To turn a street machine into a track racer you need the right
pedigree: a hot, lightweight performer with plenty of handling capabilities,
and a team of battle-tested racing engineers to make it happen. That explains
why Chevrolet and GM Performance Division have taken the sizzling Cobalt SS
Coupe Supercharged coupe and turned it into an Unlimited Class Time Attack
machine, which already bested the legendary Nissan Skyline’s times by seven
seconds in Street Tuner Challenge’s Time Attack on July 21.
The premise behind Time Attack is to take a street vehicle and – using tires
that are legal on public streets – turn in the fastest lap on a racetrack for
the vehicle class. The vehicle must be from a model originally produced for
legal street use and it must have a silhouette largely faithful to the original.
Because Time Attack challenges involve multiple runs, the engine must be
powerful and durable. The Time Attack Cobalt SS Supercharged coupe’s Stage 2+
Ecotec engine is certainly up to that challenge. Developed by GM Performance
Division and GM Powertrain, it features an Eaton M-62 Gen 5 Hybrid supercharger
and delivers 264 horsepower at 7000 rpm and 230 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm.
When nitrous boost is added, performance jumps to 344 horsepower at 6800 rpm and
350 lb.-ft. of torque at 3600 rpm.
Because weight is the nemesis of performance, many of the production Cobalt
elements have been replaced with carbon fiber counterparts. These include the
fenders, hood, doors, roof, decklid, spoiler, side splitters and Sparco car
seat. The vehicle’s glass has also been replaced with Lexan, and interior trim
has been kept to a minimum. The result is a vehicle that weighs a mere 2,350
Inside, the Time Attack Cobalt SS Supercharged coupe incorporates safety
systems per National Auto Sport Association (NASA) race rules, including a full
roll cage, side net and fuel cell. It also features a full complement of race
gauges, as well as a Sparco race steering wheel and GM Accessories pedals.
The Time Attack Cobalt SS Supercharged coupe runs in NASA’s Unlimited class,
which includes FWD, RWD and AWD vehicles. Following SEMA, it will race on Nov. 8
at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in central California – the same track where it
beat the best times of an 801-horsepower AWD, twin-turbo Nissan Skyline and a
nitrous-charged Volkswagen Jetta.