2000 rpm -- yet it makes usable power all the way to its 6300-rpm redline. It's mated to the most precise gearbox of the group, a 5-speed, "marred only by its cheap-feeling plastic knob," said Kott.

more at link
http://autos.aol.com/article/power/v2/_a/four-turbos-cars/20081031114209990001
 

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The Cobalt SS has done the following in a short amount of time:

- won the R&T comparison test that you mentioned
- won the fast and frugal comparison by I think R&T
- killed the STI, G37, 135i, ISF, etc in C&D lightning lap at VIR
- tied the new EVO's lap time at Leguna Seca (Motor Trend)
- 2nd place in Motive Magazine's comparison test (killing the MS3/Lancer/WRX and losing to the $30k Mini JCW got 1st)
- posted the FWD record at Nurburgring
 

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The Cobalt SS has done the following in a short amount of time:- killed the STI, G37, 135i, ISF, etc in C&D lightning lap at VIR
Don't forget that the Lightning lap proved it was also faster than the
Audi S5
Honda S2000 CR
Dodge Challenger SRT-8
Lotus Elise SC
Dodge Caliber SRT-4
Volkswagen R32
AND the
Honda Civic Mugen Si.

:clap:

I want one now....
It's a totally underrated car
 

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I would love to have the Cobalt T/C!
 

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Don't forget that the Lightning lap proved it was also faster than the
Audi S5
Honda S2000 CR
Dodge Challenger SRT-8
Lotus Elise SC
Dodge Caliber SRT-4
Volkswagen R32
AND the
Honda Civic Mugen Si.

:clap:

I want one now....
It's a totally underrated car
Didn't it also beat the IS-F? I know it's not compact sized technically but that still says a lot to me.

Also, I hope this makes it easier for me to pick up a SS/SC for the cheap. Sorry but I need the blower whine :)
 

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I thought everyone said a FWD has horrible handling and poor performance?
Normally they do (The horrific torque steer on the caliber SRT is a good example of that). However if tuned right they can be just as fun to drive as a RWD car
 
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