Last post on Apr 26, 2008 at 6:04 AM
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Chevrolet Cobalt, Performance Mods, Coupe, Sedan
#1 of 13 Cobalt SS Supercharged Stage 2 w/Cat Back Performance Exhausts
Oct 31, 2007 (1:08 pm)
About 4 months ago I added a Stage 2 Kit with Cat Back performance exhausts to my 2006 Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged. I was at 19,000 miles. As I write this, I'm now at 24,500 miles, so 5,000 miles later as they say...
In my opinion the performance upgrade so dramatically increased the performance of this coupe that a person who is purchasing the SS Supercharged would be absolutely CRAZY not to go to the internet and purchase everything at quite a savings and then make an appointment with your Chevy dealer to install the kit and exhaust system for $400 to $500 dollars. Boardwalk Chevrolet installed mine, and I purchased the items on crateenginedepot.com for about $800 dollars. Total price with install was under $1,300!
The difference? Outrageous increased acceleration, intensely tall gears in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, and lots of horses in all 5 gears. The comparison to the version without the Stage 2 kit and Cat Back exhausts? Basic performance with horses in 1st and 2nd, kinda in 3rd, nothing in 4th and 5th. You should shoot yourself in the head if you don't upgrade for a reasonable $1,300! And, best of all, you keep your Chevy warranty because it's a real live SS performance option, at an air conditioning level. Also, no need to report it to your car insurance even though you've stepped up to a true muscle car with the upgrade.
Lastly, I will let you know the Cat Backs are headers with a couple of miniature glass pack like mufflers and they sound like a funny car if you punch the accelerator, and sound just like a Dodge Viper on the highway when you drop the clutch into 2nd or 3rd and step on it. I also blew the doors off of a 330 hp sports coupe and I won't mention what kind of car it was, but they were shocked that I could downshift into 3rd and hit 120 mph easily going into 4th.
So, I'd highly recommend the Stage 2 kit with Cat Back exhausts and remember that Chevy racing technology means a lighter car - you on average are driving a car that is up to 1,000 pounds lighter than most sport coupes, and be sure to subtract the weight of a heavy metal muffler exhaust system v. a lightweight Cat Back performance exhaust - with the power to weight ratio of a Cobalt to other sport coupes, not the dry hp ratings on a block of wood, you definitely are then driving a car that competes with Mustang GTs and up and feels like 330 hp at least. I'm very serious and not pulling your leg - I've had very fast cars in the past and know my horsepower ratings!
Lastly, what about durability. After 5,000 miles, I experienced the joy of taking my car in for an oil change - Putnam Chevrolet, one of the best shops in the United States, pointed out that because the racing fuel injection system is in the way of the oil filter, they have to lift it, flush it, and then put it back, and of course that protects your purchase! And, right back to the first day you had the performance upgrade you go, you can tell the car likes that. So, no problems whatsoever, you do get to put your foot into it, you do get to downshift, but of course like any sports car you have to be somewhat reasonable, but no problems whatsoever after 5,000 miles. I consider this upgrade VERY reliable!!!
#2 of 13 Re: Cobalt SS Supercharged Stage 2 w/Cat Back Performance Exhausts [catback]
Oct 31, 2007 (2:46 pm)
i also have a 06 ss/sc and i have the gmpp exhaust. you are right this upgrade realy wakes this car up. and i have not seen any difference in fuel mpg.
#3 of 13 Re: Cobalt SS Supercharged Stage 2 w/Cat Back Performance Exhausts [okko1]
Oct 31, 2007 (2:55 pm)
The gas mileage does go down - I guess I was at 22 mpg in town and 28 on the freeway. Now I'm 19-20 in town and 24 on the freeway. Of course it's double dollars at the gas pump and the grocery store!
It does wake the car up, but very few front wheel drive cars do well in the quarter mile - I know I'm in the low 13's as long as your under the engine and not punching the pedal as you shift. Real performance with the upgrade is on the highway starting at speeds of 40 mph - you get a great (and scary) entrance on the freeway if you redline from second and then red line in third, and the red line with the upgrade goes from 6200 RPM to 7200 RPM in first and second, and you can take it up to 8000 if you want to in 3rd, 4th, and 5th, so the idea is you simply keep coming in 3rd gear on the freeway until you've passed the car your racing, and then again sit on the gears up through 5th and I'm sure on flat or downhill terrain the car will indeed hit 200 mph. Road racing v. quarter mile, definitely.
#4 of 13 Re: Cobalt SS Supercharged Stage 2 w/Cat Back Performance Exhausts [catback]
Oct 31, 2007 (3:02 pm)
Thanks, all Cobalt owners with this upgrade should stay in touch - of course, protecting your purchase is important and I'll be going in for the big $595 Chevy 30,000 mile tune up, where they take everything apart and flush everything out and clean, and then you have a new engine again until 60,000 miles.
Nobody wants to get nickled and dimed, so staying in touch with the reliability factor around a performance upgrade is important! So far, very reliable!
You really are swapping a car that does well with Hondas, the Saturn, aka other performance compact coupes, and moving up to a car that is competitive with Corvettes etc. at certain things, again mostly road racing, turns with downshifts, etc., you really will surprise a muscle super car with this upgrade, just keep both hands on the wheel at high speeds!!!
