LA Auto Show (debut)
2005 CHEVROLET COBALT: AN ALL-NEW PREMIUM SMALL CAR
LOS ANGELES - The 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, an all-new premium small car featuring an expressive design and dynamic driving experience, is making its public debut at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. Cobalt will be manufactured beginning in the fourth quarter of 2004 at General Motors' Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant.
With the Cobalt and all-new 2004 Aveo, Chevrolet is well positioned in the entry level and premium small car segments.
“Cobalt is one of 10 new products joining the Chevrolet family over the next 20 months,” said Chevrolet General Manager Brent Dewar. “With Cobalt and Aveo, Chevrolet will become a dominant player in the small car segment again.”
Cobalt offers a diverse selection of expressive body styles, refined interiors, race-inspired Ecotec four-cylinder engines, smooth-shifting transmissions, precision-tuned suspensions and dynamic wheels. The dynamic driving experience has its foundation in GM’s solid Delta architecture.
According to Lori Queen, GM vehicle line executive for small cars, Cobalt was created to deliver a driving experience not expected in the small car segment.
“Cobalt achieves a new level of small car refinement, quality and performance,” said Queen. “With its great looks and outstanding performance, Cobalt is just plain fun to drive.”
The Cobalt family includes two models, sedan and coupe, and a total of eight trim levels. The sedan model features base, LS, LT and SS trims, while coupe models are available in base, LS, SS and SS Supercharged trims - more details on the Cobalt SS Supercharged will be announced later. Each distinct model includes a specific interior, powertrain, suspension and wheels, as well as a long list of standard and available features.
Pricing will be announced in late summer 2004.
Expressive Chevrolet design
The Cobalt family continues Chevrolet’s refined and expressive design character. The sedan offers sophisticated appearance coupled with a higher seating position for a more commanding view of the road. For the coupe, Chevrolet builds on the identity of America’s most aspirational sport coupe, the Corvette. Leveraging the style of the sedan from the A-pillar forward, the Cobalt coupe reveals an elegantly tapered reverse C-pillar leading the eye to Chevrolet’s signature four round taillamps.
Other Chevrolet styling cues include a bold, dual-port grille and gold bowtie at its center. All Cobalt models have precise metal fits, too. For example, there are 3.5-mm tolerances between the fenders and doors, as well as 3-mm tolerances on the hood and decklid.
Great attention was also given to the use of tailored rubber moldings for a clean appearance. All models feature body-color moldings and door handles, as well as jewel-like headlamps and taillamps. Several wheel options also are offered, including standard 15-inch wheels and available 16-inch, 17-inch, and 18-inch wheels, all with unique designs.
The Cobalt family features 10 contemporary exterior colors.
“Our design approach on the Cobalt was to keep the exterior sheet metal clean and uncluttered, with a tailored, refined execution, giving the vehicle a premium exterior feel and appearance,” said Phil Zak, Cobalt lead designer. “The exterior surfaces also enabled us to design an SS series with bolder fascias and rockers, giving them a lowered, more aggressive look.”
The interiors of the Cobalt models reflect the same attention to detail as with the exterior designs. The high level of refinement is apparent in the quality of materials, appointments and styling cues used throughout the cabin. The execution of the gauges, knobs and buttons is simple and easy to use, yet elegant.
Comfort is emphasized in all of the Cobalt models, with seats designed to reflect the various performance levels. The seats hold occupants firmly in position to deliver the right balance of comfort and security while cornering. They also are bolstered in the seatback and cushion without being intrusive, providing comfort for both short and long drives.
“Cobalt offers many unexpected features not typically found in small cars today,” said Pete Langenhorst, Chevrolet Cobalt marketing director. “We’ve also packaged these features in a way our customers will appreciate and enjoy.”
Cobalt offers a long list of standard features including air conditioning, electric rear defogger, CD player and driver information center. Available features include heated leather seats, power sunroof, XM Satellite Radio, MP3 playback and OnStar. In addition, Cobalt features plenty of interior flexibility, including easy access to the rear seat, 60/40 folding rear seats, interior access to the trunk area, as well as ample, versatile storage.
Dynamic driving experience
With a strong structural foundation and wide array of engines, transmissions and suspensions, Cobalt delivers a dynamic driving experience regardless of model and trim level. In addition, safety and interior noise were significantly addressed throughout the development, delivering a safe and pleasing interior experience.
Cobalt was created on a strong foundation - GM’s Delta architecture. The rigid lower-dominant body structure is engineered as a single unit for mass efficiency and stiffness. The underbody uses high-strength steel as welded members in strategic locations for maximum strength, structural integrity, mass optimization and crashworthiness.
“The Delta architecture provides a solid foundation for a great small car,” said Doug Parks, Cobalt chief engineer. “With Cobalt, we focused on every detail. By selecting the right components and aggressively working on excellent ride and handling characteristics and noise reduction, we’ve engineered a small car with a truly premium feel.”
