The 2008 Chevy Cobalt SS isn't the best car on the road, nor the best car in the segment, but it is one of the best cars for those interested in a walloping good time.
As a practical matter, it doesn't matter where you grew up or what school you went to as a kid, every class had the one kid who got bored with his studies, his contemporaries, and his classroom because of his outstanding capabilities. He acted up, talked out of line, developing remarkably clever spit ball shooters or the most advanced in flying aerodynamic paper systems. That kid grew up to be the engineer for the 2008 Chevy Cobalt SS. The frenetic, brilliant, creative masterpieces which entertained his teachers immensely but inevitably earned a B for incompleteness are directly translated to his work on the Cobalt SS, a car so fun to drive you hate to mark it down.
With your foot planted resolutely on the accelerator pedal and sport mode enabled, you feel a satisfying whoosh of power as the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four rapidly builds boost, and speed. Your grin turns to a moment of furtive panic as you realize the 260 horses have nowhere to go but the front wheels and the steering gets light as a feather. But, this doesn't stop you from executing a no-lift-shift, made possible by a clever trick of programming and excellent synchros. You effortlessly chirp the tires in second and off you go for another crush of barely controllable power and fury.
Want to hit the twisties? The littlest SS will happily comply. Though equipped with a lowly beam axle in the back, the body motions are well controlled though harrowing corners, with minimal body roll if you're neutral on the throttle. Hit “go” mid-corner though and it'll remind you it's a front engine car with a forward push the Detroit Lions could only dream about.
If you've decided you've had enough, or believe certain state authorities may be watching, hauling the Cobalt SS down to stop is enough to leave seat belt marks on you chest. The car comes with massive, cross drilled Brembos with four-piston calipers.
That, in a nutshell, is everything you need to know about the four-door Cobalt Super Sport. For all other intents and purposes, it functions exactly like every other Cobalt on the road, albeit with notably better exterior styling thanks to a revised front and rear fascia, tasteful spoiler, a big set of wheels and not-so-subtle “SS” badging. When you sit behind the wheel in those grippy and wonderfully supportive Alcantara seats and turn the ignition, you don't so much hear a rumbly exhaust note as you hear an invitation to throw spitballs into the chasm of automotive apathy.