#5 of 13 Re: Cobalt SS Supercharged Stage 2 w/Cat Back Performance Exhausts [catback]
Oct 31, 2007 (6:02 pm)
i would agree completely. from the dig this car is handicapped. the torque seems to come on between 3500 and 4000 rpm with a top speed in 1st gear of oh well not across the street. but when 2nd gear starts to dance it's a whole other thing. i have been getting 28 to 29 mpg on my car since about 5000 miles. it didn't do as well at first. check my blog for more on my up grade experience. and i don't say much about it but i have out ran some v8 cars on the hiway. i still have to get my wife to run me with her z28. my fear is that if i win she buy something faster. haha
#6 of 13 Re: Cobalt SS Supercharged Stage 2 w/Cat Back Performance Exhausts [okko1]
Nov 01, 2007 (7:49 am)
A friend at Maaco-Mountain View, CA located on San Antonio street mentioned that he thought the only thing it needed was a racing transmission. Of course, there goes the warranty if it's anything more than a Stage 2 and Cat Back exhausts. The original version indeed was very quick downshifting to 2nd below speeds of 55 mph and punching it, faster than anything I ran into. Going 65 mph you could also downshift into 3rd and get something out of it, but nothing like the Stage 2 which would blow the doors off the original because of the increased torque and hp through all 5 gears. I got the impression it was somewhat of a half-hearted effort by Chevy to release something competitive with Honda Civic SI and Mitsubishi Lancers, but the specs are the old 200+ hp 4 cylinder specs that were current until this year. Now everything (aka Sun and Solstice) seems to be at 260 hp, the new rating of the Stage 2. Of course, Chevy under rates their horses and always has (remember those 1990 RS's that had the old 300+ cu inch Z28 engine? 270 HP? No, a lot more than that for those of us who had one), so I'd really rate the Stage 2 at 330 hp with the power ot weight ratio, of course any car rated at 260 hp bench would be over 300 if it were under or close to 3,000 pounds.
So, I agree with your point completely but you really had to downshift to get to horses in the original and the Stage 2 allows you to downshift into 3rd on the highway and take pretty much everything except the Shelby, Viper, and Corvettes out there. Of course, so can any built Honda or Mitsubishi Lancer with headers and souped up engines, being lighter cars.
This really is a great hobby - too bad Chevy didn't Stage 2 the car. Oh yes, be sure to custom paint your Stage 2 at a Maaco - ask them for a 2 coat and shelby racing stripes (go to Yahoo autos and click into pictures - the Shelby and Viper have the racing stripes that bleed off of the bottom of the bumpers to the ground). I had my red Stage 2 painted with 2 coats and then a black thick stripe with a red pin stripe left in the middle, just like the Shelby and Viper. EXCEPT, whoever designed their stripes made them too skinny and they look somewhat rinky dink for such a fast car. I had Maaco stretch that sucker into a very wide stripe that offset by 3/4 inch from the front ram air grill openings, producing a very wide stripe that looks incredible - I'm sure I piss off any Shelby or Viper that has to look at it, seeing the effect - it's a throwback to the Chevelle 396 SS's with that fat stripe with the pin stripe in the center from the late 60's and early 70's muscle car days, except bleeding off the bottom of the bumper.
Lastly, be sure to go to the internet and find a sign shop in your area that also does car racing decals, and use a brush font for "Stage 2" for both sides, mounted just behind the SS emblems, and also look on the internet for Chevy racing decals with flames and SS and mount one of those burning SS emblems with "Cat Back" decals right under them. On the hood, have huge letters like the Dodge Charger italicized leaning forward that say, "Supercharged SS Stage 2" and line it up on either side of the pinstripe.
Anyway, make sure people know you're real as a Stage 2 or you'll be forever proving it into you put you're car in the shop! As I said, Chevy should have put more muscle behind the Stage 2 version, it would have sold at $28,000 easily with the shelby striping and decals, but doing it yourself still looks factory. I'll see if I can figure out how to load a picture of how I customized my car with the Stage 2 rally package created by a past Chevy racing team person in Sunnvale who works at "Sign-O-Rama". ">
#8 of 13 Re: Cobalt SS Supercharged Stage 2 w/Cat Back Performance Exhausts [catback]
Nov 01, 2007 (8:32 am)
At the top, click on Photos and then catback's Album. I also posted a quick note with directions to the photos - Maaco will do this for around $2,000 as long as you stick with the same color and use a black stripe, which of course looks the very best, accenting the grill openings on the front of the car. Be sure to make them Phat stripes - those viper and shelby stripes are the right idea but their heads rotate when they see the effect of making them phat. It creates a monster front grille opening and gives heart attacks from the rear end view! Chevy should have done this!!!
#9 of 13 Re: Cobalt SS Supercharged Stage 2 w/Cat Back Performance Exhausts [catback]
Jan 08, 2008 (11:08 pm)
You can't claim a car has more hp because it is lighter. You can only make a hp claim if a car has been put on a dyno and remember, hp sells cars, but torque wins races. That is why the car feels like it does out of the hole.
This is a nice little machine and nice upgrade from chevy, but if chevy claims 260 hp, it is not 330 hp....not in anyones book even if it might be slightly under rated. I have personnally seen these dynoed with this upgrade and they run around 240 rwhp (that is hp at the wheels and the only way anyone should ever discuss hp).
Stock Cobalt SS' run the quarter mile mid to upper 14's and the Stage 2's get there in low 14's. BUT, they trap at around 105 mph. Compare this to a new Mustang which runs mid 13's at 104 mph or a 1999 - 2004 Mustang which runs mid to low 14's and traps at 98-99 mph. The Cobalt has a great trap, or is lousy getting out of the hole...depending how you look at it. In real world driving, this means that while it may feel like an econo-box from stoplight to stoplight, it it at it's best from a roll and may catch a few folks off-guard from 40 or 60 mph.
It will be interesting to see what Chevy replaces this car with in 2009. The Cobalt SS was a nice addition in a very competitive compact market.