One-piece stamped tailor welded blanks are used for the inner and outer frame for added rigidity. In the instrument panel mounting area, a sound-deadening plenum is formed from a plastic layer sandwiched by thin steel sheets.
The Cobalt’s stiff underbody also supports a quiet ride, producing nearly 27 Hz in bending frequency. The rigid cockpit structure provides additional noise reduction, as well as providing load-carrying capability for crash protection. All other cabin entry points for noise have been addressed with seals, carpeting or other sound-deadening materials. Engine and decklid covers were extensively engineered to reduce noise.
The powertrain is supported by a torque-axis mounting arrangement that allows the suspension to operate at maximum efficiency while minimizing engine noise and vibration. Additionally, the doors, trunk and hood have all been engineered to have a solid closing sound.
Ride and handling
Cobalt’s advanced chassis systems are tuned to deliver ride and handling characteristics to fit the diverse requirements of a broad customer base. Electric power steering also is tuned to match the performance levels of the various tire and suspension packages. The tight turning radius is 34.8 feet (10.6 meters) curb to curb. Cobalt features a strut-type front suspension, semi-independent torsion beam rear suspension, and front and rear stabilizer bars for more exact body roll control.
Brakes and traction control
Vented front disc brakes with single-piston calipers and composite drum rear brakes are standard on the base models. Four channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) are standard on LS, LT and SS models. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are standard on SS models. Cobalt also features an enhanced electronic traction control system.
The rigid body structure that enables Cobalt’s dynamic driving experience also reinforces its safety. In addition to the solid unibody structure, dual-stage air bags are standard and side head curtain air bags are available. Front seat-belt pre-tensioners, rear center shoulder belts and the LATCH child seat retention system are also standard equipment.
Cobalt offers three race-inspired Ecotec four-cylinder engines, one proven automatic transmission and two manual transmissions. The Ecotec family includes a standard 2.2-liter engine in the base, LS, and LT models; a new 2.4-liter engine standard in the SS coupe and sedan; and a 2.0-liter supercharged engine standard in the SS Supercharged coupe.
The Ecotec 2.2-liter engine delivers an estimated 140 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque. The combination of increased displacement and variable valve timing technology enables the Ecotec 2.4-liter to achieve one of the highest torque ratings - an estimated 170 lb.-ft. - for a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder in the United States. The 2.4-liter’s 170 horsepower at 6000 rpm also is one of the highest specific-power outputs for any non-boosted four-cylinder of any size sold in the U.S., according to Ward’s 2003 market data.
The 2.2-liter and 2.4-liter dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) engines feature aluminum block and cylinder heads, counter rotating balance shafts, roller finger follower valve lifters, chain driven camshafts, electronic throttle control, coil-on-plug ignition, GM Oil Life System and extended life spark plugs and coolant.
With the new 2.4-liter engine, variable valve timing (VVT) is introduced to the Ecotec family. The new VVT system uses electronically controlled hydraulic camshaft phasers to alter the relationship of the intake and exhaust camshafts as much as 50 degrees relative to the crankshaft for improved performance and efficiency.
The Ecotec 2.2-liter is the foundation for GM’s front-wheel-drive drag racing efforts. The race-prepared Ecotec engine, which produces more than 1,000 horsepower, powers GM Racing’s Chevrolet Cavalier in the NHRA front-wheel-drive Sport Compact class and has been a proven winner throughout 2003.
Mated to the Ecotec 2.2-liter engine in the Cobalt is a standard Getrag five-speed manual and available Hydra-Matic 4T45-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The compact and efficient five-speed manual features five synchronized forward gears and a synchronized reverse gear. The 4T45-E is engineered to deliver transparent shifts in a quiet and durable package. With the Cobalt SS Supercharged model’s 2.0-liter supercharged engine, a manual transmission tailored to its unique power bands is included.
“Cobalt offers an outstanding lineup of engines and transmissions, delivering excellent performance, fuel efficiency and low emissions,” said Roger Duguay, Ecotec engine chief engineer.
|unibody construction with extensive use of high-strength steel
Wheelbase (in / mm):
103.3 / 2624
Length (in / mm):
Sedan - 180.3 / 4580; Coupe - 180.5 / 4584
67.9 / 1725
Ecotec 2.2L DOHC I-4, Ecotec 2.4L DOHC I-4
Horsepower (hp/kw @ rpm):
Ecotec 2.2L - 140 / 104 @ 5600 rpm (estimated)
Torque (lb-ft/Nm @ rpm):
Ecotec 2.2L - 150 / 203 @ 4000 rpm (estimated)
5-speed manual (standard), Hydra-Matic 4T45-E 4-speed automatic (optional)
disc front / drum rear, anti-lock brake system on select