When we looked at the Nissan GT-R, we were impressed by the amount of engine information available through the vehicle's touch-screen display. It seems that Nissan really understands that the performance enthusiast is very interested in what the vehicle is doing behind the scenes.
Now Chevy Cobalt and HHR drivers can pretend they're behind the wheel of the GT-R with GM's new Reconfigurable Performance Display for use with Ecotec engines, according to GM's Tuner Source Blog. Intended for use with performance Ecotecs, such as the turbocharged mills in the Cobalt SS or HHR SS, the display gives information about the operations of the engine, including boost, air/fuel ratio, spark advance, cam angle, engine torque and horsepower, g-force, temperature, battery voltage, and barometric pressure.
In addition to displaying vehicle information, the touch-screen display will also allow the driver to enable/disable traction, stability and launch control, or activate a Competition mode for sport driving. Shift lights can be set for each gear individually and, like the display in the GT-R, the device will be configurable to display various combinations of these outputs.
Unlike the GT-R, the Performance Display looks like it will mount on a vehicle's A-pillar, instead of being integrated into the dash. The device will most likely pull its date from the OBD-II port that all new vehicles have. Our only concern is that the OBD-II port is designed to be a diagnostic port and can vary in the sensors measured and rate at which the readings are refreshed. Considering, however, that the display is a dealer-installed option, we're relatively sure that it will work as advertised. With its ability to control aspects of the vehicle in addition to displaying gratuitous amounts of information, the Performance Display looks to be a pretty good deal for the Ecotec tuner.
The $295 Reconfigurable Performance Display will be available at an as-yet-undisclosed time in 2009.