2009 Chevrolet Cobalt SS

The Chevy Cobalt can be had in LS, LT, and SS trims. This one is the SS, featuring significant performance enhancements.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Intake

The Cobalt SS features an air intake in its front air dam, to help feed the turbocharger.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Unnaturally aspirated

Unlike its model mates, which use a 2.2-liter engine, the SS gets a 2-liter turbocharged direct-injection four cylinder, putting out 260 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Sheep's clothing

The Cobalt SS looks like a boring economy sedan, although the small rear spoiler hints at its performance characteristics.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Brembos

Brembo brake calipers sit at the front wheels.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Handling

Chevy tuned the springs and dampers, and added stabilizer bars, helping the Cobalt SS achieve impressive handling in the turns.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Sport seats

The interior doesn't deviate much from the car's less expensive model mates, although the SS has sport seats.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Steering wheel

The leather-wrapped steering wheel has buttons for the audio system and cruise control, plus a button to change the trip computer display.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Gauges

Red rings in the gauges confuse as to where redline is on the tachometer.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Boost gauge

The SS also gets a gauge showing the amount of turbo boost, something you won't be looking at when its needle is really moving.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Adequate gearbox

The five speed manual is decent, but not as good as some manual gearboxes we've used. Honda, in particular, makes a nice one.
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XM satellite radio

XM radio is included, with an interface that makes it easy to choose channel categories.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

iPod adapter

We didn't expect to see a USB port on a car from GM. This new addition to GM electronics works as an iPod adapter and USB drive port.
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Photo by: CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Audio settings

The stereo includes preset equalizer levels, but we generally preferred customizing them with the bass, mid, and treble settings.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:

Pioneer audio

The standard Pioneer audio system sounded very good, helped along by this big subwoofer in the trunk.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:
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